Calling the Dawgs in the Big Easy

More than 150 UGA alumni and friends assembled in New Orleans on Oct. 11 at Brennan’s to celebrate the university.

In the city’s famous French Quarter and two days before the much anticipated UGA-LSU football game, guests ate, drank and reveled in all things red-and-black, more than 500 miles from the Classic City.

NOLA event

Alumni chapter leadership from New Orleans and Colorado, Alumni Association Board of Directors members and UGA Foundation trustees numbered among the event’s guests who enjoyed food, drink and a jazz band in the Brennan’s courtyard.

NOLA event

You can see more of the festivities in this photo gallery.

Events like these are happening all the time and around the world, thanks to the passionate alumni volunteers who help lead UGA’s 80+ alumni chapters. No matter where you travel, there is often an alumni chapter nearby or a way to connect online—find yours today!

Saddler siblings among 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 honorees

Saddler family

The University of Georgia Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 program annually recognizes alumni who have made significant impacts in their careers. After receiving more than 550 nominees, the Alumni Association recognized this year’s honorees during an awards luncheon at the Georgia Aquarium on Sept. 13. Among the honorees were brother-sister duo, Latham Saddler (BBA ’05) and Lauren Saddler Pearson (ABJ ’02).

Lauren graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism in 2002 and is now a managing director and partner at HighTower Somerset in Birmingham, Alabama. She was named to the 2017 list of Forbes America’s Next Generation Wealth Advisors and named one of the Birmingham Business Chronicle’s “Women to Watch.” Lauren is also committed to The Advent, Cornerstone Schools, United Way of Central Alabama, Rotary and several other nonprofits in the Birmingham area.

Lauren with award

Latham graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2005 and is the director of intelligence programs for the National Security Council in Washington, D.C., and is also a Navy SEAL in the U.S. Navy. After becoming a Navy SEAL, he led a 25-person element in a remote outstation in Iraq responsible for targeting ISIS.  Inspired by his twin brother, who was born with Down syndrome, he is an advocate for the National Down Syndrome Society. After being crowned 2003 UGA Homecoming king, he presented the crown to his brother.

After learning that they were both being inducted into the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018, Lauren and Latham shared how proud they were to be honored by their alma mater and represent their family.

Lathem with award

“Special day for our family,” Lauren shared on her LinkedIn profile, “honored to be honored with my brother and proud to be a Bulldog!

Lauren and Latham’s parents were able to attend the luncheon and see the accomplishments of their children highlighted by the university. Click here to read more about their heartfelt reactions to the news of their children being inducted into the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 in a blog post by Peter Stoddard.

Want to see who else made this year’s 40 Under 40 list? Click here for the full list and highlights from the awards luncheon.

Will you take the #CalltheDawgs Challenge?

Calling the Dawgs is one of the ultimate traditions that unifies Bulldogs all over the world. This chant is most commonly recited in unison at football games, but most recently proud alumni have been calling the Dawgs in a crowded Times Square, outside Windsor Castle, at the College Football Hall of Fame and on the beaches of Amelia Island.

Why? These alumni are participating in the Young Alumni Leadership Council’s challenge to the entire Bulldog family to support the causes they are most passionate about. The #CalltheDawgs challenge is simple: donate to a cause that you care about, call the Dawgs in creative and fun way and then challenge your friends to do the same. Even if you can’t donate, you can still demonstrate your Bulldog pride by recording yourself calling the Dawgs and challenge others to join you.

Aaron Murray (BS ’12) and Drew Butler (ABJ ’11), co-hosts of Punt and Pass podcast called the Dawgs at Atlanta’s College Football Hall of Fame (above) where they donated to the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

TJ Callaway (BBA ’07), founder and CEO of Onward Reserve, found space in a crowded Times Square to call the Dawgs.


Caleb Nicholson (BSED ’09), President of the Young Alumni Council, called the Dawgs in front of Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, and also chose to give to the Let the Big Dawgs Eat fund dedicated to eliminating student food insecurity.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bmb3vUVlEzk/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Will you join these alumni and take the #CalltheDawgs challenge?

