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Class of 2019 sets Senior Signature record

For the third year in a row, UGA’s graduating class has set a Senior Signature giving record.

Senior-Signature-Record-2540-Donors

2,540 graduating seniors collectively donated $127,000 to the university through this fundraising campaign spearheaded by the UGA Student Alumni Association. Each student donor’s name has been engraved on a plaque in Tate Plaza in honor of their commitment to UGA.

“I gave to the Senior Signature campaign because of those who have come before me and given, as well as for those who will come after me,” said Nash Davis, a member of the Class of 2019 and president of the Student Alumni Association. “Giving to UGA provides opportunities that I myself will never have the opportunity to gain anything from and I think that’s what makes giving so important.”

Senior Signature was established in 1991 with just several hundred donors in its first year. Since that time, over 35,000 students have donated more than $1.5 million to UGA through the program. Each year, graduating seniors are asked to “make their mark” on UGA by donating $50. Of that gift, $20 is directed to the Georga Fund and the other portion can be designated to a specific school, college, department, program, or scholarship that the donor wishes to support.

Join us in congratulating (and THANKING) the Class of 2019 for this record-breaking effort. RING THE BELL!

Make history at 1785 Day

The Student Alumni Association (SAA) has issued a challenge to the entire campus–to get 1,785 student donors to give $17.85. This will all lead up to 1785 Day which will take place in Tate Plaza on August 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event will include free t-shirts, food and photos with Hairy Dawg for students who donate. 

The SAA is an association for UGA students to network and engage with alumni. The SAA is governed by the Student Alumni Council (SAC) who promotes UGA traditions, cultivates student philanthropy and connects students to alumni.  

This is the first event of its kind that the SAA is putting on and Nash Davis, the president of the SAC, could not be more excited to start the school year off with a strong campaign.  

“We want to celebrate the institution that we know and love and try to help everyone realize how lucky we are. We also want everyone to know how much SAA and SAC can impact a student’s experience,” Davis said. 

Davis joined the SAA his freshmen year after a search of how to be more involved on campus. Once he found out what the SAA does, he knew it was a place for him.  

“I stress the opportunities that our organization can give these students and how we truly enjoy setting them up for success, and we’ll do anything in our power to help them be successful,” Davis said.  

When students donate as a part of 1785 Day, they will automatically become a member of the SAA and will receive exclusive benefits such as professional development, spirit days, involvement opportunities and a free SAA t-shirt. The SAA hosts events throughout the school year such as Freshmen Welcome and ghost tours of North Campus. Members of the SAA also get exclusive opportunities to network with UGA alumni at events such as the monthly Advice from the Big Dawgs lunch and Dinner with a Dozen Dawgs.  

Usually membership dues are $20, but in honor of the event, every donation of $17.85 includes membership. Davis looks forward to 1785 Day because it means that more students will be members of the SAA early in the year so they can participate in the events all year long. 

Ja’Kyra Austin is the SAC’s Vice President of Membership, and she joined the SAA after she transferred to UGA.  

“A phrase we often hear in the council  is ‘planting a tree, even if we don’t get to enjoy its shade’ and it has been something we remind ourselves of not only when we donate but also when we are encouraging others to donate,” Austin said. “We shouldn’t wait to donate until after graduating, when our small gift could change a life or improve our campus today.” 

Austin is passionate about helping others students find what they are passionate about because she knows from personal experience the struggle of finding out what to do after college. She donates to the Career Center so that they can help other people find their way during college and afterwards.  

Student philanthropy helps to support need and merit-based scholarships, experiential learning opportunities and any other area of campus students designate when they make their gifts. Of the $17.85 students donate, $7.85 will go to the Georgia Fund to support the student experience at UGA and $10 can be designated to a school, college, department or program the student is passionate about.  

Join Davis and Austin in honoring UGA’s history by making history with the SAA at 1785 Day!

Senior Signature Plaque

Graduating seniors demonstrate record-breaking giving to the university

This post was contributed by Asia Casey

2,342 signatures. 2,342 legacies forever engraved on the heart of campus.  

Since 1991, graduating students have made their mark on campus by engraving their names on plaques in Tate Plaza. This year, the Class of 2018 broke the all-time record, raising $125,000 for scholarships. The previous record was held by the Class of 2017, which raised $110,000 with 2,164 signatures. 

