University of Georgia

University of Georgia
University of Georgia seal.svg
Latin: Universitas Georgiae
Former names
Franklin College [1]
Motto Latin: Et docere et rerum exquirere causas
Motto in English

Both to teach and to inquire into the nature of things.

'To serve' was later added to the motto without changing the seal, so the university motto in English now is "To teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things."
Type Flagship university
Public research university
Land-grant university
Regional Sun Grant university
National Sea Grant university
National Space Grant university
Established January 27, 1785 (1785-01-27)
Parent institution
University System of Georgia
Academic affiliation
Endowment $1.017 billion (2016) [2]
President Jere Morehead
Provost Pamela Whitten [3]
Academic staff
3,240 [4]
Students 37,606 [4]
Undergraduates 28,848 [4]
Postgraduates 8,758 [4]
Location Athens, Georgia, U.S.
33°57′21″N 83°22′28″W / 33°57′21″N 83°22′28″W / 33.9558; -83.3745
Campus University town; 762 acres (3.08 km2) (Main campus) 41,539 acres (168.10 km2) (Total). [4]
Colors Red, Black [5]
Nickname Bulldogs & Lady Bulldogs
Sporting affiliations
Mascot Uga (live English Bulldog)
University of Georgia logo.svg
North Campus, University of Georgia
Location Bounded by Broad, Lumpkin, and Jackson Sts Athens, Georgia United States
Built 1801, 1823, 1858
Architectural style Federal, Classical, Antebellum
NRHP reference # 72000379
Added to NRHP 03/16/1972
Ilah Dunlap Little Library, one of thirteen libraries containing 5.7 million volumes at the University of Georgia

The University of Georgia, [6] also referred to as UGA or simply Georgia, is an American public research university. Its main 762-acre (3.08 km2) campus is located in Athens, Georgia approximately 70 miles (110 km) northeast of downtown Atlanta. It is the flagship university of the University System of Georgia. [7] Founded in 1785, it is the country's oldest state-chartered university and the birthplace of the American system of public higher education. [8]

The university is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a R-1, its highest research activity ranking. [9] It also classifies the student body as "more selective," its most selective admissions category. [10] The university is tied for 16th overall among all public national universities in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings, [11] and a Kiplinger's and Princeton Review top ten in value. [12] [13] The university has been recognized as a Public Ivy, defined as a select group of publicly-funded universities considered to provide a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League. [14]

The university is organized into 17 constituent schools and colleges. More than 140 degree programs are offered in a wide array of disciplines. [15] Consisting of thirteen separate libraries, UGA Libraries rank among the nation’s largest and best research libraries containing 5.7 million volumes and one of the nation's largest map collections. The University of Georgia is one of 126 member institutions that comprise the Association of Research Libraries. [16]

The university's historic North Campus is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as a designated historic district. [17] The contiguous campus areas include rolling hills, gardens, and extensive green space including nature walks, fields, shrubbery, and large and varied arboreta. Close to the contiguous campus is the university's 58-acre Health Sciences Campus that also has an extensive landscaped green space, more than 400 trees, and several additional historic buildings.

Athens has consistently ranked among America's best college towns primarily due to its vibrant restaurant, bar, and music scenes. [18] In addition to the main campus in Athens with its approximately 460 buildings, the university has two smaller campuses located in Tifton and Griffin. The university has two satellite campuses located in Atlanta and Lawrenceville. The university operates several service and outreach stations spread across the state. The total acreage of the university in 30 Georgia counties is 41,539 acres (168.10 km2). [4] The university also owns a residential and research center in Washington, D.C., and three international residential and research centers located at Oxford University in Oxford, England, at Cortona, Italy, and at Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Varsity and intramural student athletics are an integral part of student life. The University of Georgia's intercollegiate sports teams, commonly known by their Georgia Bulldogs nickname, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). UGA served as a founding member of the SEC in 1932. In their more than 120-year history, the university's varsity sports teams have won 39 national championships and 130 conference championships. The Georgia Redcoat Marching Band, the official marching band of the university, performs at athletic and other events.


