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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 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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True and loyal be.


Alma Mater, thee we'll honor,

True and loyal be,

Ever crowned with praise and glory,

Georgia, hail to thee.


So goes the chorus of the University of Georgia Alma Mater. Words we proudly sing before football games and commencement ceremonies. Do we ever stop to reflect on their meaning?

Today is #GivingTuesday, a national day of philanthropy. Many spent Friday filling shopping bags with gifts, shopping local on Saturday, and scouring the internet for deals yesterday. Today is the first day of December and a symbolic beginning to the season of giving. Let us not forget the individuals and organizations that depend on our generosity to thrive.

UGA can sometimes be forgotten as a nonprofit worthy of that generosity. Tuition and state dollars do not fully fund the research, service and teaching that takes at the university; private giving closes the gap. Those donations fund scholarships for students who cannot afford to attend UGA (even with the HOPE Scholarship), incredible facilities to house endless hours of studying and teaching, events to promote networking and career exploration, and much more!

Today, UGA reminds you to keep it in mind when making your end-of-year gifts – no matter their size. Because when it comes to our alma mater, we hail to thee.


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UGA honors The Coca-Cola Foundation for its support of academics

UGA recently honored The Coca-Cola Foundation for its legacy of supporting academics at the state's flagship institution of higher education.

In an on-field presentation before the Nov. 21 football game, Coca-Cola representatives-Kirk Glaze, director of community partnerships; Gene Rackley (BBA '90), director of federal government relations; and Scott Williamson (MMC '92), vice president of public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola North America-were recognized by UGA officials for The Coca-Cola Foundation's most recent gift of $1 million.

The money will provide additional funding for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars Program. UGA President Jere W. Morehead (JD '80), Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Kelly Kerner and Coca-Cola First-Generation Scholars Angel Hogg '18 and Michael Williams '18 joined the representatives from Coca-Cola to accept the gift on behalf of the university.

"We are immensely grateful for the continued support of one of our state's pre-eminent corporate partners," Morehead said. "Coca-Cola's generosity is providing vital support for deserving students from Georgia who are seeking to become the first in their families to earn a college degree." Continue reading.

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Alumna Spotlight: Emily Scofield (MS '99)

Emily Scofield (MS '99) published her first book, Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World, in April. The book is the first in a series of adventures Scofield is writing to educate children about environmental awareness. Scofield is the executive director for the U.S. Green Building Council's North Carolina Chapter. She leads members, volunteers and staff members across the state to promote sustainable construction practices under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. In the past few years, she has been named to the UGA Alumni Association's 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, and was a Charlotte Top Woman in Business in 2014.

Scofield lives in North Carolina with her husband, Tom, and their two children. She is an avid volunteer in the community working with organizations such as the American Heart Association, Providence United Methodist Church, Calvary Child Development Center, Communities in Schools and Habitat for Humanity.

Coco & Dean: Explorers of the World takes readers on three adventures with Coco and Dean. Readers learn how to conserve resources, the benefits of recycling and the importance of keeping oceans clean. Scofield exposes complex topics like ‘carbon footprints’ and ‘renewable resources' through each adventure. Not only is the reader engaged in learning about these topics in the story, there are study questions and links to environmental organizations in each chapter. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of this Bulldog and the work she is doing to improve the world around her! 

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