The Senior Signature campaign is a Bulldog tradition that was created to provide graduating seniors a voice to express their gratitude and support for the University of Georgia. It’s the gateway to becoming an active and charitable alumnus.  

“I gave to Senior Signature as my way of thanking UGA and my department for all the opportunities, experiences and education they have provided me over the past four years,” said Daniel Seeler (BSA ’17).  

Participating seniors give a minimum $50 donation and $30 of their gift supports student scholarships through the Georgia Fund. The rest is designated to a school, college or program of their choice that helped define their UGA experience. It’s an excellent way for seniors to give to what they truly believe in.  

“I owe UGA so much; it’s provided me with ample involvement, academic rigor and opportunities that have developed me into the person I am today,” said Jasmine Somerset. “I want to make sure that Bulldogs who step into my shoes, years after I’ve graduated, have the ability to make use of everything that has been available to me.” 

In honor of the seniors’ donations, their names – their legacies – are imprinted on their class plaque that will be permanently placed in Tate Plaza. 

“I’ve decided that my UGA legacy is to make sure incoming students feel included, welcomed and wanted,” said Savannah Lockman, president of the Student Alumni Council. “My legacy may not be a building named after me, but at least it’s a feeling of family and acceptance.” 

Celebrate UGA’s 233rd anniversary

In recognition of the university’s anniversary as the birthplace of public higher education in America, the UGA Alumni Association and Student Alumni Association host a weeklong celebration. The highlight of the week is the annual Founders Day Lecture, which is sponsored by the Office of the President, Provost’s Office, UGA Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars, a group of retired faculty members known for their teaching abilities, who continue to be involved in the university’s academic life through part-time teaching, research and service assignments. Held in the UGA Chapel, this event has become a Founders Day tradition, drawing alumni, students, faculty, esteemed guests and members of the community.

The lecture is open to the public and free to attend. Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, associate head of the Department of Geography and director of programs in Atmospheric Sciences, will present the 2018 lecture.

In addition to the lecture, the UGA Student Alumni Association and Student Alumni Council host a variety of free Founders Week events and giveaways for students to celebrate the day UGA became the birthplace of public higher education in America.

Monday, January 22

  • Founders Week T-shirt giveaway* on Tate north lawn from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Founders Day Lecture given by Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, associate head of the Department of Geography and director of programs in Atmospheric Sciences, at 1:30 p.m. in the UGA Chapel.

Tuesday, January 23

  • #TraditionTuesday at the Abraham Baldwin statue from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • 100 Days ‘Til Graduation in Memorial Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 24

  • President Morehead’s State of the University Address in the UGA Chapel at 3:30 p.m.
  • 100 Days ‘Til Graduation in Memorial Hall from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 25

  • Founders Week Banner Contest

Friday, January 26

  • Founders Day Celebration in Tate Plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

*Students must be a member of the Student Alumni Association to receive a T-shirt

Student Alumni Association celebrates UGA’s birthday

UGA students, including members of the Student Alumni Association, have been wishing UGA a happy birthday throughout the week as the university community celebrates Founders Week and the 230th anniversary of the university’s establishment as the first state-chartered institution of public higher education.

On Tuesday, students gathered in Tate Plaza to receive 2015 Founders Week T-shirts, enjoy a few birthday treats and learn more about the university’s founding and what it means to be the first state-chartered institution. Even the guide dogs got into the Founders Week spirit!

That evening, students watched the men’s basketball team defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores 70-62 at Stegeman Coliseum. Other Founders Week activities taking place this week include a Greek Life banner contest, the Spring Career Fair and a special Dawgs After Dark on Friday night.

Another exciting part of Founders Week is the annual 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration. This one-stop-shop provides seniors with an opportunity to meet with alumni representatives from their schools and colleges, learn more about the Young Alumni Football Ticket Program, order a UGA ring, make their mark on the Senior Signature plaque, and order caps and gowns for commencement. All members of the Class of 2015 are invited to attend this special event.

And if you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out the video of UGA students wishing UGA a happy 230th birthday.

Thank you to the Student Alumni Association and the Student Alumni Council for making Founders Week another exciting time for students on campus.

It’s not too late to send UGA your own happy birthday message. Simply use #UGATurns230 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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