Celebrating a Historic Year
I am deeply grateful to our talented faculty, staff, and students and our generous alumni and friends for making the 2022-2023 academic year so successful for the University of Georgia. It is inspiring to see how much the UGA community can achieve through dedication, hard work, and a commitment to excellence. I look forward to all we will accomplish together in the years ahead.
Investing in E-Mobility
With a robust infrastructure, talented workforce, and expanding supply chain, the state of Georgia has emerged as a national leader in electric mobility, or e-mobility. Projects related to e-mobility contribute billions of dollars to Georgia's economy, and significant investments in related technologies are being made throughout the state. As the state's flagship university, UGA is committed to leveraging our strengths in teaching, research, and service to help solidify Georgia's position as a hub of e-mobility innovation and development.
Promoting Student Mental Health and Well-Being
In addition to providing instruction that prepares students for academic and career success, a university must create an environment that fosters personal growth and supports students in addressing their mental health and well-being needs. The University of Georgia is in the midst of a multi-year initiative to ensure that we are achieving these aims. I am proud of all that UGA is doing to cultivate a culture of care that helps students to learn and succeed at the highest levels in all aspects of their lives.
Accelerating Research and Innovation
Over the past decade, UGA has secured its place among America’s best research universities, and our capacity to accelerate research and innovation continues to grow. Our annual R&D expenditures have risen more than 50% in the last 10 years, surpassing half a billion dollars for the first time in FY22, while the number of sponsored awards secured by UGA scholars has more than doubled. Intent on improving lives, our faculty are translating their breakthroughs into tangible products that benefit the world. In the years ahead, we will continue building on these efforts to make the University of Georgia the No. 1 destination for faculty, students, and industry partners who are working together to create a better future.
UGA's Stellar Students
University of Georgia students are among the most talented and ambitious in the world, consistently earning national and international recognition. The education that UGA students receive opens doors to academic disciplines, learning experiences, and career paths they might never have considered before. And as they explore these new opportunities, mentoring and support from UGA faculty and staff help them turn their dreams into reality. I am honored to lead the University of Georgia, where our stellar students continue to reach new heights of excellence and inspire everyone around them.
UGA on Georgia's Coast
Georgia’s coast is one of our state’s most valuable resources, supporting an abundance of wildlife and contributing billions of dollars to our economy. Through UGA’s sea-grant mission, our faculty, staff, and students are helping to ensure the vitality of Georgia’s coast--and our coastal communities--today and well into the future.
2023 State of the University Address
President Jere W. Morehead delivered the 2023 State of the University Address, reflecting on all the University of Georgia has accomplished in the past decade, while announcing new programs to promote continued success.
How 'Bout Them Dawgs?
Last night, in front of thousands of Bulldog fans at SoFi Stadium and millions more across the nation, the University of Georgia earned the title of College Football Playoff National Champion for the second year in a row. I proudly join everyone in the Bulldog Nation in congratulating our student-athletes, Coach Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs coaching staff, and Athletic Director Josh Brooks on this monumental achievement.
Interview in James Magazine: On Progress and Success
Recently I spoke with Phil Kent of James Magazine about the University of Georgia’s many achievements over the last decade and our efforts to ensure UGA’s continued progress and success in the future. I hope you will enjoy reading the interview.
Warmest Holiday Wishes
As we conclude another semester at UGA, I am reminded of all we have achieved together this fall. The hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students have brought numerous distinctions to our university. My sincerest thanks to everyone for your commitment to the University of Georgia, and warmest wishes for relaxing and rejuvenating holidays as we look forward to an exciting new year ahead.
The University of Georgia continually seeks new ways to connect with the citizens of Georgia and enhance the quality of life in our state. With these goals in mind, I am delighted that the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, a public service and outreach unit of UGA, is presenting Winter WonderLights again this year.
Partnerships for the Future
Extending educational opportunities to students of all ages is part of UGA’s efforts to improve lives and strengthen communities as a land-grant institution. We are proud to partner with PreK-12 schools and nonprofit organizations around the state to provide a network of support for Georgia’s youth. Together we are helping to build a brighter future for students and a brighter future for our state.
I am pleased to share the 2022 President’s Annual Report. Covering the 2021-22 fiscal year, the report highlights the University of Georgia’s extraordinary achievements as well as some of the outstanding individuals who helped propel our community to new heights of excellence.
Whether leading the way in instruction or making lifesaving discoveries, succeeding on the biggest stages of college athletics or strengthening communities large and small, this past year was one of the best in UGA’s history. I am grateful for all that our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends do to help the University of Georgia excel in every area of its mission.
McBay Science Library Dedication
We recently dedicated the University of Georgia’s science library in honor of Dr. Shirley Mathis McBay, the first Black student to receive a Ph.D. from UGA and the first woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics on our campus. The late Dr. McBay not only holds a special place in the history of our institution but also made a meaningful impact on our entire nation through her tireless efforts to promote the participation and advancement of underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines.
A Historic Moment for UGA's College of Engineering
The University of Georgia recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of our College of Engineering and the completion of extensive renovations to the college’s instructional hub, Driftmier Engineering Center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the modernized mid-century facility. As we train the next generation of engineering researchers and practitioners, we are increasing UGA’s capacity to impact critical areas such as transportation, infrastructure, health care, food security, and more.
An Academic Powerhouse
At the University of Georgia, we are committed to reaching new heights in everything we do. Our innovative instruction, renowned faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities make us one of the best public universities in the nation. While no single metric can capture all of UGA’s achievements, our sustained record of excellence, including seven consecutive years in the USNWR top 20, reflects the University’s solid position in the upper ranks of public higher education.
I-STEM Research Building 2 Dedication
At the University of Georgia, we are committed to creative, interdisciplinary approaches to the complex problems facing our world. As part of this commitment, we recently dedicated a new facility--the second building in the Interdisciplinary STEM Research Complex--that will promote intellectual collisions and strengthen collaborations among chemistry and engineering researchers and their colleagues in the life sciences, biomedicine, agriculture, computer science, and other disciplines.
Welcome to 2022-2023!
Welcome to UGA faculty, staff, and students as we begin the 2022-2023 academic year. I wish you a productive and fulfilling year ahead, full of boundless determination and endless possibilities. Thank you for your commitment to the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs!
Black-Diallo-Miller Hall Dedication
Today, UGA dedicated a new first-year residence hall named in honor of Harold A. Black, Mary Blackwell Diallo, and Kerry Rushin Miller, the first African American students to enroll as freshmen and complete their undergraduate degrees at the University of Georgia. This fall marks the 60th anniversary of their first semester on campus. After earning their degrees, all three went on to make significant contributions to our society throughout their lives and careers.
Thanks to UGA Donors for a Record Year
The University of Georgia is celebrating the strongest fundraising year in our institution's history. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our alumni and friends, UGA received over $257 million in new gifts and pledges during the 2022 fiscal year, which ended June 30. In addition, more donors contributed to the University this year than ever before, another indication that the culture of philanthropy at UGA continues to grow.
Summer Study Abroad
The University of Georgia is one of the leading universities in the U.S. for study abroad participation. Nearly 3,000 UGA students studied abroad in the 2021-2022 academic year in 72 different countries spanning all seven continents. Maymester and summer programs are the most popular choices for our students, meaning that many are abroad right now, gaining valuable international experience that will positively impact their academic and professional futures.
