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Dawgs claim victory – twice!

It’s always great to be a Georgia Bulldog … but more so when we beat Auburn twice in one week! The days leading up to the Georgia vs. Auburn football game marked the first-ever Beat Week Challenge between the two schools and when the clock ticked down to zero, it was the canines crushing our feline friends to the West.

GEORGIA: 3,252 gifts

AUBURN: 2,978 gifts

 

Generous gifts from thousands of alumni and supporters propelled UGA to victory, in addition to the more than 500 donations from students (we see you, Student Alumni Council spearheading that effort!). Gifts came from nearly all 50 states and in counties across Georgia. Check out the other stats.

Thank you, Bulldogs, for showing your spirit and your pride during this special week. Both the Bulldogs and the Tigers can be proud of their school’s showing. We’re both winners, in the end, as these contributions will make a difference for our universities, our students, and our world.

While the official contest has ended, we recognize that giving feels good–as does beating Auburn–so feel free to run up the score anyway! We know UGA has the most loyal alumni, students and fans, and we’ve shown it again this week. Go Dawgs!

 

Now open: UGA Engagement Center

UGA Engagement Center Grand OpeningInnovation offers experiences for discovery. With extensive planning and partnerships, UGA’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations is discovering ways to expand and increase alumni participation and engagement.

The UGA Engagement Center is a nexus for this initiative. In its new facility located one block east of the Arch, DAR and the Engagement Center work in concert to communicate with alumni and friends about opportunities for support and participation.

By incorporating new digital technologies, the Engagement Center aims to create meaningful conversations between alumni and students, while expanding the scope of texting and video interaction. A team of 80+ student representatives shares updates from campus, opportunities to support UGA initiatives, and information relevant to alumni affinities.

After 25 years of calling alumni, the Engagement Center now offers a modern-day approach to connecting with alumni and utilizing smartphone capabilities. From visual caller ID technology to texting direct links for event registration and gift-giving, Engagement Center student representatives are enhancing UGA’s reach. You may even see a student you spoke with on the phone “face-to-face” in a video message.

The possibilities technology offers are exciting; and the Engagement Center is excited to connect you with UGA in new ways!

Gifts from UGA alumni create CAES Rural Scholars Program

A new scholarship program funded by University of Georgia alumni and benefitting qualified students from rural areas of Georgia who seek to earn degrees from UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) is now recruiting students for its first cohort to begin in fall 2021.

Gifts and pledges totaling $500,000 from UGA Foundation trustee and CAES alumnus Keith Kelly (BSA ’80) and his wife, Pam Kelly (BSHE ’80), and CAES alumnus Robert Varnedoe (BSA ’83) will endow two CAES Rural Scholars Scholarship Funds and create two non-endowed CAES Rural Scholars Scholarship Funds, which will provide renewable yearly scholarships for a cohort of four to six students every fall.

The annual academic scholarship of $7,000 per year will assist in recruiting the most qualified students from rural communities in the state of Georgia who have excelled academically, have shown strong leadership abilities and community service, and seek a degree at CAES.

“The Rural Scholars Program will offer students from rural areas of Georgia a first-class undergraduate experience at UGA. Modeled after the University’s most prestigious fellowships and scholarships, the Rural Scholars Program is designed to give exceptional students from rural communities unique learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom,” said Josef Broder, associate dean for academic affairs at CAES.

Building on the success of similar UGA merit scholarship programs, the Rural Scholars Program will provide support for participating students through the cohort model, staff support and co-curricular programming. Scholars may have the opportunity to participate in additional activities to enhance the college experience, such as the Freshman College Summer Experience and experiential learning opportunities, supported by grants, that allow students to learn outside the classroom.

“I am grateful to these generous alumni, who are opening doors for students from rural areas of our state,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “The CAES Rural Scholars Program will help students achieve their educational and professional goals while supporting Georgia’s number one industry.”

Kelly, who earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from CAES in 1980, was inspired to support a scholarship program at CAES for rural students because he has observed and deeply understands the challenges rural families and students face when planning for the future.

“Part of our goal is to get young people to understand the need to go back to their communities and start something that will benefit those communities,” Kelly said. “We are excited about our students who are participating in entrepreneurship competitions, like FABricate, that allow them to formulate business plans they want to pursue. The opportunities within the agricultural industry are very diverse.”

