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College of Environment and Design announces “Owens 50”

This article is adapted from a CED announcement originally written by Jennifer Lewis, director of the Center for Community Design and Preservation.

Last year marked 50 years since the establishment of the School of Environmental Design, which became the College of Environment and Design in 2001. As part of the year-long celebration, CED faculty, staff, and alumni honored the most amazing individuals and groups who have shaped the college throughout its history.

From the first landscape architecture classes in 1928 to our beginnings as a college in 1969, the CED has been shaped by and has produced many trailblazers and visionaries. Through their scholarship, teaching, service, and professional practice, these individuals have demonstrated unwavering commitments to advancing the principles of design, planning, and preservation.

A committee of CED faculty, staff, and alumni undertook the difficult task of narrowing down the list of about 100 nominees to the 50 finalists: the Owens 50, named after CED’s founding Dean, Hubert Owens.

“These talented individuals brought unparalleled passion, expertise, and commitment to our professions, the college, and the betterment of the world at large,” said CED Dean Sonia Hirt. “Through their vision and hard work, they shaped our programs and enhanced the CED’s ability to serve students and enrich lives.”

 

In addition to the 50 individuals, the college also honored six institutions that have had an indelible impact on the CED. They range from alumni organizations to highly-regarded professional allies to generous friends and donors.

The winners have been invited to a ceremony, tentatively rescheduled for March 2021, which will allow them to revisit with their colleagues, classmates, and campus. For more information on the honorees, including their contributions to the CED, please visit the CED 50th anniversary website.

 

Vision and generosity grow for generations

Today, we celebrate Dan B. Franklin (BSC ’38, BBA ’62, BLA ’63) and the way his vision and generosity demonstrate how investing in the future can keep your hard-earned money working for generations. A bequest from his estate established the Dan B. Franklin Distinguished Professorship in the College of Environment + Design.

Who was Dan B. Franklin?

Franklin first received a degree in Economics from the University of Georgia in 1938. After a successful career working for the R.C. Cola Company, he returned to the university and, in 1963, earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with a concentration in landscapes and gardens.

A prolific and celebrated garden designer in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast, Franklin received numerous awards during his long career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). He was also inducted as a Fellow with ASLA, the organization’s highest honor. In 1991, he received the UGA College of Environment + Design’s Distinguished Alumni Medal.

Franklin’s love of UGA and for the profession of landscape design led to the creation of a lasting gift. The professorship named in his honor is intended to help a scholar/educator who shares his passion for plant life promote education, research and service excellence in landscape architecture, garden design and horticulture in particular. Meet the current Dan B. Franklin Distinguished Professor, Brad Davis, and learn more about the positive impact Franklin’s gift continues to have.

Discover how easy it can be to leave a legacy that counts.

CED alum integral in launching COVID-19 information hub

Lawrie Jordan (BLA ’73) is an alumnus of the College of Environment and Design and current executive at Esri, one of the largest geographic information system companies in the world. Lawrie was integral to the launch of Esri’s free-to-use COVID-19 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Hub, a website with a wealth of resources for anyone to use. We connected with Lawrie to ask him questions about the Hub, his role in developing it, and his time at UGA.

What tools can be found on Esri’s COVID-19 GIS Hub? Who are they for?

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Esri surged its Disaster Response Team and worked closely with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to stand up a dynamic dashboard showing the global growth of the disease. This cloud-based tool leverages the power of geography and location analytics, with authoritative data from JHU and WHO being updated multiple times a day and successfully sustaining more than 1 billion hits per day worldwide. You can see the COVID-19 GIS Hub in action here.

Building on that foundation, the Hub provides an expansive set of online resources to lend support to communities, organizations, and individuals in need. These tools primarily consist of new maps, apps, informational dashboards, and supporting services that are focused on addressing specific needs associated with COVID-19, including:

Lawrie Jordan (BLA '73)

Lawrie Jordan (BLA ’73)

  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Available Hospital Beds
  • COVID-19 Testing Sites
  • Travel Restrictions
  • Contact Tracing (under development)
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Business Continuity
  • Small Business Recovery
  • Approaches to Safely Reopening

These are just a few of the tools available, and the full range can be seen at the Esri COVID-19 GIS Hub site.

What is your role in developing and launching the COVID-19 GIS Hub?

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with all forms of geospatial information for more than 40 years, with emphasis on imagery from satellites, aircraft, and drones. GIS technology provides us with an optimal environment to combine those sources of data with additional social, economic, statistical, health, and other natural resource layers. This enables us to see patterns, changes, and trends that affect us over time in totally new ways, including the multiple impacts of a crisis such as this pandemic.

At Esri we collaborate as a “team of teams,” and one of my roles is to provide thought leadership and industry outreach. I work with my colleagues and teammates to raise awareness across the world of new capabilities such as the COVID-19 GIS Hub, and to help inform and connect those in need. Tools such as this give us a new view of current conditions, as well as a new vision of what an improved future can look like.

What is a lesson you learned at UGA that you still carry with you while working at Esri?

One of the most valuable lessons that I learned as a UGA student (and frankly a recipe for overall success in your career and life) is the importance of “bringing your A-game” to everything that you do, and to “play all in, all the time.” CE+D’s Landscape Architecture course curriculum, the outstanding faculty, and the CED Design Studio environment naturally lends itself to this, and it sets the table for a high-energy pattern of productivity and innovation to thrive.

To follow this “all-in” recipe consistently, however, there’s a positive string attached. You have to stay healthy both physically and mentally, which adds two more important ingredients to the mix: regular exercise and a good diet.

And finally, the “secret ingredient” in this recipe is to put others first. Be of service to others and focus on helping them be successful first, rather than yourself. When you do this, you’ll find that you will succeed in numerous ways, far surpassing your own expectations. And then everything just gets better.