Donors Are Helping Grady to Grow
The University of Georgia is stronger than ever, thanks in part to donors who believe in our mission and want to expand opportunities for UGA faculty and students. Among countless examples across campus, generous gifts are helping to grow the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Fortifying Communities Across Georgia
At its very core, the University of Georgia exists to improve lives and strengthen communities. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in our extensive public service and outreach efforts, which contribute significantly to UGA's $7.4 billion annual economic impact on Georgia. Two new programs--Connected Resilient Communities and PROPEL--are helping UGA to fortify communities across the state even more through economic and workforce development.
Stronger Than Ever, Thanks to You
I want to express my deepest thanks to UGA’s exceptional faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends for making the 2021-2022 academic year one of our very best ever. Throughout every corner of our campus and across every aspect of our teaching, research, and service missions, you advanced the University of Georgia to record milestones. The University of Georgia is stronger than ever, and our future has never been brighter, thanks to the dedication of the UGA community.
It is Honors Week at the University of Georgia, a time set aside each spring to celebrate excellence among our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. I am once again reminded of the tremendous dedication of the UGA community to the mission of our institution--to improve lives and strengthen communities through teaching, research, and service. It is a privilege for me to serve alongside such extraordinary individuals, and I am grateful for all they are doing on behalf of the University, our state, our nation, and our world.
Creating a Culture of Active Learning
The University of Georgia is creating a culture of active learning for undergraduates that promotes curiosity, initiative, reflection, and connections across learning environments. This initiative builds on a strong history of student learning enhancements that have helped UGA become a national leader in higher education.
Improving Lives Through Parkinson’s Research
The University of Georgia is working to improve the length and quality of life of nearly a million people in the U.S. and 10 million people worldwide who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. UGA will soon receive $5 million in federal funding to support the Johnny Isakson Center for Brain Science and Neurological Disorders, named after the late U.S. Senator from Georgia who died from Parkinson’s. The funds add to the significant investment UGA has made already in research on brain science and neurological disorders.
UGA’s Extraordinary Undergraduates
As demand for a UGA education has grown, so has the quality of our student body. Every year, undergraduate students enter the University of Georgia with more impressive credentials than the year before. They seek rigorous courses that will challenge them, renowned faculty who will mentor them, and opportunities to make a difference. UGA continues to enhance our world-class learning environment to provide innovative education that helps students achieve their goals. I am inspired every day by the accomplishments of our extraordinary undergraduates. The positive impact they make gives me great hope for a bright future for our state, nation, and world.
The Impact of Endowed Faculty Positions
Endowed faculty positions enable the University of Georgia to recruit and retain the most productive and successful faculty in the world. With every additional endowed chair and professorship established at UGA, we strengthen our vibrant academic community, advance teaching and learning on our campus, and drive our vital research enterprise forward. I am grateful for our alumni and friends’ commitment to this goal as we work together to elevate the University of Georgia to new heights of excellence.
2022 State of the University Address
President Jere W. Morehead delivered the 2022 State of the University Address, expressing gratitude to the entire university community for their service during a challenging but successful year. He detailed some of the institution’s accomplishments and unveiled a series of new initiatives that promise to make the university even stronger.
National Champion Bulldogs
The University of Georgia made history last night winning the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship in Indianapolis. After an undefeated regular season and a decisive win against Michigan in the Orange Bowl, the Georgia Bulldogs overcame the University of Alabama to take the national title. I could not be prouder of the hard work and determination demonstrated by our talented student-athletes, Coach Kirby Smart, and the Bulldogs coaching staff.
A Message of Thanks to Faculty and Staff
As I look back on the fall semester now coming to a close, I am grateful for the extraordinary faculty and staff who make the University of Georgia the world-class institution it is. Amid the ongoing pandemic, the challenges set before us have been great, but the resolve of the UGA community has been even greater. I sincerely appreciate the commitment of our faculty and staff to the University, and I wish everyone the very best during this holiday season as we reflect and recharge in preparation for the new year.
Dedicated to Innovation
University of Georgia faculty and students are constantly striving to expand the boundaries of what is known and what is possible. Because UGA is a land-grant institution, with economic development inherent in our mission, we also seek to translate discoveries and ideas into tangible benefits. This week, UGA dedicated the Delta Innovation Hub, where we are working to create products and solutions that will improve our quality of life while bolstering the economy.
Advancing STEM Research and Education
Conducting groundbreaking research to meet the grand challenges of our time is central to the University of Georgia’s land-grant mission. The completion of the first phase of the new Interdisciplinary STEM Research Complex, dedicated on Nov. 30, reflects UGA’s commitment to interdisciplinary approaches that are essential to addressing complex, global problems.
Breaking New Ground in Poultry Science
A groundbreaking ceremony this week for the Poultry Science Complex kicked off a new era of advancement for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Poultry Science. As a land-grant institution, UGA is committed to helping our state’s poultry industry thrive. The construction of a new Poultry Science Complex embodies this commitment by providing facilities for educating future poultry industry leaders and advancing research to improve poultry production and safeguard this important food source and economic driver.
Fulfilling Our Mission in the Face of Challenges
I am excited to share the 2021 President’s Annual Report, which highlights the University’s milestones from the previous academic year. I encourage you to read about our community’s remarkable resolve during the pandemic and our many outstanding achievements during an unprecedented time in UGA’s history. What we do here matters, and this report illustrates our impact when our state, nation, and world have needed us most.
Increasing Diversity and Inclusion Across Our Mission
At the University of Georgia, diversity and inclusion are core values that we strive to embody as we carry out our mission of teaching, research, and service. We are committed to strengthening diverse communities across our state and to ensuring that UGA faculty, staff, and students from all backgrounds can reach their full potential.
Connecting Faculty to Our Land-Grant Mission
As a land-grant and sea-grant institution, UGA has a strong and special relationship with the great state we call home. Our annual economic impact on Georgia is estimated at over $6.5 billion. A significant part of that impact comes from a far-reaching nexus of research, public service, and economic development activities. Faculty play a central role in all of these activities, helping us fulfill our land-grant mission.
Welcome to UGA
Welcome to our faculty, staff, and students for the 2021–2022 academic year at the University of Georgia. As we return to campus for fall semester, I urge you to do everything you can—get vaccinated, wear a mask indoors, and wash your hands regularly—to keep our community healthy and safe. I hope you enjoy this video, which encourages our community to take steps to protect themselves and each other and celebrates the UGA family’s positive impact on the world. Thank you for all you are doing to make the University of Georgia a success.
Fostering Student Innovation
As part of our land-grant mission to promote prosperity in Georgia and beyond, UGA fosters innovation and entrepreneurship among students from their first semester on campus—and even before. This summer, the University hosted two programs to help students learn the skills they need to turn their bright ideas into solutions, products, and technologies that can make our world a better place.
Heartfelt Thanks to Our Donors
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped the University of Georgia raise $205.2 million in private funds during the 2021 fiscal year. To see this level of support during such a pivotal time is truly inspiring. Our donors are ensuring that as we overcome the challenges of the past year, UGA will emerge ready to further strengthen our commitments to our students, community, state, and world.
Enhancing Education Through Active Learning
Initiatives such as experiential learning, entrepreneurship, and data literacy have made the University of Georgia a national leader in undergraduate education. In the coming months, UGA will implement its next curriculum-wide innovation: active learning. Evidence-based active learning practices will be the focus of UGA’s next Quality Enhancement Plan, a five-year initiative central to the University’s reaccreditation process.
