It’s obvious why Jonathan Arogeti was offered the prestigious honor of delivering the Commencement Address. Between his scholastic honors, his service to others and his commitment to campus activities, Jonathan exemplifies the spirit of UGA.
Riverwood High School
B.A. in History, B.A. in Spanish
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
Almost immediately upon arriving on campus, I joined three organizations that came to frame my experience these past four years. I was honored with membership in the University Judiciary, the student-run judicial organization on campus. I have spent more than three years of active membership, meeting with students and helping them through some difficult times. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I also joined Dawgs for Israel, the university’s pro-Israel student organization. I was honored to serve as co-President and Vice President. While actively involved, I helped plan our annual Israel Day, a day-long celebration of Israel’s achievements in Tate Plaza. I also joined Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity. There, too, I served as Vice Chancellor and Chancellor.
My first year, I was inducted in the Dean William Tate Honor Society. Last year, I was selected for Blue Key Honor Society, and this year, I was selected for Phi Beta Kappa.
During the summer between my second and third years, I studied abroad in Cádiz, Spain with the UGA en España program. I lived and studied in a city in the south of Spain, in a city very similar to Athens. I also wrote a senior Honors thesis, entitled “Bridging the Divide: Henry Aaron Alexander (1874-1967) and the Atlanta Jewish Community” with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. I was also fortunate enough to be selected to work as an Honors Teaching Assistant for three years. Lastly, I also was invited on CNN Saturday Morning with T.J. Holmes for a student panel entitled, “Voices of Youth on Race”.
Family Ties to UGA:
My grandmother attended the University of Georgia in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and my mother was here in the late 1970s.
I chose to attend UGA because…
...of the opportunities through the Honors Program. I was also offered an incredible opportunity through the Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship, and could not turn down the opportunity to be a part of a small program in a large research university. It also goes without saying that the city of Athens played a role in my decision; there is no better college town in the country.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
...eat at Snelling (even though I have not done so since I got off the meal plan), attend a baseball game, or walk through the Founder’s Garden
The craziest thing I've done is…
...took six months away from Athens during my third year and moved to Washington, DC for a job that I had just accepted four days prior. I moved to a city where I knew very few people for a job for which I was not sure I was qualified. At the end of my time there, I realized it was both one of the scariest and most fulfilling experiences I have ever had.
My favorite place to study is…
... the reading room in the Miller Learning Center. This is quite possibly the quietest place on campus, and the large plush and wooden furniture gives a certain regalness befitting the collegiate experience of studying.
My favorite professor is…
...Dr. Scott Weintraub in the Romance Language department. I took a class with him during my first year on campus, and decided I had to take another course with him later in college. My relationship with Dr. Weintraub shows how this university fosters confidence in its students and faculty. He truly views his students as equals, and spends his time ensuring that his students learn something from him. This question is incredibly hard to answer because I equally enjoyed my time with Dr. John Inscoe in the History department. I first enrolled in one of Dr. Inscoe’s courses only in my third year, but he agreed to guide my research this past year. He has held me to high standard, which similarly shows how the university has faculty that value the work of their undergraduate students.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
... my grandfather. He passed during my first year on campus, and although I have the fortune of have my three other grandparents still alive, I wish I could just have one more day with him.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
...pass on a safer world to my children than the world that my parents passed to me. Sometimes, people are too short-sighted and think too much of the present. We should, at least partly, devote some of our time and our actions where we might, in the short term, sacrifice, but in the end, those that come after us will have it easier.
After graduation, I plan to…
... move to Washington, DC for a communications fellowship with the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
..the 2007 Georgia-Georgia Tech game. This was my first Georgia-Georgia Tech game, and I’ll never forget celebrating a great win with friends sitting right above the Tech students’ section.