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Dawgs through the Decades: UGA in the 1990s

As the birthplace of higher education, UGA is guided by a respect for history and tradition. We’re taking a trip down nostalgia lane to learn about college life through the decades. So dust off your flannels and grunge band T-shirts as we go back to the 1990s.

The 1990s were defined by pop culture and innovative technology. It was a spirited decade in America and that was no different on UGA’s campus. The university hosted three Olympic competitions in 1996, putting Athens on the map as an internationally recognized hub for sports, culture and entertainment. During this decade, our historic campus also expanded with new buildings like the Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities and the Georgia Museum of Art.

Students in the 1990s were committed to creating better communities around the world and empowering the next breed of Bulldogs to continue that tradition. They embodied the world-class spirit of UGA, promoting diversity and inclusion year-round, worldwide and lifelong. UGA’s distinguished alumni from this decade include retired NFL player Terrell Davis (BSFCS ’95), Congolese ambassador Dr. Faida Mitifu (PHD ’94), sports journalist and NYT best-selling author Mark Schlabach (ABJ ’96), Pulitzer Prize winner Brad Schrade (AB ’92, MA ’95). Bulldogs from the ’90s continue to inspire pride among alumni, students and fans.

Campus Highlights

Here are some important moments in UGA’s history in the 1990s:

1990

1991

1993

  • Telvis Rich (BSW ’94, MSW ’95) became the first Black student to serve as president of the Student Government Association

1994

  • School of Ecology established within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; environmental literacy requirement instituted for all undergraduates
  • UGA was chosen as site for Olympic soccer and volleyball during the 1996 Olympic games

1995

1996

  • UGA hosted three competitions during the Centennial Olympic Games
  • The Georgia Museum of Art opened a new building on East Campus as part of the Performing and Visual Arts Complex, which includes the School of Music, the Performing Arts Center and the Lamar Dodd School of Art

1997

  • The late Bernard B. Ramsey left the university its largest single gift (at the time), $18.8 million

1998

  • UGA converted from quarter terms to semester terms
  • UGA Professor Edward J. Larson won a Pulitzer Price for History

1999

  • University campus dedicated as an Arboretum
  • UGA at Oxford opened, making it the first university-owned residential facility abroad
  • Hilton Young (BSED ’79) became the first Black president of UGA’s National Alumni Association (now the UGA Alumni Association)
  • Mark Anthony Thomas (BBA ’01) became the first Black editor-in-chief of The Red & Black
uga campus 1999

UGA’s campus in 1999. Notice any differences from today?

Classic City Entertainment

Following the creative ascent of bands like R.E.M and the B-52s in the ’80s, Athens was established as a cultural epicenter for music. Students flocked to venues and bars like the Flying Buffalo, Rockfish Palace, T.K. Harty’s Saloon, The Odyssey, Georgia Bar and Boneshakers.

The Uptown Lounge, a popular music club, became the Atomic Music Hall in the mid-’90s. Atomic gained recognition as one of the most vital underground rock clubs during the 1990s. It hosted punk-rock bands like Trash Fest, Harvey Milk, Jucifer, Trinket, Space Cookie and Buzz Hungry. The club also attracted national acts such as Hole, the Oblivions and Drivin’ N Cryin’.

Other popular acts during the ’90s included Of Montreal and Drive-By Truckers. The Elephant 6 Collective, a group of like-minded indie bands, gained nationwide exposure in the mid-1990s with the rise of Neutral Milk Hotel, Elf Power and Olivia Tremor Control.

In 1998, a week after the release of their first live album, Light Fuse, Get Away, Widespread Panic closed the streets of Athens to put on a free album release party for 100,000 fans. The live concert broke Metallica’s record for the largest record release party.

Music Essentials

The 1990s were filled with a range of pop, rap and alternative artists. Girl groups and boy bands like Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, TLC and the Spice Girls took center stage. Meanwhile, solo artists like Mariah Carey, Tupac Shakur, Alanis Morrissette, Whitney Houston and Madonna pushed the boundaries of pop culture with their eccentric styles and cutting edge performances. Reminisce on the ’90s with this UGA Alumni throwback playlist!

Fashion Trends

Fashion returned to minimalism in the 1990s, sharply contrasting the bold and elaborate styles of the ’80s. Wardrobe staples included cardigans, long, fitted skirts, straight-legged pants, cropped T-shirts and overalls—all in neutral tones. During the early to mid-1990s, grunge and alternative bands like Nirvana influenced an “anti-fashion” movement which consisted of oversized clothing, flannel shirts, distressed jeans, Doc Martens and bucket hats. Students on campus could be seen wearing a combination of these styles, but most opted for a UGA T-shirt with high tops or white, chunky sneakers.