Rising Stature in STEM
The fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) underpin advancements in human health, environmental sustainability, economic development, and other essential areas. With renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the University of Georgia is conducting pioneering research in the STEM fields and educating the next generation of academic and industry leaders.
UGA Alumni Serving Their Communities
Service is central to the University of Georgia’s mission and a pillar of our motto, “to teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things.” Our alumni carry this commitment into their communities, extending UGA’s efforts to improve lives and lift up those in need. Their commitment was on vivid display recently when UGA alumni chapters nationwide participated in community service projects through the Dawg Day of Service initiative.
Achieving Success in a Uniquely Challenging Year
This week, spring Commencement ceremonies will mark the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year at the University of Georgia. As we celebrate the triumphs of over 7,500 students in completing their degrees, I want to take a moment to thank the entire UGA community for their extraordinary dedication during a uniquely challenging year.
Expanding Research, Increasing Impact
As a land-grant institution, the University of Georgia is committed to harnessing research to improve our quality of life. By growing UGA’s research enterprise and collaborating with partners around the world, we are making significant progress toward this vital goal.
UGA’s Institute of Government Expanding Internet Access
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when much of our education, business, and health care has moved online, it has been more important than ever to help communities bridge the digital divide. As part of the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative, UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government developed a detailed map identifying broadband internet availability in Georgia, down to the household level. The map is now serving as a model for other states to see where investment in broadband infrastructure is most needed.
Launching Careers During a Pandemic
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of UGA’s Class of 2020 are successfully launching their careers after graduation. The latest career outcomes survey conducted by the Career Center at UGA found that 91% of our students who graduated between August 2019 and May 2020 were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation.
As an educator and administrator at the University of Georgia for over 30 years, I have been privileged to work with some of the best students in the nation. UGA students in all disciplines bring ingenuity and a drive to make a difference. When these qualities combine with the unparalleled educational opportunities here, what our students can achieve is limitless.
Facilities That Advance Research and Innovation
From lifesaving vaccines and therapeutics to the turfgrass used on the field for Super Bowl LV, research breakthroughs at the University of Georgia lead to economic benefits and improved quality of life. Investment in state-of-the-art facilities is one of the drivers of UGA’s growing success in research and innovation.
2021 State of the University Address
President Jere W. Morehead delivered the 2021 State of the University Address, looking back on the challenges and accomplishments of the past year and looking ahead to the obstacles and opportunities that await the University of Georgia in 2021.
UGA’s Importance to Georgia Agriculture
As a land-grant university, UGA is committed to helping Georgia’s farmers and agribusinesses succeed. From sharing research through cooperative extension to helping rural communities deal with the impact of COVID-19, the University of Georgia is working hard every day to strengthen our state’s number one industry. UGA is at the forefront of agricultural innovation, and with support from state leaders, as well as alumni and friends, we will continue to help Georgia’s agriculture industry grow and thrive for generations to come.
60th Anniversary of Desegregation at UGA
This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of desegregation at the University of Georgia. On January 9, 1961, Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) became the first African American students to enroll at UGA. Their bravery and perseverance forever changed this institution for the better and bolstered the civil rights movement across our state and nation. The University will commemorate this important milestone in multiple ways throughout the semester.
A Semester of Perseverance and Achievement
As we wrap up one of the most difficult semesters in our institution’s history, I want to express my deep gratitude to the UGA community for their perseverance, determination, and resilience. Our faculty, staff, and students have worked harder than ever amid the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve their goals and to make a positive difference in the world.
UGA Innovation Springs Forth
The renovation of the Spring Street Building, the site of the historic Town Spring near downtown Athens, is nearing completion—ushering in the next stage of UGA’s Innovation District initiative. When it opens in January 2021, the building will become known as the Innovation Hub, UGA’s front door for industry engagement. I look forward to the many avenues for economic development that will be created in this unique space through entrepreneurship and collaboration among our faculty, students, and industry partners.
Engage & Learn Initiative for UGA Staff
Staff members at the University of Georgia work tirelessly to support our teaching, research, and service missions. Their success and the success of the institution go hand in hand. Last year, I charged a presidential task force with creating new, robust professional development opportunities for staff at every level of the organization and at every stage of the employment cycle. Based on their recommendations, UGA Human Resources designed Engage & Learn, a broad-based, multi-year initiative to enhance the growth of staff members as they work to advance their careers at the University.
Focus on Graduate Education
The quality of graduate education at UGA is closely linked to our success as an institution. As we strive to promote excellence in teaching and learning; grow research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and strengthen partnerships with communities across Georgia and around the world, UGA’s graduate students will play a central role in our achievements.
The UGA Mentor Program has created more than 2,000 meaningful relationships since its launch just over a year ago. Connecting students and alumni in every school and college, this program has become a valuable part of a UGA education at every degree level. A commitment of a couple of hours a month can lead to a lifetime of benefits.
A State Treasure
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia has been a treasured resource for more than 50 years, attracting 230,000 visitors annually. This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Garden has become even more important to local community members and to Georgians throughout the state as we have sought outdoor activities that keep us active while limiting our exposure to the novel coronavirus. As a land-grant university, UGA takes pride in being the home of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, where our missions of teaching, research, and service work together to increase our knowledge and improve our quality of life.
Combating COVID-19 through Research
The University of Georgia continues to combat COVID-19 through a variety of ways. As a major research university with a mission to serve our state, nation, and world, we are well positioned to play a key role in this fight. UGA was proud to be ranked among the Top 10 schools working to solve the coronavirus pandemic by Successful Student, a testament to our thriving and responsive research enterprise.
Consistent Strength in National Rankings
The University of Georgia has once again been recognized as a national leader in higher education. In U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 ranking of the best public universities, UGA ranked No. 15, marking the fifth consecutive year that we have placed in the Top 20. The consistency of our national ranking is a testament to the commitment of our talented faculty, staff, and students; to the generosity and support of our loyal alumni and friends; and to the effectiveness of our vision and strategy to reach new heights of academic excellence.
Committed to Diversity and Inclusion
Embracing the values of diversity and inclusion remains critical to reaching the heights of excellence that we all desire for the University of Georgia. During my tenure as President, we have taken many steps together in this direction, but we all recognize that much more must be done on our campus and elsewhere.
We Are In This Together
Following months of hard work, rigorous planning, and detailed preparation, today we begin the fall 2020 semester at the University of Georgia. The success of this semester rests on the commitment of each of us to do our part to protect our UGA community from the spread of COVID-19.
‘Commit to Georgia’ Campaign
On June 30, the University of Georgia’s Commit to Georgia campaign concluded after raising $1.45 billion, making it the most successful fundraising effort in UGA history.
UGA’s Response to COVID-19
The situation we are facing marks an unprecedented time for the University of Georgia and for our state, nation, and world. Although we are in uncharted territory, one commitment remains first and foremost in our response: the health, well-being, and safety of our campus community.
Mary Frances Early College of Education
This week, the University of Georgia celebrated a momentous occasion--the naming of the Mary Frances Early College of Education in honor of UGA's first African American graduate. Ms. Early made history when she completed her master's degree in music education here in 1962, and she has made history once again as the first African American to have a college or school named in their honor at this institution.