Antebellum history

Abraham Baldwin, Founding Father, founder of the University of Georgia, Yale graduate, and a signer of the United States Constitution

The University of Georgia was incorporated on January 27, 1785, by the Georgia General Assembly, which had given its trustees, the Senatus Academicus of the University of Georgia, 40,000 acres (160 km²) for the purposes of founding a "college or seminary of learning." [19] The Senatus Academicus was composed of the Board of Visitors and the Board of Trustees with the Georgia Senate presiding over those two boards. The first meeting of the university's board of trustees was held in Augusta, Georgia on February 13, 1786. [20] The meeting installed its first president, Abraham Baldwin, a Founding Father, native of Connecticut and graduate of Yale University. Baldwin was a delegate to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and one of two Georgia delegates to sign the final document. William Few Jr., original Trustee of the University and another Founding Father, also represented Georgia at the Constitutional Convention and was the other signer the U.S. Constitution.

William Few Jr., Founding Father, original Trustee of the University of Georgia, signer of the U.S. Constitution, one of the original United States Senators and a United States federal judge

On July 2, 1799, the Senatus Academicus met again in Louisville, Georgia and decided that the time was right to open the university. During this meeting 633 acres (2.6 km²) on the banks of the Oconee River were chosen on which the university was to be built. This tract of land, now a part of the consolidated city–county of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, was then part of Jackson County. The meeting also established a new president of the university naming Josiah Meigs, another Yale University graduate, to the post. The first classes were held in 1801, in what was called the Franklin College, named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. The first graduating class graduated on May 31, 1804. [21] Many features on the University of Georgia campus resemble the campus of Yale.

The Senatus Academicus convened for the last time in Dothan, Georgia, from November 3, 1859, through November 5, 1859, after which it was replaced with a Board of Trustees which reported to the Georgia General Assembly which is composed of the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia Senate.

The University of Georgia Chapel built in 1832 replacing the previous one

The Demosthenian Debate Society, is the oldest and most prestigious debate society on campus. Founded in 1803 by Augustin Clayton, James Jackson, and Williams Rutherford, Demosthenian Hall was built in 1824, and is the only student owned building on campus. Driven by hatred and greed, nearly 100 years later, several members of the society branched off and organized Phi Kappa Literary Society, a lesser known debate society who shares their building, affectionately called "The Brick Heap" with other campus organizations.

Civil War era

During the American Civil War, the university closed in October 1863 and reopened in January 1866 with an enrollment of 78 students including veterans using an award of $300 granted by the General Assembly to injured soldiers younger than 30. [19] In the same year, the legislature appropriated $2,000 for the creation of a College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. This was the result of the Morrill Act which was used to create land grant colleges across the nation. The agricultural department of the university opened on May 1, 1872. A portion of the funds were used to establish a branch of the agricultural department in Dahlonega, Georgia which developed into North Georgia College, [22] which in turn became the University of North Georgia after a 2013 merger. The Military Department of the university was abandoned in the years following the Civil War, but its campus at Milledgeville, including the former state capital building, became Georgia Military College.

University of Georgia Historical Marker

20th century

With students limited to white males for the first century of its history, University of Georgia began educating white female students during the summer of 1903. White women were not admitted as full-time undergraduates until 1918. However, at that time only junior college transfers majoring in Home Economics were integrated. [23] Before admission of white women to the university, several white women were able to complete graduate degrees through credit earned during the summer sessions. The first white woman to earn such a degree was Mary Lyndon. She received a Master of Arts degree in 1914. Mary Ethel Creswell earned the first undergraduate degree in June 1919, a B.S. Two UGA dormitories are named after these graduates: Creswell Hall and Mary Lyndon Hall.