TV Shows

The 90’s gave birth to television shows and sitcoms, entertaining sporting events, blockbuster movies, and video games. Students could be found huddled around bulky, flat-screen TVs watching the latest music videos on MTV. Here are some TV shows that further revolutionized the decade:

  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • Family Matters
  • Friends
  • Seinfeld
  • Law & Order
  • Sister, Sister
  • The X-Files
  • Full House
  • Martin

UGA fosters lifelong relationships with alumni, because we are committed to the growth, success and connection of the Bulldog nation. Whether you passed through the Arch in the 1990s or just caught a game inside Sanford Stadium, you’re a Georgia Bulldog and you will Never Bark Alone.

Don’t forget to check out the 1970s and 1980s posts in this series!

*Shannon Moran, writing/communications intern for UGA’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations, is researching and writing this special blog series.

Dawgs through the Decades: UGA in the 1980s

As the birthplace of higher education in America, UGA is guided by a respect for history and tradition while keeping a firm eye on the future. We’re taking a trip down nostalgia lane this fall to learn about college life through the decades. So put on your acid wash jeans and roll up those blazer sleeves … it’s time to head back to the 1980s.

The 1980s were defined by pop culture, consumerism and the end of the Cold War. It was a spirited decade in America and that was no different on the UGA campus. Long-standing traditions found their humble beginnings during these years. Our historic campus also expanded with newly established buildings and organizations.

Students in the 1980s were hopeful and enthusiastic about the opportunity to improve the future. They embodied the spirit of UGA, striving to create better communities around the world and empower the next breed of Bulldogs to continue that tradition. Among UGA’s distinguished alumni from this decade, there are professional athletes, writers, educators, business leaders and government officials. Bulldogs from the ’80s demonstrate the incredible value of a degree from UGA.

Campus Highlights

Here are a few key moments from UGA’s history in the 1980s: 

1980

  • UGA was accorded sea-grant status
  • Center for Global Policy Studies established (editor’s note: now the Center for the Study of Global Issues-GLOBIS)
  • Coach Vince Dooley reinstated “silver britches” as part of the UGA football uniform
  • The UGA football team won a National Championship
  • The UGA Board of Regents voted to approve the Red and Black‘s independence from the university
  • The UGA Athletic Association established its first women’s track and field team

1981

  • Harold Wright became the first Black drum major for the Redcoat Marching Band

1982

1983

1985

  • UGA celebrated the bicentennial of its founding
  • The men’s tennis team won UGA’s first NCAA team title

1986

1987

1988

1989 

UGA Map 1986

UGA’s campus in 1986. Notice any differences from today?

Classic City Entertainment

With a growing and more diversified music industry, Athens saw new bands and venues emerge in the 1980s. The 40 Watt Club moved to a larger space, and the landmark Georgia Theatre was reopened as a music venue in 1989.

The Athens music scene spread to houses around Baker Street and in clubs such as the Georgia Bar and Tyrone’s OC. College students danced to local bands like the Side Effects, the Tone Tones, the Method Actors, Pylon, Love Tractor, and the Brains. The B-52’s and R.E.M. paved the way in pop culture, becoming the first internationally renowned bands from Athens after launching a string of hits in the early ’80s.

Music Essentials

The 1980s saw the emergence of hip hop and electronic dance music. Artists like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and Def Leppard revolutionized the music scene with their eccentric looks and cutting edge performances. Reminisce on the ’80s with this UGA Alumni throwback playlist!

Fashion Trends

The 1980s boasted bold styles, colors and silhouettes. Eclectic fashion was all the rage, with trends ranging from permed hair and ripped jeans to shoulder pads and oversized blazers.

Most Bulldogs in the ’80s opted for casual attire like crew neck Georgia T-shirts, cuffed jeans, thick ankle socks and white sneakers or Doc Martens. “Power dressing” became popular at the height of the decade as women wore jumpsuits, structured tops, pinstripe pants, chunky jewelry and bright colored high heels. Androgynous fashion also evolved throughout the 1980s; women adopted a more traditionally masculine style, while men continued to experiment with traditionally “feminine” looks.

