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, Pa., 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 Awards recognize excellence, distinguished achievement and meritorious service by radio and television networks, stations, cable television organizations, producing organizations and individuals. 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, the school is UGA’s 16th academic school or college.
UGA's College of Engineering was established July 1, 2012, becoming the University's 17th academic school or college. Providing a fundamental engineering education in a liberal arts environment, the College of Engineering offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Biological Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
UGA has had 23 students named Rhodes Scholars in its history.
The University of Georgia is a national leader among public universities in the numbers of major scholarships earned by our students. Since 1995, UGA has produced eight Rhodes Scholars, five Gates Cambridge Scholars, five Marshall Scholars, three Mitchell Scholars, 49 Goldwater Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, and 12 Udall Scholars. 49 UGA students were offered Fulbright Scholarships in the past four years. The Chronicle of Higher Education lists the University of Georgia as one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright students by type of institution.
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 10th-place status on Kiplinger Magazine’s 2014 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, consisting of 19th and 20th century American paintings; American, European and Asian works on paper; the Samuel H. Kress Study Collection of Italian Renaissance paintings; and a growing collection of Southern decorative arts.
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 UGA libraries have established the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame to recognize authors for their contributions to the state’s literary heritage. Two writers, living or deceased, are chosen annually for induction into the Hall. Among the first members: Margaret Mitchell, Martin Luther King Jr., Flannery O’Conner, Sidney Lanier, W.E.B. DuBois, Jimmy Carter, Pat Conroy, James Dickey, and Terry Kay.
The University is a co-sponsor of the Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators, one of the few programs of its kind conducted by a higher education institution in the U.S. The institute provides orientation for new members of the Georgia General Assembly, and offers programs on major issues and policy questions for incumbent legislators.
The Georgia Review, the university’s quarterly literary journal, features works by many of the nation’s most acclaimed authors, and has won numerous awards including a National Magazine Award in Fiction and a National Magazine Award in Essays.
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 Georgia Center for Continuing Education, the Office of Service-Learning and UGA Marine Extension/Georgia Sea Grant, reaching all 159 counties and more than 500 cities.
The first Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the state of Georgia was founded at UGA in 1914. Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization in America. Only 270 colleges and universities have a chapter.d the birthplace of the American system of public higher education.