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Turn up the volume and jam your way to Indianapolis

The Bulldogs are heading to Indianapolis, vying for a National Championship victory over Alabama on January 10. Whether you’re enduring the 9-hour drive to Lucas Oil Stadium or cheering on the Dawgs from Athens, a good old-fashioned playlist will help you prepare for an epic showdown in Indy.

From “Glory” and “Baba O’Riley” to “Dooley’s Junkyard Dogs” and “In the Air Tonight,” we’ve got you covered with over 140 songs in our Road to Indianapolis: National Championship Edition playlist.

Watch out, Bama. “The Boys are Back in Town” and are looking to rise up “Against the Tide.” “I Gotta Feeling” that our Dawgs are going to “Rock You Like a Hurricane” come January 10. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Bulldog Nation!

You are the company you keep

Today, as part of the UGA Mentor Program‘s observance of National Mentoring Month, we’re celebrating “I am a UGA Mentor Day.” If you’re a mentor (or a mentee), you’re in fine company! Consider some famous mentorship pairings through time:

Henry David Thoreau was mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This happened back in the day when, apparently, everyone used three names.

Aretha Franklin mentored Mariah Carey.

The Queen of Soul taught the Songbird Supreme a few things about R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the music industry. In 1998, the two powerhouses joined forces to sing “Chain of Fools.”

Professor Albus Dumbledore mentored Harry Potter.

Potter’s guide at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry shared whimsy, humor and sage advice: “We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

Mahatma Gandhi mentored beyond limits.

Neither time nor geography stopped the influence of Gandhi. Even though Gandhi never met these leaders, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama cited Gandhi as an influential mentor.

Obi-Wan Kenobi mentored Luke Skywalker.

Examples of mentoring relationships are found throughout Star Wars storylines. You can’t talk about mentorship without mentioning Obi-Wan and Luke’s Jedi relationship.

With members like these, who wouldn’t want to be part of this club?

Not every famous person is mentored by a celebrity. Sure, Oprah was mentored by Maya Angelou, but she also counts Mrs. Duncan, her 4th grade teacher, as a mentor whose influence was vital to her development. Neither woman was famous at the time.

Socrates mentored Plato … and Plato mentored Aristotle.

Don’t get too philosophical about it, but these Greeks made it clear that the gift of mentorship keeps giving.

Mentorship has its privileges.

Mentorship is a two-way street. There are benefits to both sides of the relationship. Check out a few of the UGA Mentor Program’s successful pairings.

As the saying goes: “You are the company you keep.” Make sure it’s Dawg-gone good company. Join the UGA Mentor Program.

UGA Class of 2021 sets new Senior Signature participation record

The University of Georgia Class of 2021 set a Senior Signature record with 3,009 students making a gift to the university prior to graduation. This is the fifth consecutive year that the graduating class broke the preceding class’s participation record and the highest donor count in the program’s 30-year history.

Students are asked to contribute to UGA through the Senior Signature program during their final year on campus. In appreciation for giving back to the university, students’ names are included on a plaque in Tate Plaza in the heart of campus.

“This record is a true sign of the senior class’s Bulldog tenacity,” said Kevin Nwogu, Student Alumni Council president-elect who also helped lead this year’s campaign. “They managed challenges presented by the pandemic alongside preparing for graduation—and still made room to give back to their soon-to-be alma mater.”

Senior Signature allows students to select any fund on campus to receive a portion of their gift—and students often select a program or department that enhanced their college experience. This year’s minimum donation was $30 in honor of Senior Signature’s 30th anniversary.

This year, the Student Alumni Council, which educates the student body on how philanthropy at UGA improves lives, launched a new component to Senior Signature in which donors to the program vote on a student organization to receive a grant from the Senior Signature endowed fund. The hope is that this new initiative will build a ‘philanthropic cycle’ in which students donate, direct and receive funds—building an understanding of the power of private support at universities like UGA.

Senior Signature was established in 1991. Since then, more than 40,000 students have donated to UGA through the program—their names still visible on the plaques in Tate Plaza.

Learn more about Senior Signature at alumni.uga.edu/seniorsignature.

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!

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 housing@uga.edu with any questions.

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.

You can sing “Glory, Glory,” but can you sign it?

🎶 Glory, glory to old Georgia! Glory, glory to old Georgia! 🎶

With the start of football season, the rally song of the Bulldog Nation hums a continuous tune in the hearts and minds of every Georgia fan.