UGA's Growing Economic Impact
The University’s annual economic impact on Georgia has risen to a record $6.5 billion, an achievement that should make the entire UGA community proud. Momentum across every aspect of our teaching, research, and service missions is driving this impressive figure. As the state’s flagship, land- and sea-grant university, UGA is--and will forever be--committed to fostering prosperity and economic opportunity across Georgia.
2020 State of the University Address
President Jere W. Morehead delivered the 2020 State of the University Address, highlighting major achievements from the past year and discussing a new strategic plan to guide the University of Georgia through 2025.
Georgia Commitment Scholarships Milestone
Thanks to the incredible generosity of UGA donors, 500 endowed, need-based scholarships have now been created through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program. This achievement is a testament to the desire of so many individuals, families, and organizations to make a positive difference in the lives of our students.
Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Season
On behalf of the University, I want to congratulate all of our fall graduates and extend season's greetings to the campus community. Together, the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the University of Georgia are helping the institution build on our momentum as a leading public research university. I wish you a joyous holiday season, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together in the coming year.
Thankful for You
At this time of year when we reflect on all we are thankful for, I want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the Bulldog family—the dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the University of Georgia who are helping to advance the mission of this great institution. Because of your strong commitment to UGA, we are making a profound impact on Georgia and the world. I wish all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Leading the Fight Against the Flu
This fall, the University of Georgia received the largest research award in our history--a contract with the National Institutes of Health for up to $130 million--to develop a universal flu vaccine that would fight a number of influenza strains at once, for several years at a time. UGA’s investments in biomedical sciences, particularly in the area of infectious diseases, make us eminently qualified to play a key role in this national initiative.
Ocean Sciences Instructional Center
This week, the University dedicated the Ocean Sciences Instructional Center, marking a new era at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Since becoming part of UGA in 2013, the Skidaway Institute has significantly added to UGA’s ability to carry out our sea-grant mission. We are grateful to the donors and state and local leaders who supported the transformation of this 1948 cattle barn into a state-of-the-art educational and outreach facility. The Skidaway Institute is now poised to make even greater contributions to our state and the world, expanding UGA’s reach as a leading public research university.
Shaping Our Future
The 2019 President’s Annual Report highlights major accomplishments from the previous academic year. What we do here maters—we are shaping the future of our state, nation, and world. I am proud of all that we are accomplishing together, and I remain grateful for everything our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends continue to do to advance the University of Georgia.
Advancing UGA’s Great Commitments
At the University of Georgia, initiatives are underway to advance our Great Commitments of Healthier People, A More Secure Future, and Stronger Communities. Last year, I charged a working group—comprised of faculty, staff, and students and chaired by our Vice President for Public Service and Outreach—with developing programs to further engage the campus community in the grand challenges of our time. The group submitted its final report last fall, and their ideas are already making a difference.
Innovation District Update
The Innovation District at UGA is advancing in earnest with inaugural programs such as the Innovation Fellows, Startup Mentor in Residence, Innovation District Seminar Series, and Innovation Bootcamp, as well as approval for the renovation of the Spring Street Building in downtown Athens.
Completion of the Business Learning Community
The University of Georgia has provided students with a world-class business education for more than 100 years. Last week, we celebrated the new home of the Terry College of Business and the facilities that will support teaching, research, and service that produces business leaders and strengthens our economy for the next 100 years.
College of Environment and Design’s 50th Anniversary
Since its inception, the University of Georgia has blazed new trails in higher education. Among our many achievements is the establishment of the School of Environmental Design, which in 1969 became the first and largest of its kind in the Southeast. Today, the College of Environment and Design (CED) is a national and international leader in multiple fields and specializations related to landscape architecture, historic preservation, and planning.
Shaping the Future
At the University of Georgia, we are working every day to shape the future of our world. We are helping our students learn and succeed at the highest levels, creating jobs and training leaders, driving innovation and discovery, and solving problems for Georgia and beyond. As we welcome faculty, staff, and students back for another exciting year, we are committed to doing even more to impact the world around us.
Summer Experiential Learning
The University of Georgia ensures that every undergraduate student engages in experiential learning—connecting their academic foundations to the world beyond the classroom—before they graduate. Summer is an ideal time for students to participate in research, internships, service-learning, study abroad, and other opportunities that achieve this goal.
The Extraordinary Commitment of UGA Donors
Once again, UGA donors have demonstrated their extraordinary commitment to amplifying the positive impact of our faculty, staff, and students on the world. In fiscal year 2019, donors contributed $224 million in new gifts and pledges to increase scholarship support for students, enhance the learning environment, and solve grand challenges through research and service.
UGA Mentor Program
Mentors play a valuable role in the lives of students, adding depth and direction to their academic pursuits. Fortunately, UGA alumni are eager to support current students as they explore possible career paths and life goals, and our students are excited to connect with members of the Bulldog family who can provide inspiration and guidance. To link our alumni and students in this meaningful way, the University has created the UGA Mentor Program.
Active Learning at UGA
Faculty at the University of Georgia are passionate about teaching. Dozens of faculty have participated in UGA’s Active Learning Summer Institute, now in its second year, to discover new ways to engage their students in the learning process. The intensive, multi-week institute, which is led by UGA’s Center for Teaching and Learning, is open to full-time faculty at all levels. As a leader in higher education, UGA is committed to helping faculty incorporate this and other evidence-based instructional methods to ensure maximum learning for our students.
Celebrating 50 Years of UGA Cortona
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the UGA Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy. Alumni and supporters of this renowned program will join current students, faculty, and staff at UGA’s picturesque campus this week to celebrate this significant milestone. UGA Cortona provides courses year-round in science, business, agriculture, and other disciplines in addition to art and has educated approximately 10,000 students from 400 different institutions. Even as the program has grown, it has maintained its unique quality and character as a vehicle for intercultural understanding and authentic engagement between our students and faculty and the people of Cortona.
Expanding Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Students
Students at the University of Georgia have more opportunities than ever to turn their research into commercial products and pursue their own startup ventures. UGA now has two spaces on campus dedicated to student innovation and entrepreneurship. The Student Entrepreneurship Center, known as Studio 225, provides a focal point for UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program. The Launch Pad, which opened last fall in Creswell Hall, is a living-learning community for first-year students and features amenities, such as a 3-D printer, that promote productivity and interaction among residents.
Thanks to UGA Faculty and Staff
Thanks to the hard work of faculty and staff, the achievements of the University of Georgia over the past academic year have been truly remarkable. I wish all of our faculty and staff a productive summer as we continue our efforts to expand the impact of this great university throughout the state of Georgia, across the nation, and around the world. With outstanding faculty, staff, and students leading the way, no achievement is beyond our reach.
Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden
The State Botanical Garden is one of Georgia’s treasures. This public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia serves our state in a number of ways. Conservation and research staff help to preserve Georgia’s native plants and promote biodiversity. Educators offer classes to learners of all ages in subjects ranging from horticulture to photography. The trails and display gardens present a spectacular variety of flora and fauna for visitors to enjoy. And now the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden provides a lively space for families to engage with nature, history, and the arts.
Student Tour of Georgia
Students are an integral part of the University of Georgia's land-grant and sea-grant mission. Twenty-six of our outstanding students recently spent their spring break learning more about our state and how UGA serves its citizens by participating in the inaugural Student Tour of Georgia. Organized by the Division of Public Service and Outreach and the Division of Student Affairs, the tour stopped in 13 cities throughout Georgia. Some of the destinations included the Washington County Archway Partnership in Sandersville; UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant on Skidaway Island; and Pinewood Studios in Fayetteville, which is partnering with UGA on a new master's program focused on film, television, and digital media.