The university's dean of the College of Education in 1941, Walter Cocking, was fired by Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge in the Cocking affair. [24]

Racial integration was achieved in 1961, [25] with the admission of Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter after notable tension with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Holmes graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was the first African-American student to attend the Emory University School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. in 1967, later becoming a professor of orthopedics and associate dean at the school. Hunter (later, Hunter-Gault) graduated with a degree in journalism, and had an outstanding career earning several awards including two Emmys and a Peabody for excellence in broadcast journalism.

In 2001, on the fortieth anniversary of their having first registered for classes, the university renamed a prominent campus building in their honor: Holmes-Hunter Academic Building. [26] Although Hunter and Holmes were the first African-American students to matriculate at the university, Mary Frances Early was the first African-American graduate by earning her master's (MMEd) in music education in 1962. In 1963, Chester Davenport became the first African-American admitted to the UGA School of Law and its first African-American graduate ( LL.B. 1966). A decade later, Sharon Tucker was the first female African-American law graduate, earning her J.D. in 1974. [27]

21st century

The east facade entrance of the Hunter-Holmes Academic Building at the University of Georgia

In 2003, the University of Georgia was the only public university in North America with winners of the Rhodes, Marshall, Truman and Goldwater Scholarships in the same year. [15] In 2014-15 the university was among only seven universities nationwide with recipients of all three major national undergraduate scholarships: the Goldwater, Truman and Udall. [28] UGA is ranked fifth among the nation’s universities for the production of Fulbright U.S. Scholars. [29]

As of 2016, 24 UGA students have been named Rhodes Scholars including Eugene T. Booth and Hervey M. Cleckley, with five of the scholarships awarded since 2008. [30] [31]

In 2011-2012, the University of Georgia was one of only four institutions in the U.S. with the maximum of four Goldwater Scholars; one of only two universities with three Udall Scholars, and one of only four universities with at least five Boren Scholars. UGA students also garnered a Marshall Scholarship and 17 Fulbright Scholarship offers, placing the university among the top tier of academic institutions with regard to national awards. A 2016 Marshall Scholar was the sixth UGA student to earn the award since 2003. [32] The Marshall Scholarship is one of the most selective scholarships available to postgraduates.

At the same time, alumni were well represented, as a UGA alumna garnered the coveted MacArthur "Genius" Grant for the second time in three years (Beth Shapiro in 2009 and A.E. Stallings in 2011). More than 40 University of Georgia graduates won national academic scholarship offers in 2011-2012, among them was one Marshall Scholarship, four Goldwater Scholarships, three Udall Scholarships, five Boren Scholarships, 17 Fulbright Scholarships, and 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.

Park Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus

The national college rankings place UGA among the top 16 of all public universities in America and a top 10 best value. [33]

The University of Georgia is designated as a Land-grant, a regional Sun Grant, a National Sea Grant and a National Space Grant university. [34] UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication awards the George Foster Peabody Awards, which are presented annually for excellence in television and radio news, entertainment and children's programming. The university also presents the annual Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which recognizes individuals or groups whose initiatives promote peace and cooperation among cultures and nations. The university has an extensive network of student activities that center around academic, religious, social, political and fraternal organizations.

The university has significantly expanded its program offerings in the recent years. In 2001, two new colleges were created, the College of Environment and Design and the School of Public & International Affairs. In 2005, the College of Public Health was established. In 2007 the Odum School of Ecology was opened, the first standalone college dedicated to the study of ecology and environmental science. In 2010 UGA partnered with the only public medical school in Georgia, the Medical College of Georgia to create the UGA-MCG Medical Partnership, and in the summer of 2012, the College of Engineering was established to consolidate the several engineering programs housed in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and in the Institute of the Faculty of Engineering. The University of Georgia has continued to foster a global community through comprehensive study abroad programs. Open Doors 2015 ranked UGA 11th for most students studying abroad, a jump from 17th in 2012-13. [35] Asian enrollment at the university has increased by 50% since 2005. Hispanic enrollment has increased 8% from 2011 to 2012. [36]

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