UGA stakes its claim

B Y - K E N T - H A N N O N
P H O T O S - B Y - T E R R Y - A L L E N

UGA's new 'Beachhead in Buckhead' is a real plus for the 80,000 alumni who live in metro Atlanta

Louisiana State has nothing like it in New Orleans, the University of Michigan has nothing like it in Detroit, and the University of Illinois has nothing like it in Chicago.

The list of major universities without a beachhead in their core urban area goes on and on—but it does not include the University of Georgia.

"We are the envy of virtually every school in the country," says UGA alumni director Dave Muia (AB '74), "because no public university in America has the kind of facility we've just opened in Atlanta."

Located on the second floor of the South Tower in the Atlanta Financial Center (see below) at 3333 Peachtree Road, N.E., and featuring more than 10,000 square feet of modern high-tech office, special-event and meeting space, the UGA Alumni Club & Business Center is dedicated to serving the 80,000 alumni who live in metro Atlanta.

Top of page: The Alumni Club is located in the South Tower of the Atlanta Financial Center, at 3333 Peachtree Rd., N.E. The Buckhead MARTA station is nearby and Lenox Square Mall is only a couple of blocks away. For information on planning an event or meeting, call 404/266-2NAA.

The Alumni Club also serves as a way station for out-of-town alumni who are doing business in Atlanta. And with offices for President Michael F. Adams and Senior Vice President for External Affairs Kathryn Costello, as well as deans and department heads, the Alumni Club enables the University of Georgia to conduct its Atlanta business in campus-like comfort and connectivity—and at the same time become more visible and more involved in the Capital of the New South.

"The University of Georgia has more alumni living in metro Atlanta than Tech has alumni—period," says Trip Martin (BBA '75, MEd '76), president of the GeorgiaLink Public Affairs Group. "But some people have still thought of Athens as our town and Atlanta as theirs. Well, that's all over, now that we have a 'Beachhead in Buckhead.'"

Martin was the chairman of the National Alumni Association's Atlanta Presence Committee that looked into club sites in the metro area. What that committee came up with is truly unique.

The hospitality lounge is a perfect spot to meet friends and business associates. With four computer terminals, it's also a way station for out-of-town Bulldogs who are between flights at Hartsfield. (Inset photos) The touch screens in the lobby show 360-degree views of the UGA campus. President Adams is one of several administrators who has an office at the club. Meeting rooms have plasma monitors and full teleconferencing capabilities.

Designed to serve members of UGA's dues-paying National Alumni Association, the UGA Alumni Club & Business Center has a long list of amenities and technological innovations. Three of its meeting rooms feature 42-inch, wall-mounted, flat-screen monitors and full teleconferencing facilities. Food service is handled by the Buckhead Club, which is located right there in the Atlanta Financial Center. Large-scale functions can be hosted in the spacious ground-level atrium. Alumni Club users get a bird's-eye view of the atrium through the wall of windows in the club's second-floor hospitality lounge—which has four workstations with computer hookups. Parking is available in the financial center deck, and the Buckhead MARTA station is just down the street—making it very convenient to get to the Alumni Club from Hartsfield.

"The Alumni Club is a perfect venue for our highly successful Third Thursday speaker series," says George Benson, dean of UGA's Terry College of Business, whose power breakfasts for Bulldogs doing business in Atlanta were inaugurated last March. "The club is helping our college connect with the business community in ways that weren't possible before. We can't achieve our vision for the Terry College by doing business solely in Athens."

Benson is one of the UGA administrators who maintains an office at the Alumni Club, which will soon have an academic component. "Next spring," says Benson, "we're planning to launch an executive MBA program in the same room where we host Terry Third Thursday. Soon we'll add other non-degree executive programs for the Atlanta business community."

Former NAA president Carl Swearingen says the Alumni Club is even having an effect on parents of UGA students.

"I talked to someone the other day who had just been to the Third Thursday series," says Swearingen. "He wasn't an alum, but he has a child in school at UGA. He said, 'The Alumni Club is amazing, and I'm now convinced that my child made the right choice about where to go to school.'" For information on planning an event at the UGA Alumni Club & Business Center, call 404/266-2NAA.

Top: Jim Donnan and Suzanne Yoculan talk football and gymnastics at the Third Thursday lecture series.
Bottom left: The board room seats 22.
Bottom right: Large-scale functions can be held in the atrium.

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