Sowing Success through Seed Grants
The grand challenges facing our state, nation, and world require comprehensive, integrated approaches. One of the goals of the University of Georgia, as we expand our institution’s research enterprise, is to support projects that achieve this aim. The Interdisciplinary Seed Grant program is fostering research partnerships among our faculty that cross traditional academic boundaries to generate new external funding for important projects that will help to improve health, strengthen communities, and secure our future.
Celebrating a Campaign Milestone
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends, UGA’s Commit to Georgia campaign has reached its $1.2 billion goal 16 months ahead of schedule. This thrilling milestone was made possible by donations from nearly 150,000 contributors who are helping the University increase scholarship support for students, enhance the learning environment, and solve grand challenges for our state and the world.
Strengthening Our Economy through Research and Innovation
As Georgia’s flagship land-grant and sea-grant university, UGA is committed to addressing the economic needs of our state. The University contributes an estimated $6.3 billion to the state’s economy each year by educating Georgia’s citizens, working with community and industry partners, and growing research and innovation.
2019 State of the University Address
President Morehead delivered the 2019 State of the University Address.
UGA Research Making an Impact
Through their research, UGA faculty are addressing many of the grand challenges facing our society. From ensuring the safety of our food and water supplies to fighting infectious diseases, UGA research is improving lives in Georgia and around the world. The work of our faculty is gaining national and international recognition along the way.
A Wonderful Year
As we close the door on another wonderful calendar year at the University of Georgia, I would like to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends for making 2018 a year to remember. We all can be proud of UGA’s many accomplishments that were made possible by the hard work and dedication of the entire UGA community.
Record Completion Rates for UGA Students
As the University of Georgia prepares for fall Commencement ceremonies next week, we are celebrating the record completion rates for our outstanding students. The University’s four-year completion rate has moved up two percentage points from last year to reach a record 68 percent, and 75 percent of UGA students now earn their degrees in four years plus one semester. The six-year completion rate is now 86 percent. These numbers put UGA within one point of the average completion rates at our highly selective aspirational institutions and well above the average rates at peer and SEC institutions.
Interdisciplinary STEM Research Building
This week, the University of Georgia broke ground on the Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (I-STEM) Research Building. The new 100,000 square foot facility, with four stories of laboratory and support space for chemistry and engineering, represents the future of research and education in the STEM fields at UGA.
Spotlight on the Arts and a2ru
Today marks the opening of the University of Georgia’s seventh annual Spotlight on the Arts festival—a celebration of visual, literary, and performing arts on our campus. Between now and November 11, members of the University community and the public are invited to experience more than 100 events and exhibitions featuring the talents of UGA faculty and students as well as performers and scholars from around the world.
The Power of Private Support
This month, the University of Georgia celebrated improvements to our campuses in Athens and Griffin that were made possible by the generous support of private donors. In both projects, corporate or community-based funding provided the catalysts needed to achieve the University’s goals. Now, through the power of private support, the Dundee Café and Lake Herrick are further enhancing the learning environment for our students and further strengthening UGA’s connections to the communities surrounding our campuses.
Reaching New Heights
The 2018 President’s Annual Report highlights major accomplishments from the previous academic year. As the report illustrates, last year was one of the most successful in the history of our great University.
Investing in the Student Experience
As the University of Georgia evolves to meet the changing needs of our society, our commitment to student learning and success remains constant. The University recently completed a presidential hiring initiative known as Investing in the Student Experience to help us enhance the learning environment and meet the needs of students in emerging areas of high demand.
Farm Tour 2018
This week, I was pleased to join College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, and members of the Georgia General Assembly for the sixth annual Farm Tour. I look forward to this event every year as an opportunity to further enhance the University of Georgia’s strong relationship with our state’s number one industry. The tour was reflective of the incredible diversity of Georgia agriculture—and the corresponding diversity of research efforts and expertise found among UGA faculty and staff who support our state’s farmers and agribusinesses.
Positive Research Momentum
Expanding the research enterprise is a top priority for the University of Georgia, and over the past five years, strategic investments in this facet of our mission have produced remarkable growth. Annual research and development expenditures—a key measure of productivity—crossed the $450 million threshold for the second consecutive year in FY18, representing a nearly 30 percent increase since FY13. As the University continues to invest in infrastructure and faculty to support our research mission, our ability to make a positive difference will grow in return.
Welcome to the start of a new academic year at the University of Georgia, the birthplace of public higher education in America! Through our mission of teaching, research, and service, we are making a positive impact across this state, throughout the nation, and around the world. Indeed, what we do here every day matters, and it would not be possible without your hard work and commitment to excellence. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together in the year ahead.
UGA Donors Set Five Records in Five Years
For the fifth consecutive year, University of Georgia donors have set a record in annual fundraising. In Fiscal Year 2018, our loyal faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends contributed a total of $242 million in new gifts and pledges to the Commit to Georgia Campaign. It is the second consecutive year that donations have exceeded $200 million.
UGA in Tifton
Throughout its century-long history, UGA’s Tifton campus has exemplified the University’s commitment to our land-grant mission. Teaching, research, service, and extension programs at UGA Tifton are preparing the next generation of leaders in agriculture and helping our state's number one industry to thrive.
The University of Georgia proudly hosted the 77th Annual Peabody Awards in New York City a few weeks ago. Established as the equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize for radio in 1941, the George Foster Peabody Award recognizes the most compelling and empowering stories released in electronic media.
President Pens Column in James Magazine: A Powerful Partnership
As President of the University of Georgia, I am often asked to describe the institution's vision for the future. What are its strategic priorities and goals? How is the university seeking to evolve long-term? What are the best opportunities for growth and development? These are some of my favorite questions to answer because they invite commentary on the powerful partnership between the two entities I have devoted my life to serving: the state of Georgia, and its flagship university. I have lived in Georgia for more than 45 years and served UGA, in a variety of roles, for more than 30. Georgia is my home. The University of Georgia is my passion. I care deeply about the future of both, and their futures—now more than ever—are intertwined.
Thank You, Faculty and Staff
Our faculty and staff are the life force of this University, and they are the reason it is soaring to new heights of excellence. I am honored to serve alongside them each and every day and to have a front-row seat to their many outstanding achievements. Through hard work and commitment, they are making a difference in the lives of our students and in the futures of communities throughout this state and around the world. I am deeply grateful.
Last week, the University of Georgia celebrated Honors Week, a weeklong series of events designed to recognize the achievements of our outstanding faculty, staff, students, and alumni. As always, I came away from the week inspired by their collective accomplishments.
Stronger Relationships and Brighter Futures
The University of Georgia places great value on our relationship with the Athens-Clarke County community. Particularly inspiring are programs that introduce Athens students to the many educational and career opportunities available at UGA. Two of these programs are the Great Promise Partnership and the Work-Based Learning Program.
Supporting Rural Georgia
Since its beginnings as the birthplace of public higher education, UGA has been dedicated to improving the quality of life in every part of our great state—from the Coast, to the Plains, to the Blue Ridge, and all points in between. Today, through our eight Public Service and Outreach units, UGA Extension, and outreach programs in every school and college across campus, the University of Georgia continues to help individuals, businesses, and communities across Georgia thrive. In this post, I would like to highlight recent initiatives to expand support for rural areas of our state.
