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12.24.2012

Happy Holidays From the UGA Alumni Association

By now, most students have exchanged their Ramen noodles, late-night study sessions and blue books for a little R&R under the close watch of family members and home-cooked meals.

The UGA Alumni Association staff members and I will join them tomorrow by spending a few days away from the office with loved ones. We will return on Tuesday, January 2, ready to kick off what is sure to be an exciting year in 2013.

This is the time of year when a number of “Top 10” lists are released. Every newspaper, TV show and blog seems to have its own list documenting the previous year or preparing for the next one. Not to be outdone, here are ten of my favorite UGA Alumni Association memories from 2012 (in no specific order):

1.      Meeting Graduates

Nothing excites me more than meeting new alumni and interacting with old acquaintances. I look forward to seeing you at a 2013 UGA Alumni Association event if I haven’t already. All graduates of UGA are automatically members of the Alumni Association and therefore welcome to attend any of our special events in Athens, Atlanta, and across the country.

2.     Founders Week

Every year, the UGA Alumni Association and the UGA Emeriti Scholars sponsor the Founders’ Day Lecture to celebrate the University's birthday which is January 27. Dr. Betty Jean Craige presented the 10th Annual Founders Day Lecture this past year. Mark your calendars now for the 11th Annual Founders Week.

3.     Women of UGA

This program connects female UGA graduates for networking and socializing in their area. We held a number of these successful events in 2012 and will host many more in the coming year. Stay tuned to the Women of UGA webpage and Facebook page for upcoming events.

4.     Alumni Leadership Assembly

Each year, UGA Alumni Chapter volunteers gather for a fun-filled weekend in Athens. The 2012 attendees learned new things about UGA, toured new facilities on campus, and spent time with students and other chapter leaders.  I hope to see those chapter leaders return for the 2013 Alumni Leadership Assembly and a number of new leaders as well.

5.     DawgTrot

Hundreds of alumni and friends come together at Stegeman Coliseum each spring for Athens’ largest 5k. Here are last year’s winners. Register now for the 2013 DawgTrot on March 16. Not a runner? Volunteer instead!

6.     Bulldog 100

The Bulldog 100 recognizes the 100 fastest growing businesses that are owned or operated by UGA Alumni. jobTopia CEO Anthony Moore ’93 was honored with the No. 1 fastest growing Bulldog Business in 2012. Here is the complete list for 2013–who will be No. 1? Join us on Saturday, January 26, to find out.

7.     Chapter Gatherings

While UGA graduates are spread across the globe, they still enjoy connecting with other alumni for Bulldog Breakfast Clubs, Women of UGA luncheons, Dinners with a Dozen Dawgs, Bulldogs After Business Hours, game watching parties, and other networking events. Collectively, chapters hosted several hundred gatherings in 2012. Check out your local chapter’s webpage for updates on events near you.

8.    Student Alumni Council

I already shared my appreciation for the Student Alumni Council in a previous blog post, but these student leaders always bring a smile to my face. They do an amazing job acting as liaison between the UGA Alumni Association and the student body. I look forward to seeing them back on campus in 2013.

9.     UGA Days

During these events across the country, UGA alumni and friends get the inside scoop on the Georgia Bulldogs’ upcoming seasons, hear the latest news from the university, and learn more about alumni chapter activities. In 2012, we hosted UGA Days in cities such as Macon, Tampa, Charlotte, and Birmingham. Stay tuned for the cities we’ll be visiting in 2013!

10.    40 Under 40

The UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 recognizes UGA graduates who are leading the way in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors. Congratulations to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2012. We look forward to celebrating next year’s class.

As you can tell, it was a busy year. I look forward to an even busier one in 2013! 

Until then, I wish you and your family the best. I hope your holiday season is filled with joy and rest. Go Dawgs!

Happy Holidays,

Deborah Dietzler

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02.09.2016

Building a welcoming and supportive campus community

Launched during the 2015 Homecoming Weekend in October, UGA Black Alumni is the official affinity group for black graduates of the University of Georgia. Similar to the Women of UGA program, UGA Black Alumni exists underneath the umbrella of the UGA Alumni Association and seeks to connect black alumni and students.

Each year, UGA enrolls an increasingly diverse student population and it is important to connect alumni and students with shared experiences to continue building a welcoming and supportive campus community. 

“As a student and an alumna, one thing I felt was missing from my UGA experience was the presence and mentorship of UGA alumni who looked like me. In 2008, I saw the first Black Alumni Homecoming Tailgate on Myers Quad and was full of emotion,” said Ambre Reed (BSFCS ’09), a member of the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council. “The creation of UGA Black Alumni and its Black Alumni Leadership Council is so important to our community. Becoming involved was a no-brainer for me.” 

