Chartered by the Georgia General Assembly Jan. 27, 1785, in Savannah, the University of Georgia is America’s first state-chartered university and the birthplace of the American system of public higher education.
Two men who were leaders of the early University of Georgia also signed the United States Constitution. Abraham Baldwin, who wrote UGA’s charter and was the institution’s first president, and William Few, a member of the Board of Trustees, signed the Constitution on behalf of Georgia at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787.
Jere W. Morehead (JD ’80) is the University of Georgia’s 22nd president, taking office on July 1, 2013.
The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication administers the Peabody Awards program, often cited as the most prestigious award in electronic media. The Peabody archives, housed at UGA, contain some of the best radio and television programs produced in the last six decades.
The Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology, the first stand-alone academic school in the world devoted specifically to the study of ecology, began operation at UGA on July 1, 2007. Named for the late UGA professor who pioneered the modern study of ecology.
Among public universities, the University of Georgia is one of the nation’s top producers of Rhodes Scholars over the past two decades. UGA is also home to hundreds of major scholarship winners, including:
- 24 Rhodes Scholars,
- 7 Gates Cambridge Scholars,
- 7 Marshall Scholars,
- 60 Goldwater Scholars,
- 21 Truman Scholars,
- 18 Udall Scholars,
- 56 Boren Scholars,
- 143 Fulbright Student Scholars,
- 5 Schwarzman Scholars, and
- 3 Mitchell Scholars.
The University of Georgia continues to be one of the best values in public higher education in the nation. Top value and low debt at graduation earned UGA the ranking 16th on Kiplinger Magazine’s list of 100 best values among public colleges and universities.
The Richard B. Russell Special Collections Libraries is a 115,000-square-foot facility housing the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and the Peabody Awards Collection.
The Georgia Museum of Art, located on the university’s campus, is the official state museum of art.
Bernard Ramsey (BS ’37), who died in July of 1996, was UGA’s most generous benefactor. His contributions to the University totaled nearly $45 million, including an $18.8 million bequest. The Bernard B. and Eugenia A. Ramsey Student Physical Activities Center is named for Mr. Ramsey and his late wife.
The Terry College of Business is named for alumnus C. Herman Terry, who died in June 1998, and his wife, Mary Virginia Terry. Mr. and Mrs. Terry provided a $6 million gift that allowed the college to establish an endowment that supports outstanding business college faculty members and provides scholarships for top business students.
The university’s Small Business Development Center was established in 1977 as one of the first such programs in the country. The program annually provides hundreds of small businesses and prospective entrepreneurs with counseling, management training, continuing education, alumni networking and advocacy.
In addition to its status as a land-grant institution, the university is one of 30 institutions in the U.S. to be designated a Sea Grant College. The University in 1980 became the 15th institution to attain Sea Grant status—a recognition of excellence in marine research, education and advisory services.
Public Service and Outreach is central to the University’s mission, spearheading UGA’s extensive outreach efforts through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, the Archway Partnership, the Small Business Development Center, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, the Office of Service-Learning and UGA Marine Extension/Georgia Sea Grant, reaching all 159 counties and more than 500 cities.