🎶 … G-E-O-R-G-I-A! 🎶

There’s nothing quite like an entire stadium joining together in perfect unison to sing “Glory, Glory,” the silence before the solo trumpeter belts the first 14 notes of the Battle Hymn of the Bulldog Nation, or the clang of the Chapel Bell after every victory.

But, have you ever considered what a UGA football game would be like without sound?

Luke Bundrum ’19, who was born deaf and got a cochlear implant at age 3, says that the in-stadium visuals and watching the Bulldogs play keep his attention during football games.

“When I go to the UGA football game, I don’t really pay much attention to the sound,” Luke said. “The game is very visual and there is a large video board, as well as closed captioning monitors. So, I spend most of my time getting in the spirit and watching the game.”

Luke is also the president of the ASL Dawgs, an interest- and academic-based organization that seeks to provide educational opportunities for all students interested in learning about American Sign Language and Deaf culture.

“Deaf Culture on UGA’s campus is small, but vibrant,” Luke said.

In celebration of Deaf Awareness Month and Bulldog football, we’ve teamed up with the ASL Dawgs to teach alumni, fans and friends how to sign one of the most iconic Bulldog songs, “Glory, Glory.”

So, are you ready to learn? Follow along as Luke and the rest of the ASL Dawgs show us how it’s done!

 

Think you’re ready to try signing “Glory, Glory” on your own? We’ve broken down each step below.

STEP 1: Let’s start by learning the phrase “Glory, Glory to old Georgia.” First, let’s learn the sign for Glory.”
STEP 2: Now to learn the rest of the phrase, “… to ole.”
STEP 3: Let’s complete the phrase. In this case, we will sign G and A instead of Georgia.
STEP 4: Repeat steps 1-3!
STEP 5: Now, let’s sign out G-E-O-R-G-I-A. Practice each letter below.
STEP 6: You’re getting the hang of it! Repeat steps 1 through 5 one last time!

Have you mastered signing “Glory, Glory?” Show us! Share your videos with us by tagging @ugaalumni on social media.

How Computer Science became one of UGA’s most popular majors

Journalism, business administration, pharmacy, computer science: believe it or not, these majors are in ascending order of total enrollment at the University of Georgia.  

In fact, computer science has the fourth highest enrollment among all majors at UGA. And the graduate degree computer science program is the fastest growing program on campus, having seen a 60 percent enrollment increase from fall 2013 to fall 2018. 

Combine that with the undergraduate program’s 153 percent rise in enrollment in the last five years and you have, undeniably, one of UGA’s most popular departments. We talked with several CS alumni to ask them about their experience and find out more. 

Established in 1984, the Department of Computer Science in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at UGA has expanded to include more than 195 enrolled graduate students and over 1,100 undergraduates. Lori Kittle (BS ’86) was among the first graduates with a degree in computer science.  

“I simply felt like the future would be all about the computer, although I certainly did not envision all the advances that have occurred,” said Kittle. Along with the coursework, Kittle said, “One of my favorite memories at UGA is making lifelong friendships with my fellow CS classmates.” 

Kittle attributes her successful career, including a stint as the Chief Information Officer at Landry’s, Inc.—a $4 billion restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment businessto her education at UGA. She demonstrated her appreciation of the department when she created a scholarship fund for computer science students. Kittle also serves on the department’s advisory board, which provides industry input that helps guide curriculum for the program.  

Like Kittle, Maja Culum (BS ‘19) chose to study computer science because she knew “coming into the university that technology was becoming prevalent within every field,” and there was no way around interacting with it. Culum, who was hired full-time in the UI/UX department at NCR Corporation, believes studying computer science at UGA allowed her to “choose a role within the tech industry that suited her strengths and interests.” 

“That’s what I like most about Computer Science: it’s never limiting, and there’s so much to choose from,” said Culum. My experience in the Department of Computer Science at UGA was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. The professors are knowledgeable and always willing to help, which encouraged me to stick with the major despite the challenges. 

The comprehensive coursework and faculty expertise Culum credits have also led to the growing recognition of the department. Dr. Thiab Taha, UGA Computer Science department head, believes the diversity in research expertise and the increasing number of courses provides students the opportunity to choose the path they are most interested in.  

Students interested in engaging in technology-centric extracurricular activities can join one of many clubs and groups, including Data Dawgs or UGA Hacks, which hosts a hackathon every spring on campus. The UGA Computer Science department also houses the Institute for Cybersecurity and Privacy, which was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) through academic year 2022. 