Technology

  • Personal computers became common on campus in the 1980s. Many students swapped out their typewriters for computer labs in libraries and dorms. However, before the Internet, these computers were only capable of playing games, word processing, and mathematical calculations.
  • Walkmans were the first form of portable, personal music. Students could be seen enjoying their favorite cassette between classes.
  • Boomboxes were a much larger alternative to portable music. Students lugged these gadgets around campus and downtown, tuning into local radio stations like WUOG.
  • VHS players allowed students to watch films from the comfort of their dorms, apartments and houses. Bulldogs could also record football games straight from the TV and watch the highlights later.

Whether you’ve been Calling the Dawgs since the 1980s or just learned the words to “Glory, Glory,” we remain united by the Arch and the Hedges. We are Georgia Bulldogs, and we Never Bark Alone.

Stay tuned as we continue on this trip down nostalgia lane. Next stop: the 1990s!

(and don’t forget to check out the 1970s post in this series!)

*Shannon Moran, writing/communications intern for UGA’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations, is researching and writing this special blog series.

Dawgs through the decades: UGA in the 1970s

Take a trip down nostalgia lane with our newest blog series documenting UGA in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. First stop: the psychedelic seventies! We sat down with alumni to learn about college life in a decade defined by war, protests and rock ‘n’ roll.  

The 1970s was a spirited decade in America and that was no different on campus. Long-standing traditions, like chanting “How ‘Bout Them Dawgs,” found their humble beginnings during these years. Prominent buildings and organizations also were established, fostering a university-wide commitment to preparing a generation of risk-takers and culture-shapers.

Students in the 1970s were curious and innovative, tenaciously searching for better answers and impactful solutions. Among UGA’s distinguished alumni from this decade, there are scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, professors and U.S. representatives. Bulldogs from the 1970s continue to inspire those who will lead, discover and serve across our state, country and the world.

Campus Highlights

Here are some important moments from UGA’s history in the 1970s:  

1970

  • UGA celebrated the first Earth Day with a teach-in at Memorial Hall
  • Nearly 3,000 demonstrators gathered on campus to protest the Vietnam War 

1971

  • Aderhold Hall was completed (and named for UGA’s 17th president)

1972

  • Rising Junior Test was adopted as a graduation requirement  
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments was enacted, changing the landscape of college athletics (Before 1972, sporting opportunities for women on campus were confined to intramurals and club teams)

1973

  • The first women scholarship athletes competed on campus

1974

  • A standard minimum SAT score became a requirement for admission to UGA

1977

1978

  • The UGA Research Foundation was established
  • “How ‘Bout Them Dawgs” emerged as the battle cry of the Bulldog Nation
UGA map 1979

UGA’s campus in 1979. Notice any differences from today?

Classic City Entertainment

In 1972, Georgia lowered the legal drinking age to 18, greatly impacting Athens nightlife. Students flocked to live music at Memorial Hall, the Last Resort, the 40 Watt Club and Legion Field. University Union and downtown concert venues hosted national acts like the Allman Brothers Band, Bob Hope, Jimmy Buffet and Randy Newman.

Athens-based bands revolutionized rock and alternative music in the 1970s. Ravenstone, a politically active hard-rock band, formed at UGA early in the decade. The group supported anti-war protests and other social issues. In 1972, Ravenstone played at the first openly held LGBTQ rights dance in the Southeast. The B-52s played its first gig at an Athens house party in 1977, later releasing several best-selling records.

The Lamar Dodd School of Art sustained the Athens music scene. Throughout the 1970s, it attracted highly qualified and talented students who were seeking a receptive environment for visual arts. These students would become nationally recognized artists, musicians and scholars. In 1979, four students formed R.E.M. and made their debut appearance on WUOG, the campus radio station. R.E.M.’s creative ascent would help shape the Classic City into the cultural epicenter that it is today. 

Music Essentials

The 1970s gave rise to disco, rock, R&B and soul. Toward the end of the decade, hip-hop was born. Reminisce on the 1970s with this UGA Alumni playlist, a brief sampling of the bands and performers who ruled the golden era of music! 



Fashion Trends

While many students opted for jeans and T-shirts, Bulldogs in the 1970s boasted an eccentric style. Snelling Dining Hall held fashion shows, featuring trends like buckskin bags, wide leather belts, suede vests and bell bottoms. The Red & Black advertised inventive styles from stores like Clothesline, Millers at Alps and Sears at Beechwood.

