Delta Hall opened in 2015 to provide UGA students with a residential learning community in the heart of Capitol Hill. The facility, funded entirely by $12 million in private donations, supports students who participate in UGA’s thriving academic and internship programs offered in Washington, D.C.

Many of the student scholarships raising the bar and learning experiences, academic facilities, and research and service projects outlined in this report would not exist without the generosity of donors. Simply put: private donations convert possibility into reality. Each and every donor who contributed in 2016 is helping the university to make an even greater impact not only on the state of georgia but also on the nation and, increasingly, the world.

Raising the Bar

In 2012, the University of Georgia announced a comprehensive capital campaign to raise more than $1 billion. This aggressive target, which doubles the goal of the institution’s previous campaign, reveals an unyielding commitment to reach new heights of excellence in teaching, research, and service.

It is clear that the UGA community is more determined than ever to meet the bold aspirations of the campaign. Over the past three years, during its quiet phase, gifts to UGA have surged to historic levels. This year, for instance, the University set a new record in annual fundraising—the third time in as many years—bringing in $183.8 million in new gifts and commitments. That unprecedented total represents an increase of 28 percent over last year’s record high and an increase of 57 percent over the total raised during the 2013 fiscal year.

Kelly Kerner

Kelly Kerner

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations

Not only is the total amount of private donations trending sharply upward, the number of individuals giving to UGA on an annual basis also is on the rise. This year, an all-time high 67,435 donors contributed to the University, a 14 percent increase over last year’s record total and an increase of 23 percent over FY13. Giving among faculty and staff also is increasing. Their contributions totaled $5.7 million in FY16, including two significant planned gifts that pushed the percent increase over last year to 43 percent.

Gifts large and small already are making a difference. This year alone private donations helped to fund more than 6,100 scholarships for outstanding UGA students. The University also added 16 endowed professorships and chairs in 2016, bringing the total to 267. Endowed faculty positions help recruit and retain top-flight faculty researchers by providing needed financial support to advance their critical research and scholarship.

Fundraising Reaches Historic Level

contributed by
donors representing a
increase in gifts and pledges over FY15

Launching the Public Phase

When viewed collectively, these positive trend lines signal a position of readiness within the UGA community to take the next step in the campaign this November: launching the public phase.

The University has been laying the groundwork to take this important step for several years. Kelly Kerner, vice president for development and alumni relations, has restructured his team to maximize organizational effectiveness in preparation for the launch. Raising more than $600 million during the quiet phase of the campaign is just one indication that the new structure is working well.

Vice President for Marketing and Communications Karri Hobson-Pape, who joined UGA in January, is leading a strategic brand initiative to support the public phase. This initiative will help bring into sharper focus the great vision for the future of UGA. That vision will be expressed through three campaign commitments that will guide the public phase: increasing access to UGA for all qualified students; enhancing the student experience at UGA; and solving world problems through research and service.

Specific goals related to each commitment will be unveiled as part of the public announcement in November.

Karri Hobson-Pape

Karri Hobson-Pape

Vice President for Marketing and Communications

Commitment #1: Increasing access to UGA for all qualified students

UGA seeks the best and brightest students from the state of Georgia and across the nation, and need-based and merit-based scholarships play a vital role in the University’s recruitment efforts. Ultimately, scholarship support helps to ensure that all qualified students have the opportunity to experience UGA’s unparalleled learning environment. The life of a student who gains access to UGA through scholarship support is altered in many significant ways: an otherwise unattainable career may become attainable, for instance. This positive effect extends beyond the student into the community where he or she goes on to live, work, and serve as a proud UGA alumnus. In addition, scholarship support helps enhance the University community by attracting students from all backgrounds to campus, creating a vibrant and diverse student population.

This report is filled with examples of outstanding students who have benefited from scholarship support. Private support helped Meredith Paker engage deeply in undergraduate research on the impact of off-label prescriptions in the U.S. pharmaceuticals market. Paker went on to receive the prestigious Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. In a similar way, scholarship support allowed Bert Thompson Jr., to explore his passion for international security and nuclear nonproliferation. Thompson now is working at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., through a Carnegie Junior Research Fellowship.

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Supporting Outstanding Students

student scholarships funded by private support in 2016

Growth in Support for Scholarships

Commitment #2: Enhancing the student experience at UGA

Private funding enhances student learning and success in countless ways. World-class facilities made possible by donors, including the new Business Learning Community in the heart of the Athens campus and Delta Hall on Capitol Hill, inspire learning at the highest levels. Internships, study abroad, and other experiential learning opportunities prepare students for graduate school and careers in the 21st century. Private support also creates opportunities for greater levels of faculty-student interaction and mentorship, allowing professors to bring course content to life in inspiring ways and to spend more time helping students achieve their academic and professional goals.

The evidence is clear that the rich learning environment at UGA is successfully preparing students for life after graduation. The University, for instance, has a 95 percent career outcome rate. This metric represents the percentage of students who are either employed, continuing their education, or not currently seeking employment within an average of six months after graduation. UGA’s career outcome rate is 15 percent higher than the national average. Today UGA alumni are making meaningful contributions in every area of human endeavor—from writing laws, to broadcasting news, to leading businesses, and all fields in between.

Growth in Private Giving

Commitment #3: Solving world problems through research and service at UGA

Research and scholarship at UGA are changing the world for the better—helping combat deadly diseases, solve food supply issues, and ensure clean water, among other grand challenges. The list of pressing issues being addressed by UGA faculty is long. In addition, faculty and staff are serving every county in Georgia through a far-reaching array of outreach programs.

Examples abound of how private support fuels the research enterprise at UGA. The new Veterinary Medical Center, supported by $30 million in private funds, enables faculty to conduct clinical trials to develop new medications, procedures, and therapies. In addition, endowed chairs and professorships help UGA attract and retain excellent faculty researchers, such as Ernest Corn Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology Christopher Whalen. Denise Spangler, Bebe Aderhold Professor in Early Childhood Education, is another case in point. Spangler relies on private support to carry out her important research to strengthen mathematics education in elementary schools.

Veterinary Medical Center

The Veterinary Medical Center, which opened in 2015, provides UGA with 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research and teaching space. The $97 million facility—fueled by $30 million in private donations—is helping UGA remain on the forefront of veterinary medical education and research.

Making a Lasting Impact

America’s first state-chartered university is poised to have a lasting impact on the lives of its students and on the vitality of communities throughout the state of Georgia and all around the world. During the comprehensive capital campaign, every contribution, from every alumnus and friend, will make a positive difference. The time has come for the Bulldog Nation to commit—to commit to the future, to commit to greatness, to commit to the University of Georgia.

Supporting Outstanding Faculty

new endowed faculty positions were created in 2016, bringing the total to

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest Inspires 2016 Graduates

Ryan Seacrest encouraged action as he addressed UGA students, their family and friends, and faculty and staff at the undergraduate spring Commencement.

“Class of 2016, this is your day, and your amazing life is waiting for you. Go make it happen,” said Seacrest, who holds pre-eminent positions in broadcast and cable television. He attended UGA as a freshman.

Seacrest shared his life code with the more than 4,000 undergraduates. The code included living your passion; trusting your gut; listening; laughing loudly, preferably at yourself; indulging curiosity; being prepared; being impatient; and giving back.

Seacrest also shared one of his favorite phrases from poet John Ciardi who said, “The day will happen whether or not you get up.”

“Make sure you happen to the day instead of it happening to you,” Seacrest told the graduates.

Link to OU Campus