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11.09.2012

UGA’s Fanning Institute gets a new name, announces new director Matt Bishop ’99, ’12

The University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute is being renamed to better communicate its mission under new leadership, according to Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum. Effective December 1, the Public Service and Outreach unit’s name will be restored to the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Matt Bishop, currently with UGA’s Archway Partnership, will become the institute’s new director. Fanning’s mission will focus on leadership development and specifically developing leaders who can implement sustainable solutions to community challenges.

Frum announced the realignment of the Fanning Institute’s mission and Bishop’s appointment at a Leadership Georgia board meeting in Athens on Nov. 8. The restoration of Leadership Development to the organization’s name signals a renewal of the Fanning Institute’s focus as the namesake of J.W. Fanning, UGA’s first vice president for services and founder of Leadership Georgia, according to Frum.

As the new director of the organization, Bishop will guide development of new goals and refocused programming to accomplish its mission. Bishop is currently a public service associate and coordinator of operations for the Archway Partnership. His 10-year career with UGA includes serving as faculty with the Fanning Institute and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and faculty coordinator for UGA’s Initiative on Poverty and the Economy. In addition, his public service career has included serving as associate director of the Governor’s Rural Development Council and regional resource coordinator for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. He also served as a budget analyst for the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.   

In addition to his professional experience, Bishop has been highly active in Leadership Georgia since 2008.  He and his wife, Natalie’08, were chosen to be program chairs in 2009, and he is currently serving a three-year term as a trustee on Leadership Georgia’s board. He holds a master of public administration and a doctor of philosophy in public administration and policy from UGA.

Please join me in congratulating Matt on his new position with the University. His service to UGA and the community is a source of pride for everyone at the Alumni Association. I look forward to continued achievements from the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Go Dawgs!

CLICK HERE, for the full press release. 

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Recent Entries


04.22.2014

Longtime UGA supporter hangs his “Gone Fishing” sign

William “Dink” H. NeSmith, Jr. (ABJ ’70) is one of the most passionate Bulldogs you will meet. A 1970 graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, NeSmith is co-owner and publisher of Athens-based Community Newspaper, Inc., which publishes dozens of newspapers in Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. As if his professional responsibilities didn’t keep him busy enough, NeSmith, a self-admitted “joiner,” has dedicated as much (if not more) of his free time to higher education.The list of his past university volunteer roles is unparalleled:

  -  chairman of Grady's advisory board and president of its alumni board;

  -  chairman of the board of directors of the Fanning Leadership Institute;

  -  chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation;

  -  member of the Athletic Association Board of Directors; and

  -  trustee of the UGA Foundation

In addition, NeSmith is a past president of the UGA Alumni Association and served from 2003 to 2005. He could always be counted on to support his alma mater, and his leadership was surely a factor in UGA’s rise to a top 20 public institution of higher education.

In 2008, Gov. Sonny Perdue asked NeSmith to join the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. Five years later, he was serving as chairman of the 18-person governing board for USG. Only the third Athenian to fill this position, NeSmith recently concluded his term as chairman.

Reflecting on a lifetime of professional and philanthropic endeavors, NeSmith recently penned a short piece about his readiness to enjoy his greatest accomplishment: his family. The alumnus is surrounded by an ever-growing swath of Bulldog Faithful: his wife, Pam (BSHE ’71); three children, Alan (BSA ’04), Emily (AB ’99) and Eric (ABJ ’02); and seven grandsons. Upon the birth of each grandchild, NeSmith proudly gave them each a lifetime membership with the UGA Alumni Association. Although the Alumni Association is no longer dues-based, the NeSmith family boasts an impressive 15 lifetime members!

Read more about NeSmith’s transition to “grandpa time” here. This is one alumnus who has certainly earned the right to hang his “Gone Fishing” sign on the door. Thank you for your continued support, Dink, and your fine leadership in many areas across campus and the state.

Dink NeSmith is a regular contributor to the Athens Banner-Herald; read more of his pieces here.

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04.21.2014

McCall Wilder Designs offers timeless clothing options for children

McCall Wilder (ABJ '92) was having trouble locating the perfect outfit for her first baby's Christening. After an usuccessful search, the alumna decided to take matters into her own hands and create her own elegant and timeless clothing pieces for children. And so, in 2001, McCall Wilder Designs was established.

Wilder grew up in Athens with dreams of designing and pursuing journalism. She attended Hollins College in Virginia before transferring to UGA to study broadcast news in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduating, Wilder interned and worked for CNN in Atlanta, taking part in the launch of CNN.com, the Internet’s first news site. She remained at CNN as a writer and producer until 1999.

Wilder’s “Baby McCall line” of heirloom gowns and special occasion outfits was only available by appointment until May 2008, when the first McCall Wilder Couture for Children Boutique & Atelier opened in the heart of Atlanta. The Baby McCall and McCall Wilder Designs lines now include more than 50 different styles, from crib bedding to dresses for teens and women.

Congratulations on your successful business venture, McCall. Your clothes and other products are simply beautiful.

Stay up-to-date on news and design ideas through the McCall Wilder Designs Facebook page.

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04.18.2014

UGA alum leads Nasa team on the precipice of discovery

Above is an illustration of UGA-1785, the first star system to be named after a university.

Roger Hunter (BS ’78) is hoping to answer one of humanity’s greatest questions: can life exist on other planets? Hunter and the NASA Kepler team aim to expand the census of planets and alter our understanding of our place in the Milky Way galaxy. In the five years the Kepler telescope has been in orbit, the team has confirmed 961 additional planets in our solar system.

Hunter has kept a strong relationship with the university over the years. While many Bulldogs show their Georgia pride with car tags and coffee mugs, Hunter honored his alma mater by naming a planetary system UGA-1785.

This year, the Kepler team was awarded with the Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy by the National Space Club. The award is given annually to those who have made the most impact on space activities.

Congratulations on the award, Roger! We cannot wait to see what you and your team will find!

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