While students from rural areas may be equally qualified, they may not have access to some of the resources available to students in larger school districts. With this in mind, Kelly committed himself to providing qualified rural students with a pathway to exceptional educational experiences, and the CAES Rural Scholars Program began to take shape.

He enlisted the participation of friend and 1983 CAES graduate Robert Varnedoe to endow the first scholarship funds. Varnedoe, who earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science, grew up in Barney, a town of about 150 people in south Georgia’s Brooks County.

“Personally, I feel a strong desire to help students in agriculture. I think that it is still a great opportunity for young people to continue in a field that is near and dear to my heart and that is changing with the times,” said Varnedoe, CEO of Lee Container. “We don’t focus enough of our resources on rural areas, and I am proud to be able to offer more opportunities for rural students to succeed. These students are the future of agriculture and agribusinesses in our state and beyond, and this will provide them with a strong education to carry them and the industry forward.”

Information on the scholarship and an application timeline is available at caes.uga.edu/students/scholarships/rural-scholars.html.

Former UGA football star Matthew Stafford pledges $1.5 million to alma mater

Photo: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass over the defense of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on October 14, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Former University of Georgia quarterback and current Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford and wife Kelly, a former UGA cheerleader, have committed to a gift to the university totaling $1.5 million.

The gift benefits a variety of areas and is highlighted by a significant contribution to an ambitious new social justice program launched by the UGA Athletic Association.

“Kelly and I have thought a lot about how we can improve our society and make a meaningful impact on the current social situation. Each and every time, we came back to education, and there’s no better place to create that kind of positive change than UGA,” said Matthew Stafford. “When we learned more about this program and others across campus, we were happy to lend our support.”

The primary goal of the new program is to continue developing an environment that will effect meaningful change in the areas of areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice for all of the Association’s members, including student-athletes, coaches and staff.

“We are incredibly grateful to Matthew and Kelly for their support of this important program and the university as a whole,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Their generosity will create positive experiences for many students across multiple areas at UGA and will ensure our student-athletes continue to enjoy exceptional experiences on campus.”

In addition to helping launch UGA Athletics’ social justice program, the Staffords’ gift includes a donation to the Magill Society to support the Butts-Mehre Expansion Project. The project will add a greatly expanded weight room, locker room, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices and sports medicine facility, as well as a number of other improvements for the football program.

The Staffords’ pledge will create two Georgia Commitment Scholarships as well. These scholarships will provide critical support to students who are unable to afford the full cost of attendance at UGA even when they have financial aid, such as a HOPE or Zell Miller scholarship or Federal Pell Grants.

The UGA Spirit Program Operational Endowment also will receive a donation as part of the Staffords’ commitment. The endowment provides general support for UGA Cheerleading.

“Matthew and Kelly Staffords’ pledge demonstrates the commitment of our alumni to their alma mater and to making a positive difference in the world,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I deeply appreciate their support of UGA’s efforts to nurture a diverse and inclusive campus culture and to promote academic access and success for all students.”

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.

UGA Foundation elects 12 new trustees

The University of Georgia Foundation approved changes in board positions during its June 11-12 annual meeting, which was held virtually. The changes took effect July 1.

The UGA Foundation welcomed 12 new trustees and accorded six trustees emeritus status. The new members will join current trustees to comprise a 50-member board.

The board voted unanimously to elect the following individuals to the board:

James G. “Guyton” Cochran, of Carrollton, is the CFO and executive vice president at Southwire Company. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UGA in 1988 and a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University in 1995.

James L. “Jim” Dinkins, of Atlanta, is the president of Coca-Cola North America. Prior to his appointment, he was president of the Minute Maid Business Unit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management from UGA in 1984 and an MBA from Emory University in 1992.

Keith Kelly, of Newborn, is the president and CEO of Kelly Products. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from UGA in 1980.

Elizabeth Correll Richards, of Atlanta, is chairman and CEO of Quality Staffing of America Inc. She earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and child psychology from The Ohio State University in 1992.

Jodi Selvey, of Atlanta, is the senior vice president for Colliers International. She earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from UGA in 1984.

John F. Schraudenbach, of Duluth, was a partner at Ernst & Young in Atlanta prior to retiring in June 2019. He previously served as chair of the Terry College of Business alumni board. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from UGA in 1981 and a master’s degree in accounting from UGA in 1982.