Seventies fashion saw bold colors and patterns take center stage. Students expressed themselves through experimental, cutting-edge and unconventional clothing. Flared pants, pantsuits, platform shoes and ascots were worn by both men and women, paving the way for gender-neutral fashion.

Slang

In addition to trailblazing fashion and music, students established their own slang, too. Learn to speak like a Bulldog from the 1970s–or if you were a student during this decade, does anything sound familiar?

  • Crib: Apartment or home
    “Come to my crib to watch the Dawgs beat Auburn.”
  • Ace: Awesome
    “The Dawgs were ace this season.”
  • Skinny: The truth
    “Want the skinny? The Gators are going to lose.”
  • Far out: Cool
    “The B-52s’ new album is far out.”
  • Get down: Dance
    “Let’s get down at the 40 Watt!”
  • Right on: Agreement with something or someone
    “Go Dawgs? Right on!”
  • Chump:  Foolish person
    “Did you see that Georgia Tech fan? What a chump!”

Whether you graduated in the 1970s or just started wearing red and black, UGA remains more than a memory and more than a degree. It’s a deep-rooted community, centuries old and over 340,000 strong.  

Stay tuned as we travel to the 1980s!

*Shannon Moran, writing/communications intern for UGA’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations, is researching and writing this special blog series.

From Uga to the Arch, here are 6 UGA-themed emojis for World Emoji Day

Are you ever texting a friend on game day and wish you could show your Bulldog spirit with images? Maybe you’re posting a picture of North Campus and can’t express your thoughts with words alone. To celebrate World Emoji Day (July 17), we’ve created 6 UGA-themed emojis we wish were on our keyboards!

 

Heart Eyes Uga Emoji

Heart Eyes Uga

The Arch Emoji

The Arch

Super G Emoji

Super G

X Eye Gator Emoji

X Eyes Gator

Football Helmet Emoji

Georgia Football Helmet

UGA Bus Emoji

UGA Bus

Ten jokes for UGA fans on International Joke Day

In honor of International Joke Day (July 1), we’re spreading smiles and laughter among the Bulldog Nation by poking fun at our biggest rivals.

  1.  What’s the difference between a Georgia Tech football player and a dollar? 

    You can get four quarters out of a dollar!

  2.  How do you keep a Gator out of your front yard?

    Put up a goal post!

  3.  What do you get when you cross a Gator with a groundhog?

    Six more weeks of bad football!

  4.  How many Gators did it take to tackle JT Daniels? 

    Good question, no one knows!

  5.  What does a Georgia Tech grad call a UGA grad?  

    Boss!

  6.  What’s the best thing to come out of Gainesville, Florida? 

    I-75!

  7.  How do you make Gator cookies? 

    Put them in a big bowl and beat for three hours!

  8.  How does a UGA grad get a Gator fan off his porch?  

    Tip him for the pizza he bought!

  9.  What’s the difference between the Yellow Jackets and Cheerios?  

    One belongs in a bowl. The other doesn’t!

  10.  Why did the Georgia Tech football team cross the road?  

    Because it was easier than crossing the goal line!

On National Picnic Day, picnic like a Bulldog

April 23 is National Picnic Day. With spring blooming in Athens, it’s time to grab a blanket, pack a meal, invite a few friends and find your favorite outdoor spot at the University of Georgia. There are 700 acres of campus to choose from, and we lined up our top campus spots to help you picnic like a Bulldog.

Founders Memorial Garden

Founders Memorial Garden

Photo: Dorothy Kozlowski, University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

You can’t go wrong with anywhere on UGA’s historic North Campus, but the Founders Memorial Garden offers a quiet escape from the usual bustle of campus. Enter on Lumpkin Street across from Morris Hall to explore the 2.5-acre garden’s network of paths, koi pond and over 300 species of plants.


UGA Horticulture Trial Gardens

UGA Horticultural Trial Gardens

Photo: Dorothy Kozlowski, University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

Whether you have a green thumb or are horticulturally hopeless, the UGA Horticulture Trial Gardens is the perfect spot for the plant lover. Tucked between Snelling Dining Hall and the College of Pharmacy’s R.C. Wilson Pharmacy Building, this spot offers a variety of blooms, shady benches and a dreamy gazebo. Bonus: you can browse the plants being tested by UGA’s horticulture department while you’re there.


