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05.16.2013

Spotlight on the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities & Arts

The UGA Willson Center for Humanities & Arts is a showcase for faculty innovation and achievement. It facilitates intellectual exchange with the University and the public by the encouragement of interdisciplinary activity, which extends to the sciences and other orders of knowledge.

The Center is named for Jane Willson, the owner of Sunnyland Farms, Inc., the largest mail-order pecan business in the country, and her late husband Harry Willson, who was the chairman and CEO of Sunnyland Farms before his death in 2004.

The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts was founded as the Humanities Center in 1987 and named thereafter the Center for Humanities and Arts (1997) and the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts (2005).

The Center coordinates a number of wonderful programs, including today’s special event with Ambassador James A. Joseph titled “Leadership as a Way of Being: Reflections on Nelson Mandela, Servant Leadership and Personal Renewal.” Joseph was the U.S. ambassador to South Africa from 1995 to 1999, the only person in that office to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela. He served in the administrations of four presidents of the United States.

If you aren’t acquainted with the Willson Center, I encourage you to visit its website at www.willson.uga.edu to learn more about upcoming events. Our University is blessed to have such an incredible resource on campus – another reason it’s great to be a Georgia Bulldog!

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09.02.2014

Sounds of the Classic City

Anyone that has spent a significant amount of time in Athens, GA knows that the music scene is absolutely incredible. Every night there are dozens of venues brimming with talented performers and their fans, playing songs from nearly every genre. Although many of these musicians have lived in the Classic City for a very long time, some of them are here for an education, playing their music while studying at UGA. The university has produced a number of notable musicians over the course of its history. While known for groups like R.E.M. and Neutral Milk Hotel, many other distinguished alumni have also made their mark on the national music scene. 

Bill Anderson (ABJ '59) is a country music sensation that has produced thirty-six top ten hits on the country music charts. Beyond his music career, Anderson had two major appearances as a television game show host for “The Better Sex” and “Fandango." He is also a published author with his autobiography “Whisperin’ Bill."

Luke Tan (AB ’01, BS '01) is the founder of the Asheville Tango Orchestra which he directs today. He is a country music singer and songwriter that began performing in Athens, GA under the name “Racecar." He has also had a number of successful podcasts and radio shows.

Raymond Hughes (AB '74) worked as the Chorus Master of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1991 to 2007. He began his career as a conductor in 2007 at Carnegie Hall and currently works as director of the Thomasville Singers. 

Parker Gispert (AB '07) (right) and Julian Dorio (BS '04) (left) are two thirds of The Whigs, a popular garage band that began in 2002. The Whigs are still touring today and have accompanied artists such as The Killers, Franz Ferdinand and Drive By Truckers on tour. 

  

Charles Kelley (BBA '04) has recently made headlines as a founding member of the Grammy award-winning country music band Lady Antebellum. Kelley has co-written the majority of the band’s songs and has helped other famous artists including Luke Bryant and Miranda Lambert to write some of their most recent hits. 

Another one of UGA’s big claims to fame in the music industry is the post-punk band Pylon which achieved a huge amount of recognition on the national front after opening for U2. Michael Lachowski (BFA '79) (bottom right) played bass, Curtis Crowe (BFA '84) (top right) played drums and Vanessa Briscoe (BFA '78) was the lead singer of this influential Athens group.

  

The University of Georgia produces a huge number of talented musicians each year that go on to perform in orchestras, symphonies and other more conventional venues across the globe. However, every once in a while a few students become stars in the contemporary music world and bring a taste of the Athens music scene to homes all around the United States. With any luck, you can go see the next radio sensation downtown on any given night, waiting to be discovered. 

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08.29.2014

Official 2014 Game Watching Parties

Saturdays Between the Hedges are here and it's time to cheer for the Bulldogs with fellow alumni, friends and fans from your local chapter of the UGA Alumni Association!

UGA Alumni Association chapters will be hosting game watching parties at more than 60 official locations throughout the 2014 football season. Whether you're reuniting with old college pals, looking to get back in touch with the university, traveling or new to a city, game watching parties are the perfect way to bring a little bit of Athens into your life.

Dust off your red and black, practice your Dawg bark and get ready to cheer for the boys in the Silver Britches.

Click here for detailed information about official chapter game watching parties.

Go Dawgs!

  

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08.26.2014

Five questions with wedding planner Maren Clarke White (AB ‘09)

Maren Clarke White (AB ’09) may be Athens-bred, but she is taking the Golden Isles by storm, one wedding at a time. After growing up in Athens and graduating from UGA with a degree in English, Maren packed her bags for St. Simons Island to work with the Sea Island Company’s esteemed wedding planning team.

Maren has been with the Sea Island Company for over four years and currently serves as the company’s wedding manager. As the wedding manager at this exclusive 5-Star Resort, Maren has the opportunity to plan high-end wedding events for an elite group of clients. Throughout her time at Sea Island, Maren has planned over 200 weddings and events and has worked with celebrity planners and couples. Maren will always hold Athens and her alma mater close to her heart as she is the daughter of Rebecca White, Dean of UGA’s School of Law, and Dan White, Director of Production at UGA’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and sister to Brendan White (JD ’11), a 2011 graduate of UGA’s School of Law.

Recently, Margaret Sullivan (BSFCS ’11, MA ’12) had the opportunity to catch up with this outstanding alumna. Read below to find out more about Maren’s amazing career.

How did you get into the wedding planning business?  

My first job after college was at a boutique hotel, and my favorite part of the job was working on weddings and events. So when I saw the opening for a wedding coordinator at Sea Island, I knew that was the right move for me.

What advice do you have for others wanting to get into wedding planning?

Planning weddings, particularly at a resort like Sea Island, is in many ways a glamorous job. But what many people don’t realize about wedding planning is that you must be highly focused, able to pay close attention to detail, be very organized, able to adapt quickly to changes, as well as being able to think creatively and stylishly. And you need to be prepared for some blistered feet from long wedding days!

How did your time at UGA prepare you for your career?

As an English major at UGA, I learned the true strength of written and verbal communication. I have found this knowledge to be vital in communicating with my brides. Every bride has her own vision, and through words we find a way to translate her dreams into reality!

Have you planned many weddings for your friends or other fellow UGA alumni?

We do have a number of UGA alumni weddings, and that is always special to me! While I may not have known some of my UGA brides in college, they become fast friends during the planning process due to having UGA in common with one another! Sea Island’s wedding clientele comes from throughout the entire country, not just the southeast.

What’s your favorite wedding tradition?

When the groom first sees the bride.  It brings tears to my eyes every time.

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