Dorothy Barfield Sifford, of Nashville, Tennessee, is active in various local, national and international nonprofits, ministries, and educational initiatives and endeavors. She earned her bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from UGA in 1994.

Kimberly L. “Kim” Stamper, of Alpharetta, is a retired marketing professional who earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from UGA in 1989. She remains actively engaged in mentoring young women, philanthropy and volunteering in her community.

Earl Howard Young, of Atlanta, is the president of General Wholesale Beer Co., a multi-generational family business. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from UGA in 1982.

Three advisory trustees were also elected to assist committees in defining and achieving the board’s strategic goals:

Natalie Schweers Coghill, of Augusta, is founder of The Gracestone Group and senior vice president for Synovus Securities Inc. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UGA in 1995 and a law degree from UGA in 1998.

Vernon “Trey” Googe III, of Atlanta, is the president and CEO of Yancey Bros. Co. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from UGA in 1991 and a law degree from UGA in 1994.

Rebecca B. “Becky” Winkler, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is founder and owner of Department 732c. She graduated summa cum laude from UGA in 1998, earning degrees in psychology and Chinese. She also earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from DePaul University in 2004.

The following individuals also will join the UGA Foundation Board of Trustees in ex-officio positions:

Asim Ahmed, the UGA Student Government Association president, succeeding Rachel Byers.

Savannah C. Hembree, the president of the UGA Staff Council, succeeding Marie Mize.

The UGA Foundation Board of Trustees accorded emeritus status to six trustees whose terms concluded on June 30: Kathryn L. Ash, Elizabeth W. “Betsy” Camp, Frank D. Foley III, Larry D. Thompson, Russell C. “Rusty” Lindner and Robert H. Stolz.

The complete UGA Foundation Board of Trustees is available at https://give.uga.edu/uga-foundation/trustees-and-committees/.

Act of kindness unites the College of Veterinary Medicine

Being treated to lunch can brighten anyone’s day, and when a complete stranger is behind such a gesture it’s even more powerful. Thanks to the generosity of a few special donors, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) provided 500 meals to feed busy essential faculty and staff while on the job.

When CVM implemented social distancing practices, that meant fewer employees at many of the facilities which require people to function. Simultaneously, local veterinary clinics slowed their practices and referred their patients to UGA’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital instead. These factors increased the workload on faculty and staff significantly. It became impossible for these essential workers to take time for lunch off-campus.

When CVM’s Development and Alumni Relations team learned of this hardship, they quickly assembled with Dean Nolan’s fervent support to align donors’ desire to help with the need to support the front line. Thoughtful donors of the College of Veterinary Medicine rose to the challenge and provided the funds for 500 hot meals for the essential workers across many locations: the Athens CVM Diagnostic Lab, the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, the Tifton campus Diagnostic Lab, and the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

This gesture not only guaranteed these critical faculty and staff a good meal on the job, it also lifted their spirits and showed that generosity is a defining trait of a Bulldog. “Thank you to our donors for taking care of us,” said Dr. Joseph Bartges, professor of medicine and nutrition at the CVM’s Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery. “Go Dawgs!”

“Providing a warm meal to our faculty and staff, though a small gesture, has meant the world to everyone involved,” said Mallory Moye, of CVM’s Development and Alumni Relations team. “We’ve truly come together, across both campuses, in this time of need to give back to those serving on our front line and to show our appreciation. In the process, we’ve also supported local restaurant businesses impacted by the pandemic.”

If you are interested in supporting the College of Veterinary Medicine during this time through scholarships, equipment, research opportunities, and other essential needs, you may do so by giving to the College of Veterinary Medicine Support Fund.

 

Georgia Museum of Art receives large gift of “cutting-edge” contemporary art

This article was written by Hillary Brown and originally posted to UGA Today on March 5, 2020.

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia received a major gift from John and Sara Shlesinger consisting of 110 contemporary works of art valued at over $2.6 million from the Shlesingers’ personal collection, spanning a wide variety of artists and mediums.

A partial list of artists represented in the donation includes Damien Hirst, Daniel Arsham, Shannon Ebner, David Altjmed and Mike Kelley. According to William U. Eiland, director of the Georgia Museum of Art, this gift will fundamentally transform how the museum operates.

