It would be an honor for anyone to be president of the University of Georgia for one day, but I have had the privilege and honor of serving as president of this great university for 15 years, during which time, with tremendous help from the students, faculty, staff and administration, we have accomplished great things. I am very proud of what we have done together and value greatly the professional and personal relationships that we have established.
Good afternoon, and thank you for allowing me to join you today. I have great respect for the work that civic clubs do in their communities. In fact, one of the messages that I’ve been carrying to the state about UGA is the role we play in preparing the next leadership class for Georgia. Clubs like this are the heart of that local leadership mission and I commend you for what you do here.
Our "town-gown" relationship has its ups and downs...more often than not, our relationship is a positive one, with common goals and open and frequent communication.
Twenty-two UGA students, faculty and staff who have died since May 2008 were remembered at the university’s annual candlelight memorial service April 28 at 7 p.m. at the Chapel. The service, “Georgia Remembers. . . A Candlelight Memorial,” has been held each spring since 2000 to help the university community find comfort while honoring deceased friends, family members and colleagues.
Students now saw themselves as young adults not in need of parental or institutional oversight. They wanted the freedom to make more decisions and, for the most part, to accept the consequences that resulted from those decisions. One of the most significant impacts of this transition at UGA was the flight of students to off-campus housing. Until the opening of the East Campus Village in 2004, we had not constructed a residence hall since the late 1960s. But today, students want to live on campus, and we are trying to meet that demand. We are also learning how to work with this Millennial Generation – and their parents.
The academic competition for a spot at UGA is intense. Every pool sets its own standards; we don’t go into this process with a predetermined notion. We know the size of the class we want to admit, and we rank the applicants based on their academic strength and performance. Not surprisingly, Gwinnett County and UGA are closely linked. Last fall, there were more than 3,600 total students from Gwinnett enrolled at UGA – 10.7% of the student body...
UGA is a better institution, more prepared for the future and more grounded in an understanding of its core mission because of the work of Henry King Stanford. It has been more than 20 years since Dr. Stanford left the University of Georgia, and history has been justifiably kind to him. In one of his many letters to me, he wrote that Athens was “a place where I never felt as needed or appreciated as I did in that one year.” He was indeed needed and he was deeply appreciated. He also noted that UGA was his fifth presidency, and it is uplifting to those of us who are serving in that capacity today that five presidencies will not kill you until you are well north of 90.
I want to talk to you about three things today: civility and ethics in public discourse, the companion challenges of economic and workforce development, and how the University of Georgia can help you and your communities...