You know the drill. GOOOOOOOOO DAWGS, SIC ‘EM, WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!

View this post on Instagram

As a University of Georgia Triple Dawg and a member of the UGA Alumni Association's Young Alumni Leadership Council, I’m participating in the Call the Dawgs Challenge! I give to the Black Alumni Scholarship Endowment because in 1961 Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault paved the way for me. I am passionate about helping to provide resources for African-American students to attend my beloved alma mater. There are so many causes that you can give to and ways to further the mission of UGA. What's your passion? Every donation matters no matter how big or small. I’m challenging Cara Turano Snow, Carla C. Smith, Maranie Brown and other alums, fans, and friends to show their UGA spirit and Call the Dawgs! You’re up next! GOOOO DAWGS! #CalltheDawgs #GoDawgs #AlwaysADawg #RedAndBlack #UGA  Donate ➡️ https://gail.uga.edu/callthedawgs

A post shared by Yvette Dupree (@yvettedupree) on

Meet Alissa Vickery, Fundraising Chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council

Women of UGA’s mission is to foster a lifelong commitment to the University of Georgia by creating opportunities for personal and professional development, instilling a spirt of giving, and investing in the future of the university, its students and alumnae. We recently got the chance to interview Alissa Vickery (BBA ’01, MACC ‘01), fundraising chair for the Women of UGA Leadership Council in order to learn more about her experience at UGA and what drives her to stay involved with her alma mater. Here’s what she had to say! 

What kind of advice would you give to a current UGA student?

Work hard and appreciate the fact that, whether you’re paying for it or your parents are paying for it or you have scholarship money, that what you’re doing day-to-day matters, embrace what you’re doing, the classes you’re taking and what they’re trying to teach you because the more immersed in the content you can become the more relatable it will be. Your grades matter!

The other thing I would say is to figure out something other than school to become a part of because when you come out of school, you don’t want all you have on your resume to be your GPA. People are looking for someone well-rounded, especially with the current job market. If you want to set yourself apart, figure out how to make sure you’re a well-rounded individual.

What’s the most important thing you learned while at UGA?

I was that kid in high school who never had to study that hard so I think I came to Georgia not really knowing how to study as a result, and I got slapped in the face pretty hard my freshman year first quarter. I failed my first test. It was a calculus test and I thought “I had this class before. It’s fine.” It wasn’t fine because I just didn’t know how to be a student, but I turned it around pretty quick. I figured out how to study, and I did come out of that class with an A even though I failed that first exam. So I learned how important hard work and perseverance are, whether you get the A or the B.

How did you get involved with Women of UGA?

A women I had met through work had mentioned that the Alumni Association was looking to create a new women’s affiliation group similar to young alumni and black alumni, specifically geared towards women, and she thought that I would be great so I applied.

For me, UGA continues to be a part of who I am and what we do in our free time. We come up for football game, come up for gymnastic meets occasionally. We love the town and try to come back every chance we get, and this was just sort of one more way to still be engaged with the university and at the same time giving back my time and trying to make a little bit of a difference.

What about the Women of UGA Council excites you the most?

For me, it’s all about outreach to the alumni community. It’s a lot of networking and getting to know new people but through that our end goal is that we want to raise money for scholarships for students in need. We want to close the gap for students who need a scholarship to be able to attend UGA. You can really make a difference in someone’s life that way. We want alumni to feel engaged and impacted enough that they’ll want to give back.

So what’s your favorite memory from UGA?

My freshmen year we played Auburn at Auburn, and it was a really cool game. It was the first time any game had gone to four overtimes with the new rules. It was at Auburn and some of my friends from high school went to Auburn and obviously, I had friends at Georgia too. We were all together and sitting in the second row, in front of the band with the students. It was the game that Uga actually leapt up at the Auburn player and tried to bite him because the Auburn player was taunting him. I’m actually in that picture that you see everywhere of Uga jumping up at the guy! We also won that game so Georgia fans rushed the field afterwards. It was one of those things that looking back at is such a cool experience! Go Dawgs!

