“We forge ahead supported by our great tradition but untethered to it—reaching beyond the status quo, soaring toward greatness at the highest level, guided by the belief that the University of Georgia is essential to a strong state of Georgia, to a vibrant nation, and to a better world.”
I am grateful to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who have helped to make Fiscal Year 2017 one of the greatest years in the history of the University of Georgia. Together, we have expanded the boundaries of what is possible at the birthplace of public higher education in America.
In November, we launched the public phase of the Commit to Georgia Campaign, setting forth a bold vision to raise $1.2 billion to increase scholarship support for our students, to further enhance our learning environment, and to solve the grand challenges of our time. The pages that follow illustrate how our vision for UGA’s future already is becoming a reality.
In January, we introduced the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program to eliminate financial obstacles facing many students. Our alumni and friends responded enthusiastically to this initiative, creating 115 new need-based scholarships. Their generous gifts are establishing a permanent legacy of support that will alter the course of countless students and their families far into the future.
The University implemented a campus-wide Experiential Learning Initiative and introduced the Double Dawgs Program to further strengthen our learning environment. In addition, UGA advanced a number of capital projects—including the Business Learning Community, Science Learning Center, and Indoor Athletic Facility, among others highlighted in this report.
Our research enterprise continued to expand to address the most pressing challenges facing our state, nation, and world. Externally funded research expenditures—a key measure of productivity— surged again in FY17, up 14 percent, defying national trends. In addition, the latest report estimates UGA’s economic impact on Georgia at $5.25 billion, reflecting the University’s continued investment in our home state.
On top of all of these accomplishments, we set—for the fourth consecutive year—a new record in annual fundraising. Demonstrating unparalleled support for the vision of this special University, alumni and friends gave an unprecedented $227.8 million to UGA—a 24 percent increase over last year’s record of $183.8 million. In the last four years, working together, we have nearly doubled our annual fundraising.
Clearly, we are in the midst of a remarkable period in the storied history of UGA. Because of your unyielding dedication to this institution, I firmly believe that the University’s best days still lay ahead of us. Thank you for all that you have done to advance the mission of the University of Georgia.
Jere W. Morehead