I am so honored to be the new UGA Alumni Association president. But I must admit it's going to be a difficult task following in the footsteps of past presidents Trey Paris ’84, ’85, and Vic Sullivan '80, my immediate predecessor. I want to publicly thank them for their unselfish service to the University.
During the last three to four years, the Alumni Association has initiated some great new programs. The very successful Bulldog 100 program, in which we annually recognize the top 100 companies owned or managed by UGA alumni, leads the way. We partnered with the UGA Athletic Association to bring the newly-created UGA Days to several key cities across Georgia and the South last spring.
We also have launched our latest signature program, the 40 Under 40. This new initiative, which recognizes our 40 best and brightest young alums under the age of 40, is designed to honor graduates who are doing great things early-on in their careers, both in and out of the workplace. We will celebrate our first class at a September 15 luncheon in Atlanta.
I hope to continue in the proud tradition that my other predecessors have built. I see my position as one of engagement with my fellow UGA grads. Cultivating a strong and loyal spirit to the University among our alumni undoubtedly inures to the benefit of the 34,000 members of our current student body.
Since 1996, we've had seven Rhodes Scholars, while, during that same period of time, Virginia had four, Emory three, Ga. Tech two, and Florida and Vanderbilt, each, had only one. Without question, UGA is one of America's great public universities, and the enthusiastic support of its alumni has been essential in helping to bring this about. Our continuing priority and that of the University is to provide our current students with the best educational opportunities possible.
While our focus is always on our current students, a strong alumni group can also benefit the alums, themselves. Staying connected with our beloved University and building and maintaining a network of UGA friends is a benefit, in itself.
I know that I would not be where I am today had I not had the support of my fellow alums. It was a truly a humbling experience when, at my swearing-in as a United States District Court Judge last May, I looked out and saw so many people from the university community in attendance. Supporting the Alumni Association is a way that I can try to give something back to an institution and a group of people who have done so much for me.
In short, I am excited about serving as your Alumni Association president for the next two years. If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I look forward to meeting you soon at an upcoming alumni event. Go Dogs!
-Steve Jones, President
UGA Alumni Association