UGA named No. 13 Best Public University by U.S. News & World Report

As University of Georgia alumni and friends strengthen their commitment to UGA year over year, the world is taking notice—U.S. News & World Report named UGA No. 13 on its list of 2019 Best Public Universities.

This ranking (up three spots from last year’s ranking) represents the power of the ever-increasing support UGA has received in the last several years, particularly from alumni—in fact, a “loyal alumni participation number” factors into the U.S. News & World Report ranking.

Our alumni’s support is critical to UGA’s success, and the stronger UGA becomes, the more accomplished and engaged our alumni become. Yvette Dupree (BBA ’03, MAT ’07, PHD ’12), a member of the Young Alumni Council, is an example of our motivated alumni who understand this well.

“The Young Alumni Council wants alumni to realize that their gifts are vitally important to the university’s ranking and our reputation around the world,” said Yvette. “The better the ranking, the better it is for alumni. It’s a win-win.”

“The Young Alumni Council wants alumni to realize that their gifts are vitally important to the university’s ranking and our reputation around the world. The better the ranking, the better it is for alumni. It’s a win-win.”

Alumni organizations like these empower our alumni and, in turn, empower the university. Our alumni chapters are ready to welcome Georgia Bulldogs all over the world, help them stay connected to UGA, and make sure they never bark alone.

To those who have made a gift to UGA in the last year, thank you for your continued commitment to your alma mater. If you have not already made a gift, please learn more about the Commit to Georgia Campaign and consider making a gift today to count in upcoming rankings.

UGA at Oxford Event Celebrates Unique Study Abroad Experience

On Sept. 12, friends of the University of Georgia will convene in London to welcome the newest participants of the UGA at Oxford program and celebrate one of the most unique study abroad experiences UGA has to offer.

For 30 years, UGA students have made their home in the stunning environs of the University of Oxford, enjoying the connection between one of the oldest universities in the United States and one of the oldest universities on the planet.

UGA at Oxford offers a vast array of courses in a wide range of disciplines—humanities, sciences, international affairs, business, communications, law and more—with sessions held throughout the year.

Despite being immersed in the Oxford student experience, UGA study abroad students still pay regular in-state tuition, covered by any existing financial aid—as if they were in Athens taking classes. The courses offer UGA credit towards each student’s major pathway, but they are taught by Oxford faculty in the distinctive Oxford style of undergraduate education.

That distinctive style is characterized by two key features: the “collegiate system” and the “tutorial model.” The collegiate system sees each student taught within the colleges—Oxford has 38 constituent colleges—but completing their education with six, three-hour exams set by the university, encouraging competition among the colleges. The core of a student’s education is made up of weekly, one-on-one, hour-long meetings with one of the college’s fellows, who is often a full professor and world-leading academic.

The tutorial model eschews the type of education that points students to specific lessons and textbook chapters, opting instead for a comprehensive approach in which a student is introduced to all available literature on a subject and must chart their own course. Each week, they create work examining the subject, discuss it with their tutor and defend the work from their tutor’s critiques.

Students who take part in UGA at Oxford are granted access to truly one-of-a-kind facilities. Depending on the focus and/or semester of their program, students live, work and play in the centuries-old halls of Keble College or Trinity College or UGA’s own UGA at Oxford Centre, a renovated nineteenth-century Victorian mansion in north Oxford.

UGA at Oxford alumni leave the program having enjoyed an unparalleled learning experience and embraced a different culture, two things that can have a profound impact on the student experience and, ultimately, our students’ lives.

If you will be in London on Tuesday, Sept. 12, we invite you to join us in welcoming the newest UGA at Oxford students and celebrating the program and people who make this singular learning experience possible.

Meredith Dean among seven Grady College alumni inducted into UGA’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018

by Jessica Twine

The University of Georgia’s Alumni Association annually recognizes outstanding alumni who have made an impact in their careers through its 40 Under 40 program. Grady College is proud to have seven honorees in the 40 Under 40 Class of 2018: Brooke Bowen (ABJ ‘07, JD ‘10), Chase Cain (ABJ ’05), Meredith Dean (ABJ ‘14), Josh Delaney (ABJ’11, AB ‘11), Ivey Evans (ABJ ’06, BBA ’06, MBA ‘13), Quanza Griffin (ABJ ‘01) and Lauren Pearson (ABJ ‘02).