“This gift from Sara and John Shlesinger to the Georgia Museum of Art is certainly a quantitative change for our collection, but most important, it is a qualitative one,” said Eiland. “It gives us the means not only to teach and to exhibit the cutting-edge art of the past 25 years, but also allows us to help students and our general audiences to find, to understand and to step beyond that edge. Overnight, due to their generosity, we are able to extend our collection planning and augment our ability to teach in an age when visual-arts education has become more and more necessary.”

Sara Shlesinger grew up surrounded by realist and impressionist art and studied art history abroad, earning a bachelor’s in fine arts from Brandeis University. Meanwhile, John—a 1983 UGA master’s of business administration graduate—knew little about art before marrying Sara, but collected local contemporary art. Interested in starting a collection together and curious about the contemporary art world, they traveled and visited galleries and museums.

In 1997, they decided to purchase an early spin painting by Damien Hirst—now a part of the gift to the museum. The couple first focused on Young British Artists, amassing works by Hirst, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris and Gavin Turk. They then expanded their vision, developing relationships with gallerists, dealers and the artists themselves in order to fully understand and appreciate the art they collect.

After 23 years, the couple have amassed a collection of several hundred works by emerging and established contemporary artists from around the world. Most recently, the Shlesingers acquired works by Katharine Fritsch, Nathaniel Mary Quinn and Atlanta’s own Shanequa Gay.

Chen Yi, “Naomi Wang’s Anniversary,” 2006. Part of The John and Sara Shlesinger Collection

Chen Yi, “Naomi Wang’s Anniversary,” 2006.

Gabriela Palmieri, former vice chair of Sotheby’s North America and now an independent art consultant, has worked with the Shlesingers for years. Palmieri says she can think of almost no other collectors who approach art in the way the Shlesingers do, citing their tendency to take risks and the fact that they buy works because they love them and want to live with them, not as part of an investment portfolio.

“Their tendency to collect works from across an artist’s lifetime will allow UGA students to see the trajectories of different careers. That’s unusual even among people who collect contemporary work,” said Palmieri. “Their desire to educate and instruct was a driving factor in this gift.”

For example, she points to their purchase of one of Damien Hirst’s early spin paintings the year it was made. Created using a mechanism that rotates the canvas and leaving much to the power of chance, these works were a new approach to painting, almost removing the hand of the artist.

In celebration of the donation, the museum plans to have a small exhibition this summer with a larger one to follow that will introduce visitors to the works provided by the Shlesingers.

John Shlesinger is a vice chairman at CBRE, a publicly traded, global commercial real estate firm, and serves on the boards of the Atlanta History Center, Oakland Cemetery and Tech Square Ventures. He was previously a member of UGA’s Board of Visitors and the board of the High Museum of Art.

Sara Shlesinger is a community leader on both a local and national basis. She is a board member at Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum and is on the advisory board for Art 21. Sara has served on the selection committee for the Venice Biennale and on MoMA’s Modern Women’s Fund Committee. In Atlanta, she was on the founding board for the Children’s Museum and is currently involved with various organizations and working in the art world.

2020 Alumni Awards recipients unveiled

Update as of April 1: Due to the ongoing public health concerns surrounding public gatherings, the 2020 Alumni Awards Luncheon is canceled. We look forward to sharing content in the coming weeks to virtually celebrate this year’s honorees.

The Alumni Association will celebrate individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a deep commitment to bettering the university during its 83rd annual Alumni Awards Luncheon on April 24.

This year’s honorees include:

Lynda Bradbury Courts

The Honorable Johnny Isakson

Dr. Hamilton E. Holmes Family

Peter Shedd

Sanford and Barbara Orkin

Christina Swoope Carrere

2020 Alumni Merit Awards

The Alumni Merit Award, which is given to those who bring recognition and honor back to the University of Georgia through outstanding leadership and service, will be presented to Lynda Bradbury Courts and the Honorable Johnny Isakson.

As a lifelong philanthropist, Lynda Bradbury Courts (AB ’63) has supported and served the university for decades in a multitude of ways. Perhaps most notably, she served as the chair for the University of Georgia Foundation board of trustees from 2004 to 2005.

After graduating from UGA, Sen. Johnny Isakson (BBA ’66) had a multi-decade career of public service to the state and the university. He holds the distinction of being the only Georgian ever to have been elected to the state House, state Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

2020 Family of the Year Award

The Dr. Hamilton E. Holmes family will receive the Family of the Year Award, which is presented to a family that demonstrates loyalty to UGA.