UGA’s Growing Economic Impact on Georgia
The University of Georgia continues to expand its positive impact on our home state, improving the lives of individuals and communities in each of Georgia’s 159 counties. The latest study shows that our teaching, research, and service endeavors generate $5.7 billion in economic impact across the state each year.
2018 State of the University Address
President Morehead delivered the 2018 State of the University Address. For more information, please click here.
Task Force on Student Learning and Success
The University of Georgia’s Task Force on Student Learning and Success has delivered its final report, which includes 12 recommendations to advance UGA’s longstanding commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. A full copy of the report is available on the Reports page of the Office of the President website.
An Unforgettable Season
Last night, the Georgia Bulldogs played for the National Championship, capping off one of the greatest seasons in our history. Although we fell just short of the title in overtime, the Bulldog Nation has every reason to be proud, for this has been a year to remember. A win against Notre Dame on the road in the first matchup between those two teams since 1981; an SEC championship crown, the first in twelve years; a victory over Oklahoma in UGA’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1943; and a berth in the national championship game, our first in the playoff era-indeed, this season was marked by historic moments.
Victory at the Rose Bowl
On New Year’s Day, the Georgia Bulldogs returned, after 75 years, to the legendary Rose Bowl Game, earning an exciting win over the Oklahoma Sooners and advancing to the college football national championship for the first time in the playoff era. I am proud of our student-athletes and our coaching staff for this significant achievement, and I am grateful to the tens of thousands of alumni and fans who traveled to Pasadena to support our team. It was an historic moment for the football program—a game for the ages and one that brought much national attention to the University of Georgia.
As we conclude another successful calendar year at the University of Georgia, I would like to take a moment to thank you—our outstanding faculty, staff, and students—for all that we have achieved in 2017.
Serving Our Home State
When the coastal Georgia city of St. Marys decided to address the impacts of changing sea levels and severe storms, the city reached out to the University of Georgia to form a collaboration with local leaders, property owners, and schoolchildren to protect the historic community of about 17,500 people. By connecting with UGA experts, the community was able to help residents better navigate flood insurance policy, raise awareness about contamination in drinking water, and develop an emergency communications plans.
Enhancing Student Services at UGA
Excellent student services are a vital component of the University of Georgia's world-class learning environment. To continue enhancing the student experience at UGA, we recently renovated Clark Howell Hall, a facility that houses three important offices—the UGA Career Center, the Disability Resource Center, and University Testing Services.
Expanding the Boundaries of What Is Possible
The 2017 President’s Annual Report celebrates the University of Georgia’s progress on the institution’s three major priorities: (1) increasing scholarship support for students, (2) further enhancing the learning environment, and (3) solving the grand challenges of our time.
Advancing Turfgrass Research and Education
The University of Georgia opened three new turfgrass facilities on the Athens, Griffin, and Tifton campuses to advance research and instruction in an area of vital importance to Georgia’s economy.
A New Home for the Center for Molecular Medicine
Last week, the University of Georgia dedicated a new home for the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM). This $25 million state-of-the-art facility—supported by $17 million in state funds—will help the center to expand its vital human health research.
Building on Excellence in Business Education
The University of Georgia community joined together last week to celebrate an important milestone in our efforts to continue enhancing the learning environment for students. On Friday, we dedicated the second phase of the Terry College’s Business Learning Community (BLC), which includes Amos Hall, Benson Hall, and Moore-Rooker Hall. We also broke ground on the third and final phase of the BLC.
UGA’s Surging Research Enterprise
The research enterprise continues to surge at the University of Georgia as faculty across all 17 schools and colleges seek to leverage their expertise to make a difference in the world around us. For the fourth consecutive year, total research and development expenditures—one measure of productivity—rose in FY17, reaching an all-time high of $458 million.
I am delighted to welcome faculty, staff, and students to another exciting year at the University of Georgia, the birthplace of public higher education in America. As the fall semester gets underway, I hope you will take a moment to watch this inspiring video. It captures what makes our great University so special: our shared commitment to teaching, to research, and to serving others.
Experiential Learning at Wormsloe
For University of Georgia students, experiential learning occurs in many settings, whether on campus, across the state, or around the world. One of the most unique settings in which our students gain this valuable hands-on learning is Wormsloe, a tidewater estate founded in the mid-1730s near Savannah. Offering one of the richest cultural and ecological landscapes in Georgia, Wormsloe provides students and faculty with unparalleled opportunities for research and education that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
Surging Support for UGA
When the University launched the public phase of the campaign last fall, we called on our alumni and friends to help us expand the impact of this great University on the world. They are answering that call with extraordinary generosity and support, and I am deeply grateful.
Double Dawgs Program
With summer orientation underway at UGA, we are reminded of the exciting new initiatives launched recently that will be available to our newest class of students. One of these initiatives, called "The UGA Advantage" or "Double Dawgs," was introduced in February to create structured pathways for qualified students to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree within a five-year timeframe. In the coming year, UGA will seek to increase the number of Double Dawgs pathways, providing students with an even greater number of opportunities to tailor their education to their academic and career goals.
UGA in California
Meeting with students and alumni in California last week, I was inspired by the broad reach of the University of Georgia. Our alumni in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas—approximately 5,000 strong—are outstanding representatives of this institution on the West Coast. They serve as leaders in their communities and industries, and they maintain deep connections to one another and to their alma mater.
The University of Georgia was proud to host the 76th Annual Peabody Awards in New York City last weekend where UGA’s commitment to excellence was once again on display. As the home of these prestigious awards, as well as the extensive Peabody Awards Collection, UGA plays a meaningful role in promoting and preserving stories that matter to our nation and world.
Celebrating Our Graduates
As the spring semester concludes, we look forward to welcoming more than 5,000 new graduates into the family of UGA alumni. At Friday’s Commencement ceremonies, we will celebrate their hard work and determination and their dedication to the ideals of this great institution. All of our graduates are equipped to continue making a positive impact on the world. I am proud of what the Class of 2017 has accomplished so far, and I am confident they will go on to achieve even more as alumni.
Since the 1930s the University of Georgia has set aside a special time each year to recognize the achievements of our students faculty staff and alumni. Now known as Honors Week this annual tradition provides a valuable opportunity to celebrate individuals who are helping UGA fulfill its mission through their unyielding pursuit of excellence.
The Power of Undergraduate Research
Students at the University of Georgia benefit from an unparalleled academic environment that is made even more vibrant by undergraduate research. UGA is one of only a handful of institutions across the country where undergraduate students can complete up to four years of faculty-mentored research in any discipline on campus. This type of hands-on learning helps students build enduring relationships with faculty and valuable skills for the future.
Promoting Economic Vitality in Georgia
At the University of Georgia we know that the success of our institution and the success of our home state go hand in hand. With an estimated $5.25 billion impact on the state’s economy the University is more invested than ever before in helping businesses and communities succeed in our state. UGA contributes to Georgia’s economic vitality in a number of ways from translating faculty research into innovative products for the market to helping entrepreneurs start new businesses.
UGA Student Engagement
Each spring, we are reminded of the passion that UGA students have for serving others. Student-run philanthropies are one way that our students demonstrate this commitment. Volunteer service is another form of student engagement that makes a difference in the lives of others. Energized and transformed by these experiences our students are able contribute in new ways to the vibrant learning environment at the University of Georgia and they are better prepared to make a positive impact on their communities as alumni.