Selections were based on the graduates’ commitment to a lifelong relationship with UGA and their impact in business, leadership, community, artistic, research, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. The 2018 Class will be honored at the award ceremony on Sept. 13 at the Georgia Aquarium.

Grady College will release profiles of the winners leading up to the awards ceremony.

Name: Meredith Dean

Graduation Year: 2014

Current Occupation: Founder, The Dean’s List and program coordinator, Seacrest Studios

How did Grady College help prepare you for your career?

Without Grady, I never would have learned any of the tech skills (especially Adobe Creative Suite) needed to start my digital branding company, The Dean’s List, or developed nearly as many professional connections for my career. The New Media Institute taught me the importance of knowing how to code and use graphic design while the broadcasting curriculum prepared me immensely for becoming the media professional I am today. Thanks to the faculty and staff that share their plethora of real life experience, every lesson or concept that I learned in the classroom actually translated into the real world. I am eternally grateful to Grady and can’t imagine what life would have been like if I picked a different school.

What advice do you have for today’s Grady College students/young professionals?

Grady will give you endless opportunities if you take advantage of the vast alumni network we have. You can go to any state and find a home with a Grady connection. When I worked in New York City, countless times I would meet Grady grads —whether it be a producer at MTV or Amy Robach who invited me on set as her guest at Good Morning America after I reached out to her. I now work at Seacrest Studios because of a Grady grad connection who runs the Nashville Seacrest Studios.  I am a walking example of how the Grady family looks out for each other. I will always do what I can to help a Grady student, as would countless other alumni, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as you’ve navigated through your career?

Always empower others and stay curious. Every single person you meet could change the entire course of your life and vice versa. There is a Ted Talk called “Lollipop Moment” that has shaped the way I look at every interaction. Don’t brush people off or think that you don’t need to learn about that concept/person. In my opinion, people who are successful want to learn something about everything and can find fulfillment in even the smallest of things. For an example in media, every reporter used to have a cameraman. Nowadays, every reporter (or MMJ) needs to know how to shoot their own stories/stand ups, video edit, write their script for web, create their graphics, post on social and go on-air all in one day. Stay hungry by craving knowledge.

Meredith HouseDescribe a moment in your professional/personal career that you are most proud of.

I am most proud of how many patients and families’ lives we have been able to touch at Levine Children’s Hospital through our programming at Seacrest Studios. To see the emotional, spiritual and physical healing of these strong kids through music, new media, radio and TV is awe-inspiring. There is nothing like having a former patient come back to the studio just to visit as a happy and healthy child. Additionally, I have branded and career counseled over 100 clients all over the world with TDL. To focus on our mission of empowering women everywhere, I donate 10% of my profits to Habitat Aid Initiative, my family’s non-profit in Western Kenya. I have built a dormitory at Khwisero Girls School (Meredith House) and plan to build several more. My hope is to change the world little by little by helping these women in their educational pursuits and get my clients their dream jobs.

Originally published by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Meet Julie Wade, new UGA Alumni Association board member and previous 40 Under 40 honoree

When Julie Wade (AB ’96, JD ’00) first stepped foot on the University of Georgia campus to begin her undergraduate education she never envisioned attending law school—she also never imagined having the opportunity to serve on the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors more than 20 years later.

In her new role on the alumni board, Julie looks forward to continuing her history of giving to the university. “It’s an incredible honor. There are so many distinguished and amazing people on the board and I am excited to contribute what I can and become more fully engaged and immersed in the Bulldog experience.”

The Wade FamilyJulie is the executive director of Park Place Outreach Emergency Youth Shelter, a temporary residential home for at-risk youth ages 11-17 in Savannah, Georgia. Prior to working with Park Place, Julie clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and practiced law in both Hawaii and Boston. In Savannah, she practiced law at The Wade Law Firm, Hunter Maclean and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In addition to her directorship and serving on the alumni board, Julie is committed to giving back to her local community. She serves on the board of directors for Girls on the Run, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Educate Chatham. Julie is also committed to giving back to UGA; she and her husband, Drew Wade (BS ’97, AB ’97), have been making annual gifts to the university for 24 consecutive years.