Dr. Hamilton Holmes Sr. (BS ’63) helped pave the way for future generations of students as the first African American male to attend UGA. The Holmes family has continued his legacy of opening doors and making campus more inclusive through their great support of UGA over the years.

2020 Faculty Service Award

Peter Shedd is receiving the Faculty Service Award. First presented in 1969, the award recognizes current or former UGA faculty and staff who have distinguished themselves in service to the university.

Peter Shedd (BBA ’74, JD ’77) has shown boundless commitment to the university and its students and faculty. He is an emeritus professor of legal studies at Terry College of Business. He was named the 1993 CASE Georgia Professor of the Year. He previously served as the associate dean of business, executive assistant to the president, interim VP for instruction and director of Terry College’s full-time MBA program. He has written numerous articles and two leading textbooks in the areas of the legal and regulatory environments of business and business law.

2020 Friend of UGA Award

Sanford and Barbara Orkin will be honored with the 2020 Friend of UGA Award, which is given to any non-alumnus or organization that has demonstrated outstanding loyalty and support to the University of Georgia and the UGA community.

Sanford (H ’19) and his late wife Barbara, who passed away in Nov. 2019, have demonstrated unyielding commitment to supporting the endeavors of UGA’s students, faculty and staff. They have provided tremendous financial support across the university including the Terry College of Business, the Mary Frances Early College of Education, College of Public Health, UGA Athletics, Carl Vinson Institute and the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.

2020 Young Alumni Award

The Young Alumni Award will be presented to Christina Swoope Carrere. This award is given to those who attended UGA in the past 10 years, have embodied the Pillars of the Arch—wisdom, justice and moderation–and provided notable service to the university.

Christina Swoope Carrere (BS ’11) was the first African American female drum major of the Redcoat Marching Band and is the immediate past president of the board of directors for the Redcoat Band Alumni Association. She was also in UGA’s 40 Under 40 class of 2016. She currently serves as the senior Medicare program examiner for the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the Alumni Awards program, or view a list of previous award recipients.

 

UGA Greek councils create two $100K Georgia Commitment Scholarships

The University of Georgia Panhellenic Council and UGA Interfraternity Council each gave $100,000, matched by the UGA Foundation, to establish two endowed, need-based scholarships through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program.

“We are so excited by and proud of these councils and their member organizations,” said Victor K. Wilson, vice president of student affairs. “Our students understand the value of a UGA education, and to see them commit to providing that opportunity to others—in perpetuity—is inspiring.”

The Panhellenic Council governs UGA’s 19 female fraternities and sororities that are members of the National Panhellenic Conference, and the Interfraternity Council represents 26 member fraternities at the University. The two councils gave to these scholarship funds on behalf of their member organizations, and both scholarships will support an incoming freshman in the 2020 fall semester.

“The students that contributed to these gifts are among the most engaged and motivated at the University, but this goes above and beyond,” said Eric Atkinson, associate vice president of student affairs. “Their commitment to UGA will now live far beyond their years on campus and will enrich the University forever.”

Through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, the UGA Foundation matches—dollar for dollar—any gift in the amount of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000 to establish an endowed, need-based scholarship for undergraduate students. The scholarship is awarded within a year of the donor making their gift, and from that point forward, the endowment grows—increasing the size of the scholarship award over time and helping student after student earn a UGA degree.

“The Panhellenic Council holds service among our four core values, and what better way to make an impact than serving our direct community?” said Jennings Brooks, Panhellenic Council president. “By giving to the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Fund, we are ensuring that our legacy’s impact will go beyond the Panhellenic Community, impacting the University as a whole for years to come.”

Since the matching program’s creation in 2017, over $77 million has been dedicated to need-based aid, with over 330 donors giving to the program. Scholarship recipients also benefit from academic support in the form of tutoring, workshops, academic coaching and more.

“To make the UGA experience more accessible for future generations of Bulldogs is truly special,” said Brennan Cox, UGA Interfraternity Council president. “At the onset of our term, we challenged ourselves to be campus leaders—not just fraternity leaders—and this is our commitment to doing just that.”

As a major component of the Commit to Georgia Campaign’s effort to remove barriers for students, the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program has been a critical element of UGA’s fundraising success over the past two years. To find out how you can contribute to that success, visit give.uga.edu/georgia-commitment.