President Michael F. Adams on UGA’s most prestigious scholarship programs
Q: From your perspective, how did the gift from Bernard Ramsey in 1996 change the University of Georgia?
A. That gift raised the academic standards of the entire place in a transformative way. The university immediately had the capacity to compete for students of the highest order and to provide them a financial aid package that would draw them to UGA instead of some of the best places in the country.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the biggest advantage to students to have the Foundation Fellowship?
A. The biggest advantage, among many, is the broadening of their view of the world. This comes through the very extensive exposure afforded by the unmatched undergraduate international travel opportunities that come with the fellowship.
In his free time Foundation Fellow Phillip Mote enjoys mountain biking. A junior, Mote spent much of his spring semester studying for the MCAT. He plans to enter medical school once he graduates from UGA in 2011. Here, Motes takes a spin through the trails around Lake Herrick on the UGA campus. Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker
Q: What is the advantage to the state of having prestigious scholarships, such as the Foundation Fellows?
A. It goes without saying, I think, that the state benefits from keeping the best and most creative minds in Georgia, in Georgia. Good students beget other good students. They ultimately provide leadership, build businesses and exhibit an unmatched level of citizenship.
Q: How does the university benefit from a broader Honors program?
A. The more good students an institution attracts the higher the level of academic discourse, the greater the appreciation for intellectual inquiry and the better off the entire student body becomes. The Foundation Fellows and Honors Program students are the kind of students that you build a great university around.
Q: Do you see these programs growing in the future?
A: I see them growing subject to our capacity to raise the money to fund them. As wonderful as the HOPE Scholarship is, it does not provide the extra measure of support, which is often required to attract this quality of student. Success does breed success, and for 50 years now we have built one of the best Honors Programs in America. The entire student body today would likely have qualified for the Honors Program 15 years ago. I see our quality and the demand for quality only continuing to increase.