In celebration of her impressive career pursuits, her ongoing dedication to her community and strong demonstration of leadership, Julie was recognized by the UGA Alumni Association as a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2011.

Julie offers the following advice for UGA students: “Embrace all the opportunities that come with being a student at Georgia—join clubs, join organizations, get to know professors, and dive in. By doing so, you’ll make richer experiences and better connections—all which will serve you in the long term. It’s about so much more than just going to class and making good grades.”

Meet new alumni board member Truitt Eavenson (BSAE ’83)

When Truitt Eavenson transferred to the University of Georgia from Emmanuel College, he was not sure about which career path to take. Eavenson, who grew up on a farm in Carnesville, Georgia, began looking through the course catalog and was fascinated with agricultural engineering. Once he met with the department head, Robert Brown, he committed to studying agricultural engineering.

Now, more than 20 years later, Eavenson is the vice president of Georgia Power in the Southeast region thanks to the education he received at UGA. To that end, he is dedicating his time to giving back to the place that helped shape him by serving on the board of the UGA Alumni Association.

“No matter what your career is or where you go in life you really don’t get there alone. There are always people helping you,” says Eavenson. “I think that we have a responsibility to go back and help people who are behind us be successful.”

Prior to joining the alumni board, he served on the College of Engineering and College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences advisory boards. He often returns to campus to speak to undergraduates, and hopes to prepare students for life after graduation.

“I really just want to make a difference. When my service is finished with whatever I am doing, I want people to say ‘I’m really glad he was here; he really did make a difference.’”

Eavenson offered advice to students preparing for life at UGA and beyond: “You can go to college for four years, and you can graduate with a degree, and go get a great job,” he said. “Or you can come to Athens and really get involved in the university. Look for the opportunities that are available to you and have an experience that you’ll always cherish and always be glad you did.”

 

Catching up with Mohamed Massaquoi, 40 Under 40 honoree and UGA Alumni Board member

Mohamed MassaquoiContributed by former digital marketing intern Alvieann Chandler (ABJ ’13, AB ’18) during her time in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations Office of Communications

Mohamed Massaquoi (BS ’08) is mastering the art of reinvention. The former UGA football standout began his career in the NFL as a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, and after retiring, he worked in finance for Morgan Stanley. In 2017, an ATV accident caused him to lose four fingers on his left hand, and he now wears a prosthetic. The accident gave Massaquoi a new perspective on life, and he started a new chapter as a motivational speaker and fitness advocate. He also helps former athletes transition into the business world.  

“I think it’s very important that people take full advantage of all the opportunities that they have right now, because you never know what could happen between now and whenever you plan to take that leap of faith,” Massaquoi said. 

Now, as a 2018 40 Under 40 honoree and UGA Alumni Association Board member, he hopes to foster relationships between alumni and their alma mater.  

“It was an honor to be named to UGA’s 40 Under 40 list. To think about how many people come through UGA, to be nominated is a great honor– something I don’t take lightly,” he said. 

In addition to giving back to UGA, he is on the board of Sunshine on a Ranney Day, a nonprofit organization that provides home modifications for children with disabilities, and Read with Malcolm, a literacy program founded by fellow UGA football star Malcolm Mitchell (AB ’15). Massaquoi is also learning how to play tennis – to exercise his competitive side, but to also support young amputees. 

“I enjoy competing, and I think tennis gives me an ability to continue to do that,” Massaquoi said. “One of the reasons why I want to get good at tennis is to start a tennis tournament to raise money for kids with amputations so they can afford prosthetic devices.” 

Nothing seems to slow Massaquoi down – a reason why he’s worthy of being named to UGA’s 40 Under 40. 

“Whenever you have the opportunity to do something,” he continued, “I feel like it is your human responsibility to follow through at the highest level that you can.”