Statement on New Executive Order
Below is a message from the University System of Georgia concerning the most recent executive order affecting international travel. The University of Georgia shares USG’s unwavering commitment to our international students and faculty. More specific information is available at https://international.uga.edu/issis. The University System of Georgia greatly values the contributions of our international students faculty and staff. International education research and collaboration enrich our academic culture benefitting students faculty and staff throughout our 28 institutions across our University System. It is important that we continue to remain in close communication as new information and direction becomes available about policy changes impacting international travel and visa holders.
Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program
The University of Georgia has launched an exciting new initiative—called the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program—to grow dramatically the number of need-based scholarships awarded each year to students from low-income backgrounds. By uniting around this initiative the Bulldog family will create a permanent legacy of support that provides for our students pathways to futures that would otherwise be unreachable. This is an opportunity we simply cannot afford to miss.
Indoor Athletic Facility
Today was an exciting day for the Bulldog Nation as we dedicated the Indoor Athletic Facility—a world-class facility that supports the training needs of our more than 600 outstanding student-athletes. Working together we are fulfilling our commitment to provide our student-athletes with the tools and resources they need to succeed at the highest levels—from conference and national championships to Olympic competition on the international stage. I am deeply grateful to all of the individuals whose generous contributions made this exceptional facility possible.
Our Next Chapter
I was honored to deliver the 2017 State of the University Address today and share a vision for the future of the University of Georgia. In the address I outlined three priorities to advance the mission of our great University: (1) increasing scholarship support for our students (2) further enhancing our learning environment and (3) solving the grand challenges of our time. Highlights from the speech can be viewed .
Making an Impact through Research
Faculty at the University of Georgia are making a positive impact on the world by conducting research that creates tangible benefits from vaccines that protect us from devastating diseases to drought-resistant crops that bolster our food supply. Working with industry partners the University of Georgia translates many of the discoveries made by our faculty into products for the marketplace.
Another Outstanding Semester
As 2016 concludes, I would like to thank our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends for another outstanding semester at UGA. Together we shared many accomplishments. They illustrate the continued upward trajectory of the University of Georgia, to which the entire UGA community has contributed. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to this institution. I wish each of you a joyful and restful holiday season.
Commit to Georgia
The University of Georgia has launched the largest capital campaign in the history of our great institution. Aptly named Commit to Georgia this campaign aims to raise $1.2 billion in private support to amplify the impact of our students faculty and staff on the world around us. The campaign is guided by three priorities: (1) eliminating financial barriers and opening doors for our students (2) enhancing our learning environment and (3) solving grand challenges for our state and the world.
Measures of Student Success Continue to Climb at UGA
The University of Georgia’s four-year graduation rate climbed three points to 66 percent—a historic high and another strong signal of the University’s upward trajectory. To put this achievement into context, the average four-year graduation rate among our peer institutions is 49 percent and is 44 percent among SEC institutions. Our six-year graduation rate remained at a record level of 85 percent, well above the average of 74 percent among our peer institutions and 70 percent among SEC institutions.
Faculty at the Forefront of Discovery
Through their cutting-edge research UGA faculty are improving human health safeguarding and sustaining our world and changing lives through the land-grant mission. The impact of our faculty's important work can be seen throughout our state and around the world. Outstanding faculty in all disciplines across campus are expanding UGA's research enterprise to record levels.
Investing in Informatics
By investing in the burgeoning field of informatics, the University of Georgia is expanding its capacity to help solve complex challenges facing our state and nation. The University recently hired eight outstanding informatics researchers, bringing the total number of UGA faculty engaged in this discipline to more than 160. These individuals conduct research using massive data sets in vital areas such as national security, health care, agriculture, and financial systems.
Enhancing Academic Advising
The University of Georgia recently opened the Exploratory Center for Student Advising to provide enhanced advising services to students who have yet to select a major or who intend to major in business or journalism. Housed in the heart of campus, the center's specially trained advisors help students to develop academic plans that closely align with their career aspirations and make the most of their course credits—promoting timely graduation and cost savings.
Guided by our land-grant mission, the University of Georgia maintains an unwavering commitment to the state we proudly call home. For the past four years, Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and I have embarked on an annual farm tour to learn about current issues facing the agriculture community and to understand the ways in which the University can further its support of the state’s leading industry. We were pleased to be joined on this year’s farm tour by a number of outstanding agriculture supporters.
Science Learning Center
This month we celebrated the opening of the Science Learning Center, a new instructional facility that will transform undergraduate science education at the University of Georgia. This state-of-the-art building includes technology-enhanced classrooms and laboratories that promote the highest levels of student learning and collaboration.
A New Era
A new era of undergraduate education has begun at the University of Georgia with the implementation of the experiential learning initiative. The Class of 2020 our most academically qualified and diverse in history is the first to participate in this bold new initiative. Experiential learning helps our students apply content from their coursework to pressing issues outside of the classroom connect with faculty and professional mentors enhance their problem solving and critical thinking skills and prepare for graduate school and career opportunities. UGA is now the largest public research university in the nation to require all undergraduate students to engage in this unique type of learning prior to graduation.
Welcome to UGA
At the University of Georgia, we are defined by our shared commitments—a commitment to teaching and learning at the highest levels, a commitment to groundbreaking research and discovery, and a commitment to service that changes lives and communities for the better. As a new academic year begins, we reaffirm these commitments with the guiding belief that what we do here makes a positive impact on our state and the world around us.
Support for UGA Is Stronger Than Ever
The University of Georgia community—yet again—has demonstrated its unyielding dedication to elevating this great institution to new heights of excellence. For the third consecutive year UGA has set a new record in fundraising bringing in $183.8 million in new gifts and pledges during fiscal year 2016. This year's historic total represents a 28 percent increase over the previous year's record of $144.2 million. This significant accomplishment was made possible by the high levels of commitment and teamwork that characterize the UGA community.
The Importance of UGA Staff
Excellence in teaching research and service would not be possible at the University of Georgia without dedicated staff members. Our outstanding staff help this great institution promote student learning advance knowledge foster economic development and improve the quality of life in our state and beyond. I would like to say once again how grateful I am to our staff members who do so much to make the University of Georgia one of the best public research universities in America.
The University of Georgia is proud to be home to the Peabody Awards and to the Peabody Awards Collection which contains more than 90 000 works submitted for the awards program since 1941. The collection is part of our renowned Special Collections Libraries and is open to archival researchers. It is one of the many ways in which UGA carries out its land-grant mission of teaching research and service. This year's awards ceremony reminded us once again of the value of connecting individuals to important ideas and to one another through stories.
The Strength of Our Community
As the academic year comes to a close, I am reminded of the deep ties that bind us as a UGA family. Together, we learn, we make new discoveries, and we serve our communities. During times of tragedy, we also come together to care for one another—just as we did recently following the devastating automobile accident involving five of our students. As a community, we also celebrate significant accomplishments together, such as the graduation of a new class. Tomorrow’s Commencement ceremonies represent meaningful goals achieved and new beginnings made possible by the hard work of our students and the support of faculty, staff, family, and friends.
University of Georgia alumni living throughout the nation and around the world are bound by a common thread—they love this institution. Engaged alumni support academic initiatives provide personal and professional networks to students and fellow graduates and create a welcoming global family.
This week the University of Georgia comes together to celebrate the successes of outstanding members of our community. Dating back to the 1930s Honors Week features daily activities to recognize the faculty staff students and alumni who contribute to this vibrant academic institution.