Muhammed Ahmed’s (BS ‘18) passion for problem solving drew him to major in computer science at the University of Georgia, but it was the countless opportunities available within the department that he loved most about his studies.  

“Majoring in computer science helped me secure my dream job,” said Ahmed, a data scientist at Mailchimp. “The program provided me with a strong technical foundation and the soft skills I need to communicate effectively. I had the chance to learn through clubs, research projects, hackathons and many on-campus events.” 

All of the above are reasons a firm like Forrester Research calls Atlanta one of the US’ five elite tech talent markets. As businesses continue to take advantage of this rich market, UGA CS graduates are reaping the benefits, finding positions in global organizations like NCR, The Home Depot and AT&T.  

There appears to be no slowdown in the rise of computer science at UGA, either. Employers and partners of the university are finding new ways to directly engage students through career and internship fairs, UGA Hacks’ hackathon, student organizations and industry panels. And as UGA CS alumni continue their career progression and become the leaders of those employers and UGA partners, UGA’s tech talent pipeline will only become stronger. 

Connecting the Bulldog Family – UGA Mentor Program

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 pose at the UGA Arch

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 pose at the UGA Arch

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) is a Double Dawg from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) with a passion for giving back to her alma mater. Derrick served on the FACS Alumni Association Board of directors as president, and this past spring she participated in the UGA Mentor Program pilot. Her mentee, Anna Schermerhorn ‘20, will be a UGA Mentor Program student ambassador this fall.

Did you have experience being mentored or being a mentor before?

I’ve never been involved with a mentor program before – so I had no experience to draw from.

What was your biggest hesitation about becoming a mentor?

My biggest hesitation was that I wouldn’t have any information to share with my mentee or that what I shared would not be of help. I’ve been out of college for some time, so I was unsure that what I had to say and share would help.

What has been the biggest surprise?

My biggest surprise was how much fun I’ve had! Anna, my mentee, has been so wonderful. She has been much more than I hoped, but of course I knew that any UGA student would be beyond amazing! Anna and I just clicked. She is nice and friendly, and always asks for my ideas and thoughts—then she always listens to what I think and what I have to share. She brought flowers to me at our last meeting in Athens, and we’ve kept in touch during the summer with all the things she’s doing. I’m sure we will visit in Athens this academic year, too.

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 meet for the first time

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) and her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20 meet for the first time

Why has this been so meaningful for you?

This has been such a meaningful experience. I love UGA and FACS, so I had the opportunity to put the two things I love together with an amazing UGA FACS student. I’ve gotten to help Anna make connections with so many people and she’s reached out to others to network. She even obtained an internship program this summer through a connection!

Anna will probably be of help to the UGA FACS Alumni Association Board of Directors this year by serving on the Student Engagement Committee. We have already set the wheels in motion for her to assist, and I just love seeing her make those connections and share her passion for life! She is going to do such amazing things, and she already has, but I have a front row seat just watching her bloom.

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) with flowers given by her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20

Sandra Derrick (BSHE ’76, MED ’80) with flowers given by her mentee Anna Schermerhorn ‘20

What would you tell someone considering participating in the UGA Mentor Program?

Just jump right in! It’s something that I would love for others to experience, and I don’t want folks to miss out on such an amazing opportunity.

I know how valuable it is for both students and alumni, so I really want others to be involved in such a worthwhile program.

It doesn’t take time away from work or family, and alumni will feel so energized working with a mentee–they just won’t be able to get that smile off their face. Plus, you will make a friend for life. Seeing what others become is one of the most amazing things ever, especially a UGA student. Just knowing that you’ve had a small part in what they’ve become is like nothing else. It’s what the UGA family, especially the UGA FACS family, is all about! Family.

Become a UGA Mentor Become a UGA Mentee

‘Moon Rocks!’ marks Apollo 11 anniversary

This story was written by Sara Freeland and was originally posted to UGA Today on July 7, 2019.


Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed on the moon–the first time humans set foot on another celestial body. As the nation and the world celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, the University of Georgia is taking an in-depth look at this historic milestone and the future of space exploration. 

Fifty years ago, people around the world stopped what they were doing to watch Apollo 11 land on the moon.

Today, most of the world’s population wasn’t even born when the moon landing took place.

But the significance of this historic milestone still resonates.

“It is fascinating that people feel such a connection to the moon landing and it still inspires curiosity,” said Sarah Anderson, a University of Georgia graduate student in history. “Everyone has a story about their viewing experience.”

