University of Georgia

2017 State of the University Address

President Morehead outlines a vision for the future of America’s first state‑chartered university.

The State of the University Address

January 25, 2017 at 3:30pm

President Jere W. Morehead delivered the State of the University Address in the UGA Chapel.

Full Address



Scholarships are life-changing. They remove barriers and open doors. They create for our students and their families pathways to futures that would otherwise be unreachable. Through the new Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, the UGA Foundation will match—dollar for dollar—any gift in the amount of $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000 to establish an endowed need-based scholarship.

New endowments will provide significant grants, every year, to support deserving students with unmet financial need. The size of scholarship awards will increase over time as the endowments grow, and the endowments will live on forever, helping student after student to earn a degree from the University of Georgia. This exciting matching program has the potential to create as many as 400 to 600 new need-based scholarships—a giant step toward eliminating the financial obstacles facing many UGA students.

Engineering Studio
Early Childhood Education
Scale Up Classroom

Learning Environment

Periodically throughout its history, the University of Georgia has conducted deep and far-reaching self-examinations to improve the quality of undergraduate education. The time has come to launch the next iteration. The President’s Task Force on Student Learning and Success will take a fresh look at the University’s undergraduate learning environment to identify opportunities to further enhance the rigorous educational experience for UGA students.

The task force will reflect on the relation between the University’s core curriculum and the rapidly changing world to ensure UGA graduates are prepared to be successful in an evolving global economy. The task force also will focus on activities outside of the classroom that prepare UGA students for lives of service and leadership in communities near and far. The work of the task force will guide the institution’s enduring commitment to create the highest quality undergraduate experience possible at the University of Georgia.

Engineering Studio
Veterinary Medical Center

Grand Challenges

Some days the challenges facing our global society seem daunting. Protecting against infectious diseases, eliminating food insecurity, and preserving our natural resources—these are but a few of the serious issues confronting the world today. We need additional research and scholarship. We need greater understanding. We need solutions.

In the years and decades ahead, the University’s greatest impact on these and other challenges will occur where a comprehensive, integrated approach is applied. A new interdisciplinary seed grant program has been developed to continue encouraging research partnerships of this nature in order to address the most pressing issues confronting our state, nation, and world.

Seema Gahlaut
Yunzhou Wei
Civil Engineering
Innovation Lab

2016 Key UGA Accomplishments

Science Learning Center

Opened state-of-the-art Science Learning Center.

Experiential Learning

Implemented campus-wide Experiential Learning Initiative.

Faculty Hiring Initiatives

Completed faculty hiring initiatives to reduce class sizes and expand informatics research.

Endowed Faculty Positions

Established funds to create 13 endowed faculty positions.

Research Expenditures

Increased research expenditures by 14%.

Economic Impact on Georgia

Generated $5.25B economic impact on Georgia.

Historic Gift

Received largest single donation ($30M) in UGA history.

Commit to Georgia

Launched public phase of $1.2 billion fundraising campaign.