Athletic Association’s Support of Academics
September 29, 2015
by Jere W. Morehead, President
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.
These funds have strengthened two important undergraduate scholarship programs at UGA—the merit-based Presidential Leadership Scholarship, which is awarded to students with strong records of academic and co-curricular achievement, and the need-based Georgia Access Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to students from Georgia who are eligible for the federal Pell Grant and are from families with annual incomes of $40,000 or less. In fall 2015, the Presidential Leadership Scholarship program provided renewable funding to 271 undergraduates, and the Georgia Access Scholarship offered awards to 1,233 students.
Contributions from the Athletic Association have helped the University to launch initiatives that enhance the learning environment, including an undergraduate research assistantship through the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, or CURO. This program provides $1,000 stipends to 300 outstanding students each year to conduct research with faculty mentors. The Association provided $1 million in fiscal year 2015 to support UGA’s new experiential learning initiative.
The Athletic Association has also enabled the University of Georgia to recruit and retain top-flight faculty. Currently, there are 23 Athletic Association professorships within 15 UGA schools and colleges, and I have implemented a plan to create three additional GAA professorships.
I am proud of the talented students, faculty, and staff who make the University of Georgia one of the nation’s top public universities. With the Athletic Association’s support, this institution will continue to recruit nationally recognized scholars who teach and conduct research alongside of Georgia’s best and brightest students.