The mission of UGA Black Alumni is five-fold: recruit black students, faculty and staff; support black students to completion of a degree program; engage current students and alumni by mentoring and professional development; ‘friendraising’ and fundraising for UGA needs; and serve as UGA ambassadors in the community and to fellow Bulldogs 

Raymond Phillips (BS ’12), another member of the UGA Black Alumni Leadership Council says that groups like UGA Black Alumni and Women of UGA send an important message to the university community, as well as prospective students.

“The time and resources the university is investing into UGA Black Alumni demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion,” he said. “This investment shows there is a place for everyone at UGA, regardless of one’s race, gender or age.”

Reed echoed this message.

“The creation of UGA Black Alumni sends the message that the university not only sees diversity as an asset while on campus, but after graduation, too,” she said.

Serving as an ambassador for UGA, a key part of the group’s mission, involves activities like participating in Give That Dawg a Bone, a card-writing campaign in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, which invites alumni to write notes to accepted students, encouraging them to call UGA home for the next four years.

Members of UGA Black Alumni also are invited to attend information sessions and recruitment fairs throughout the year, where they can educate talented black high school students about UGA, its traditions and culture.

Reed admits that as a high school student, she never considered attending UGA. It was not until a black recruiter visited her high school in metro Atlanta and spoke about UGA with passion and pride that she realized it could be a place that she, a black student, could feel accepted and comfortable.

The services that are now a core part of UGA Black Alumni are what helped recruit Ambre and are what will help recruit more talented and diverse students in the future.

Another key component of UGA Black Alumni is raising funds for the Black Alumni Scholarship, which supports up to four students a year. Charles Orgbon III, a member of the Class of 2017 and recipient of the Black Alumni Scholarship, is CEO of Greening Forward, one of America’s largest youth-driven environmental organizations. It is talented students like Orgbon, who are supported by the important work of UGA Black Alumni, that are helping to further cement UGA’s reputation as a top-tier public institution.

The UGA Alumni Association is proud to support UGA Black Alumni as it continues to engage the university’s more than 288,000 alumni around the world.

To learn more about UGA Black Alumni, visit www.alumni.uga.edu/blackalumni.

Interested in joining Ambre and Raymond on the Black Alumni Leadership Council? Click here.

To support students like Charles Orgbon III and other recipients of the Black Alumni Scholarship, click here

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02.03.2016

Alumnus Spotlight: Peter Conlon (BBA '75)

One of the biggest attractions to the Atlanta music scene is its annual music festival, Music Midtown. From mainstream pop artists to rising rock bands, Music Midtown offers the crowds that gather performances from a wide variety of artists. For Peter Conlon (BBA '75), one of two founders of the festival and president of Peter Conlon Presents, this was the overall goal: to create an event fit for attendees of all music tastes and genres.

Conlon graduated from Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in international business in 1975. During his four years as an undergraduate student, he was a member of University Union where he first began booking rock concerts that featured artists such as Jethro Tull and the Allman Brothers. He attended law school for a short period of time after graduation, but then took a risk and dropped out to work as an intern for the Carter presidential campaign, a risk that ended up paying off through a victory.

Peter continued to work for Jimmy Carter throughout his presidential term. His position required that he help set up benefit concerts for the president. In 1982, Conlon partnered with Alex Cooley to begin his career in the music industry.

Music Midtown at Piedmont Park

After working many years booking concerts, the pair founded Music Midtown in 1994, inspired by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After having to pull the plug on the event in 2005 due to low sales, the festival was reintroduced in 2011 and now takes up several stages across Piedmont Park, hosts more than 30 different artists, and attracts attendees from all over the nation. Moreover, since the festival’s relaunch, it has generated $50 million for the local economy each year.

Congratulations to Peter and best wishes for the continued success of Music Midtown! 

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02.01.2016

Alumna Spotlight: Devin Clower (BFA ’08)

Anyone family with downtown Athens and its eclectic variety of shops is surely familiar with Frontier. Since opening nearly 20 years ago, the store has connected local artists with community members by providing a venue for them to showcase and sell their work. 

UGA alumna Devin Clower (BFA '08) took ownership of the store three years ago. Her background in interior design helped her with the introduction of custom framing and redesigning the store layout.

The store’s motto, “All for the heart and home,” is reflected in the unique gifts that you can find at the store. Devin has worked hard to fulfill the motto, and through her leadership, the store has grown into a local favorite.

Congratulations on your hard work, Devin!

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