Lake Herrick Pavilion and Docks

dock at Lake Herrick

Photo: Andrew Davis Tucker, University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

Located within Oconee Forest Park, the Lake Herrick pavilion and docks offer several spots to soak up the sun on a spring day. Wander the lakeside trail or bring a frisbee to toss with friends.


West End Zone Overlook

aerial shot of Sanford Stadium

Photo: Andrew Davis Tucker, University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

G-Day means we’re creeping closer to fall and football season! If you can’t wait to cheer for the Dawgs as they tee it up between the hedges, feed your anticipation with a picnic on Sanford Stadium’s west end zone overlook. If you have a speaker, queue “Baba Riley,” “Glory” and “Let the Big Dog Eat” to mimic that Saturday-in-Athens feeling.


Coca-Cola Plaza

a green courtyard between two brick buildings

Photo: Dorothy Kozlowski, University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

Nestled in the center of the Terry College Business Learning Community is the Coca-Cola Plaza. This grassy courtyard near the heart of campus is a great spot to share a Coke with a fellow Bulldog. If you forgot your beverages – or your picnic basket – the Au Bon Pain inside the BLC offers coffee and pastry treats.


Turtle Pond

sunlight coming through trees near a pond

Photo: University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

The more, the merrier, right? A picnic at the Mary KahrsWarnell Memorial Garden, also known as the turtle pond, will guarantee a few aquatic guests at your picnic. This secluded spot outside the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources is a South Campus hidden gem.


Myers Quad

a grassy area with students in front of a building

Photo: University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

For the athlete or the social butterfly, Myers Quad is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Bounded by Myers, Rutherford and Mary Lyndon halls, the quad hosts ultimate frisbee games, Spikeball matches and student gatherings big and small.


Herty Field

a fountain and green space in front of a building

Photo: Peter Frey, University of Georgia Marketing and Communications

Reconnect with UGA’s roots at the site of the first UGA football game in 1892. Before the English white bulldog was adopted as UGA’s official mascot, the Mercer Bears lost to the UGA Goats 50-0. That’s right – the UGA goats. This historic site is flanked by Moore College and the beautiful Herty Fountain.

Write a letter to an incoming student in your old residence hall

Some of the fondest memories for UGA alumni come from living in the residence halls, and in just a few short months, the Class of 2024 will begin its journey on campus.

What if you could write a letter to the incoming residents of your old residence hall? What advice or memories would you share with them? University Housing is collecting and distributing letters written by students and alumni to deliver to residents’ mailboxes for them to open when they arrive in August. You can even see a letter counter for each dorm!

“The Class of 2024 will arrive on campus with many doubts about what the year will look like,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16), executive director of alumni relations. “These letters show incoming students all they have to look forward to, and that there’s a Bulldog network around the world to support them. My first-year roommate and I are best friends to this day because of the bond we formed in Brumby Hall. We can’t wait to write letters to new students.”

To write a letter, use the online form and share a short message–250 words–with an incoming resident. University Housing will print, package and deliver it for you. Here’s an example letter:

Dear resident,
Welcome to your new home! My name is Taylor and I graduated from UGA in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. During my first year at UGA, I lived in Mary Lyndon and had the best time. Some of my favorite memories included staying up late with friends to watch American Idol in the basement and Snellebrating after finishing a really difficult exam. I hope that this year brings you lots of fun memories in Mary Lyndon, it is such a special place to live. My one piece of advice for you is to not underestimate the amount of time it takes to walk to the bus stop – I spent many a morning sprinting to make it to the stop in front of Soule Hall. Also, don’t worry if it takes you a while to find your ‘people;’ I found mine later than expected, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Wishing you the absolute best year at UGA!
Go Dawgs! Taylor, Class of 2007

Long after they are sent, letters are read, appreciated and kept by recipients. These letters will leave a lasting memory for incoming students that shows that Bulldogs Never Bark Alone — especially during uncertain times.

“The residence halls have always been and will continue to be a place where memories are made, friendships are built, and communities are formed,” said Jessica Keever (BS ’18), University Housing public relations specialist. “By submitting a letter, past residents provide a physical reminder of how strong the Bulldog community is both inside and outside the halls. We’re excited to facilitate this initiative and hope all past residents will submit a letter to welcome the next generation of Bulldogs.”

Please submit letters via the Key Notes Submission Form until Wednesday, July 15. Visit University Housing for more information and contact ude.agu@gnisuoh with any questions.

University of Georgia crossword puzzle

The first crossword puzzle ran in New York World on December 21, 1913, and was created by Arthur Wynne. Other newspapers began to run crossword puzzles shortly after, and the rest is history. Crossword puzzles now test our minds in newspapers, books, and more.