Anderson curated “Moon Rocks!,” an exhibition hosted by UGA’s Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Anderson previously worked for two years at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

“Space inspires a sense of adventure and excitement. Astronauts were portrayed as All-American, hard-working, accessible heroes—a person that children could aspire to be. Astronauts provided hope of advancement and achievement for average Americans,” Anderson noted. “The exhibit explores this a little more, as well.”

Ultimately, what she hopes to accomplish with the exhibition is to bring generations together—those who witnessed the moon landing and have their own story of watching it on the television while holding rabbit ears with those who were born afterward and grew up with astronauts live-streaming space station experiments.

“Bringing in an exhibition that can provide that intergenerational experience is really important,” she said. “Something that people can reminisce and visit with their families and learn from their families is really important to do as an institution.”

On display in the galleries in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library through December, the exhibition features magazines, political cartoons, satellite models and photos taken from space of the Earth and the lunar landing. The display also includes a piece of the Apollo 9 spacecraft and a medallion that went to the moon and back.

The “Moon Rocks!” exhibition is on display at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries through December. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

Moon rocks on display

On July 16, 50 years after the Apollo 11 launch from Cape Canaveral (formerly known as Cape Kennedy), the libraries will host an event with moon rocks on loan from the Georgia Capitol Collection for one day only. The rocks, along with a state of Georgia flag that went to the moon and back, were given to Georgia by former President Richard Nixon, who gave every state moon rocks and small fragments from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 lunar missions after the landing.

The event will also show archival footage of the July 20, 1969, moon landing and have space-themed snacks, including astronaut ice cream and Tang.

To create the exhibition, Anderson found artifacts related to space travel in two collections: the Richard B. Russell Jr. Collection and the Herman E. Talmadge Collection.

Russell, namesake of the libraries building, was on the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences from its conception in 1958 until his death in 1971. The collections include gifts to Russell, magazines he collected, photographs, political cartoons, and letters between Sen. Talmadge and NASA. The exhibition also includes satellite and spacecraft models that Russell displayed in his office. Talmadge was the main advocate in bringing moon rocks collected on the Apollo 16 mission from the Lunar Stone Mountain to Stone Mountain in Georgia.

The Moon Rocks! exhibition features magazines, political cartoons, satellite models and photos taken from space of the Earth and the lunar landing. The exhibition was curated by Sarah Anderson, a UGA graduate student. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

Behind the scenes

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the Access and Outreach Unit of the Russell Library wanted an exhibition related to the historic event. Anderson, who was interning there, had experience handling spacecraft artifacts from her work at the Air and Space Museum.

A graduate student in the museum studies certificate program, Anderson graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2013 and then worked at both the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware.

A history buff, she initially took the National Air and Space Museum job to learn about World War II and Air Force history. Family history was part of the inspiration—her grandfather served as a radio operator on a B-17 in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.

At the Air and Space Museum, she worked command module hatches that went into space as well as spacecraft models. She worked with the parachutes deployed for landings after the Apollo command modules reentered Earth’s atmosphere and slowed the modules down to lessen the impact of the water landing. Working with these objects made her want to learn more about the history behind the space race and space travel.

Along with other staff at the Air and Space Museum, she began watching Space-X launches on NASA TV and watch NASA send cargo to the International Space Station.

“Seeing these objects that went into space gives you this connection to history that you wouldn’t have otherwise. It makes history more tangible and relatable. It makes you want to learn more about them,” she said. “I had the opportunity to see a multitude of objects that had traveled to an area that I will never be able to explore. I get to see and touch artifacts that have been on true adventures and have inspired awe through generations.”

Her internship at the Paul E. Garber Facility turned into a job and she also served as lead contractor for the medium artifact team. She learned about archival photography, the care of artifacts and how to maintain the integrity of pieces “so that they can be observed and analyzed for generations,” she said. “We would work with pieces that hadn’t been looked at in a while, and providing a stable housing environment for these artifacts is crucial.”

Her team created custom long-term storage structures for the parachutes, which are 25 meters wide. They also worked on ensuring care of artifacts not on display in the warehouses. Her team was in charge of medium artifacts, which means artifacts between 50 and 5,000 pounds. “I drove a forklift every day, which was a unique skill to learn, one that you don’t expect when you decide to work in museums,” Anderson said. “Collections work is delicate and detailed but moving large objects requires heavy machinery.”