Undergraduate Research Takes Center Stage
The University of Georgia provides students with extraordinary learning experiences. Among them is undergraduate research facilitated by the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO). Undergraduate research helps our students form relationships with faculty develop problem solving and critical thinking skills and produce innovative scholarship.
Cultivating a Vibrant Campus
The University of Georgia offers academically enriching activities that introduce community members to pioneering research scholarship and ideas. Renowned experts and leaders are invited to campus throughout the year to speak with students faculty and staff on a variety of topics. Just this week for example the University's Signature Lecture series features two distinguished speakers in the areas of genetics and education.
Excellence in Teaching
Undergraduate education is a cornerstone of the University of Georgia's mission and UGA faculty hold a deep commitment to teaching and learning. We were proud to recognize three professors recently with the Russell Award which is given to early career faculty who have demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching. In addition five faculty members were named Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors the University's highest honor for excellence in teaching. Faculty also are recognized annually with Creative Teaching Awards for developing and implementing creative methods to enhance student learning.
Honors Program at UGA
Combining the personal attention of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a top public research university, the University of Georgia Honors Program provides students with a world-class undergraduate experience. At UGA, Honors students engage in exciting and challenging learning opportunities that make a significant impact on their lives and give them the tools to make a difference in the lives of others. They bring a spirit of collegiality and a passion for learning that inspire others to achieve academic and personal excellence.
Extraordinary Research at UGA
The University of Georgia’s research productivity continues to rise, thanks in part to faculty hiring initiatives, streamlined processes for grants management, and, most importantly, the dedicated work of our remarkable faculty. Research expenditures—a clear signal of research strength—surged upward by seven percent at UGA last year, and early signs for fiscal year 2016 indicate this trend remains positive.
UGA's Economic Impact
The University of Georgia is a statewide leader in economic development. With a $4.4 billion impact on the state of Georgia this institution plays a critical role in supporting businesses introducing new technology into the marketplace and educating our workforce.
2016 State of the University Address
I was honored to deliver the annual State of the University Address on January 20. This year’s address focused on accomplishments and initiatives related to three important themes: preparing leaders, addressing grand challenges, and fulfilling our promise to serve. I am grateful to the outstanding students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends who have positioned this great institution as a leader among the very best public research universities in America.
When the University of Georgia celebrated fall Commencement in December, we were reminded of the deep connection between this institution’s outstanding alumni and the state we proudly call home. The majority of UGA’s nearly 300,000 alumni live in Georgia, supporting every major sector—from agriculture and education to business and government. Graduates leave the University of Georgia ready to contribute to communities across the state and to work for organizations large and small.
A Note of Thanks
As the fall 2015 semester comes to a close and we prepare to graduate another class of outstanding students, I would like to take a moment to thank our faculty, staff, and students for all they do to make a difference at the University of Georgia. Every day, faculty members teach and engage in research and scholarship to advance knowledge and enhance our quality of life. Staff members provide integral support for teaching, research, and service endeavors. Students work to become the next generation of leaders in their academic and professional fields. The combined talents and efforts of all members of this University are what allow us to improve lives and to strengthen communities across our state and nation.
Commitment to Service
At the core of the University of Georgia's mission is the commitment to service. During the holiday season we are reminded of this priority. For UGA students faculty and staff however service is a year-round endeavor. In fact this institution's values of community engagement and extension permeate much of the teaching research and outreach activities performed by members of the University.
Record-Breaking Retention Rate
As the University of Georgia prepares to accept the first members of the Class of 2020 we remain confident this institution is doing all it can to not only recruit the best and brightest students but also to retain them and facilitate their successful degree completion. Our freshman retention rate is the highest in the University’s history. Of the first-year students who began their academic careers at UGA last year, 95.2% returned for their second year this fall. The University’s 85.3% six-year graduation rate is also at an all-time high. Both of these numbers are well above the national averages and those of our peer institutions.
Spotlight on the Arts
The University of Georgia’s visual, performing, and literary arts create an enriching academic and cultural environment. During the fourth annual Spotlight on the Arts festival, UGA students, faculty, and staff will join together to celebrate this unique aspect of our community.
As the University of Georgia prepares to welcome thousands of alumni back to campus for the 2015 Homecoming weekend let us remember the important role that our graduates play in the continued success of this institution. University of Georgia alumni are making a difference in organizations and communities throughout Georgia and around the world. Our alumni include founders and owners of innovative businesses; executives in health care finance government and philanthropy; scientists and medical professionals; educators and many more.
Science Education at UGA
Science education is flourishing at the University of Georgia. With record numbers of students enrolled in the College of Engineering a state-of-the-art Science Learning Center under construction and more than 30% of incoming first-year students declaring majors in science fields the University's leadership in STEM areas (science technology engineering and mathematics) is evident.
Athletic Association’s Support of Academics
The University of Georgia Athletic Association continues to demonstrate a deep commitment to UGA’s academic mission. For many years, the Association has provided an annual contribution to the UGA Foundation to support significant institutional priorities. The contributions, ranging in recent years between $4 million and $5 million, have totaled more than $28 million since fiscal year 2007. A significant portion of these funds has been used to support student scholarships, academic initiatives, and endowed faculty positions.
Business Learning Community
On September 18 the University of Georgia celebrated the completion of Phase I of the Terry College's new Business Learning Community by dedicating Correll Hall and breaking ground on Amos Hall and Phase II of the project. These state-of-the-art facilities are designed to elevate business education at UGA to a new level of excellence.
Farms Factories and Labs
I was pleased to participate in the third annual farm tour this week with Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black and Dean Scott Angle of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. We were joined by Chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee Rep. Terry England; and Chairman of the state Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee Sen. John Wilkinson.
Faculty Hiring Initiatives
Faculty play a vital role at the University of Georgia. Across disciplines they conduct groundbreaking research and inspire student learning. Recruiting and retaining the very best faculty members remains a top priority of the institution and toward that end UGA has introduced five major faculty hiring initiatives during the last two years.
As the 2015-2016 academic year begins, the University of Georgia community has much to celebrate. As you will see from this short video, it is certainly an exciting time at the nation’s first state-chartered university. Together, we are reaching new heights of academic excellence.
Incoming First-Year Class the Best Yet
The University of Georgia has once again enrolled a record-setting class of first-year students. The approximately 5,300 freshmen arriving on campus next week have an average GPA of 3.91 and an average SAT of 1301—the highest scores in the University’s 230-year history.
Class Size Initiative
The University of Georgia has announced a major faculty hiring initiative that will reduce class sizes create new course sections and increase students interaction with faculty. The new faculty members hired through this initiative will allow the University to add more than 300 new course sections in 81 majors and to reduce many class sizes to fewer than 20 students. Smaller class sizes will promote more personalized instruction and mentoring.
UGA Fundraising Reaches All-Time High
The University of Georgia community has joined together to set a new record in fundraising for a second consecutive year. In fiscal year 2015, 59,086 contributors donated nearly $144.2 million in gifts and pledges to advance the various missions of this great institution.
A Year to Remember at UGA
On Friday of this week, the University of Georgia will hold spring commencement ceremonies and welcome more than 5,600 students into the special family of UGA alumni. As we prepare to close the book on one of the most successful years in the long history of this great institution, let us celebrate some of our major accomplishments from the 2014-2015 academic year.