ProfilesSanford and Barbara Orkin

Sanford and Barbara Orkin

As the nation’s first state-chartered university, one of the University of Georgia’s top priorities is to make higher education accessible to all qualified students. Sanford and Barbara Orkin embrace this priority as they help others attend the university they deeply love.

After serving during the Korean War, Sanford returned to Atlanta to become president of his family’s business, Orkin Exterminating Company. He later served as a Trustee of the UGA Foundation and the UGA Real Estate Foundation, and was honored in 2007 with the Blue Key Service Award for his enduring support of the University. The Orkins have two granddaughters who followed in their footsteps, graduating from UGA in 2003 and 2006, and one granddaughter who currently attends.

Several UGA schools and colleges have benefited from the Orkins’ sweeping generosity. The couple has helped advance critical medical research by endowing an eminent scholar position in the UGA Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. This position currently is held by Professor Roberto Docampo, whose work has focused on identifying a new treatment for sleeping sickness, a potentially fatal parasitic infection, most common in sub-Saharan Africa, that infects thousands of people every year.

Most recently, the Orkins extended their long history of giving by establishing a $1 million endowment to provide financial support for 40 low-income students. The scholarships will allow these students, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college, to afford tuition, books, room and board, and other living expenses. Sanford hopes that this endowment “will help these remarkable young people stay at the University through graduation and on the road to successful careers and full lives.”

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