The University of Georgia’s independent newspaper, The Red & Black, publishes daily crossword puzzles online and in print on Thursdays, much to the delight of students seeking a distraction from their homework.

For many alumni, the R&B crossword was a daily endeavor on the bus and in (-between) classes. In honor of this little piece of UGA nostalgia, we designed a special UGA-themed crossword puzzle for you, our alumni and friends, to enjoy–after your homework is done, of course. See if you and your friends can get the answers correctly without peeking at the answers! Pro tip: we hope you remember the names of bus routes, dorms and dining halls.

Happy Thanksgiving, Bulldogs!

At this time of Thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on the support of our friends and the impact it has made on the University of Georgia.

Because of this generosity, we overcome obstacles, join together as one, and rise to the top. It allows our students, faculty, and staff to experience opportunities that would have been impossible without your it.

We proudly present the 2019 Thanksgiving video, which tells a story of community and gratitude in the UGA family. Please share the video with your family and friends!

*A special thanks to our cast, staff, student workers, and many campus partners who came together to produce this video.

Finding a home as a first-generation student

Written by Jasmin Severino Hernandez (AB ’13, AB ’13), UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council Vice President

I am a first-generation college graduate, born to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. Growing up, my family did not have a lot of resources. I grew up in a very low-income household and there were times when my parents would have to decide whether they were going to skip a meal in order to provide for my brother and myself. Growing up as a first generation American, I did not have a family member who could provide me with guidance as to the process of choosing a university or how to pay for college. I was constantly hearing statistics from others regarding the Latino dropout rate and it felt like I was always pressured to do more and be more to succeed and not be another number.

I transferred to the University of Georgia in 2010, with no idea how the transition would work. I transferred from a small liberal arts college, where I felt like I was a big fish in a little pond. At UGA, I felt quite the opposite. I felt like the world was my oyster, but I also felt lost in the sea of people. As a first-generation student, it felt lonely because I was immersed in a new experience with no idea how to navigate it all. I graduated from UGA in 2013, with a degree in political science from SPIA & another in Spanish from Franklin.

I have amazing memories from UGA.

The first was when my roommate convinced me that pageants could teach me how to be confident in myself. With her help, I competed in various pageants throughout undergrad. My greatest memories are from competing in Miss UGA in 2012 and 2013. I was a runner-up in the 2013 competition and it is a moment I will never forget. My mic went out during my talent routine and the audience only heard the last 30 seconds of my song … ironically where I had to sing the highest note. I received a standing ovation before the judges made me do it all over again!

“Some of our greatest memories involve our similar journeys as first-generation students trying to find a home, a voice, and ourselves in a new and unfamiliar place.”

In 2013, I also found my home away from home. I became a sister of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated, which is an academic sorority. The Delta Alpha Chapter of LTA helped me grow into the professional I am today. The sisters embraced me at a time when I needed support. They taught me the value of hard work and inspired me to always believe in myself and to embrace life’s unexpected twists and turns. I am still very involved with my sorority and I enjoy seeing how our sorority changes the lives of other first-generation Latinas at universities across the country.

Lastly, UGA introduced me to the love of my life. While at UGA, I met a boy who I am lucky enough to now call my husband. For an entire semester, we would casually run into each other on North Campus. One day, we finally spoke, and the rest is history. We took our engagement photos on North Campus, as a sweet nod to the place that sealed our fate. We were married on homecoming day this year, October 19, 2019, and we still enjoy calling the Dawgs on Saturdays. Some of our greatest memories involve UGA and our similar journeys as first-generation students trying to find a home, a voice, and ourselves in a new and unfamiliar place.

Today, I serve as the Vice President for the UGA Young Alumni Leadership Council and I was chosen for the 2020 Class of UGA’s 40 under 40. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this honor and to be listed alongside some of the smartest, brightest and most innovative of our alumni. Although my time at UGA was challenging in many ways, it also helped me grow immensely. I strive and continue to give back to both the University of Georgia and younger bulldog generations because I truly believe that when you have the opportunity to make it where you want to be in your journey, it is your responsibility to hold the door open for those that come after you. It really is my hope that other students read or hear my story and feel encouraged to push forward and to extend a helping hand whenever they can to those around them.

Somewhere along the way, UGA gave me everything I needed. Somewhere along the way, I found a home.