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06.26.2013

Alumna shows that hard work can get you anywhere – even the mayor’s office

Over the years, I have heard a number of motivational stories about UGA graduates. Recently, I came across a profile online of Dr. Evelyn Wynn-Dixon (MSW ’95). Wynn-Dixon is the current mayor of the City of Riverdale in Georgia’s Clayton County, but this alumna didn’t follow the typical path to political office.

Wynn-Dixon graduated with honors from high school and was set to begin her college career at Fort Valley State University when she became pregnant. She was forced to drop out of school and relinquish her scholarship. Shortly after Wynn-Dixon returned home, her mother passed away. Wynn-Dixon was left to care for a six-month-old baby on her own.

To avoid the social stigma of being a single mother, Wynn-Dixon married the father of her child. After having three more children together, the man walked out on the family. Once again, Wynn-Dixon was left to raise her children alone.

Wynn-Dixon spiraled down a path of despair and couldn’t snap herself out of it. A vision of her mother helped bring her out of the haze and she realized she was being selfish. She knew she needed to recover, and to do that, she needed an education.

The alumna approached her education in steps, first earning an associate degree, later a Bachelor of Science, and finally her Masters of Social Work from UGA in 1995. She was 46 at the time. Wynn-Dixon later completed a doctorate in public health.

After receiving her doctorate, she built a successful career as a Grady Hospital case worker and eventually became a hospice director. In 2007, Wynn-Dixon ran to be mayor of the City of Riverdale – and won. Through her first and second terms, her focus has been on rebuilding and rebranding the community. Known as the “Mama of the City,” Wynn-Dixon has been instrumental in establishing many important organizations and youth programs in the area.

Thank you, Evelyn, for sharing your story with the world. Your path to success is remarkable and I wish you the very best in the future. You are a fine example of a Bulldog and we are proud to call you a University of Georgia graduate!

Information for this blog was sourced from here.

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Recent Entries


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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04.17.2014

Thank a Donor Day is today!

Thank A Donor Day

Did you know that UGA’s first donation was 633 acres of land from John Milledge? This land later became the site of our beloved University of Georgia. To celebrate private donations, the Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship, in partnership with the Student Alumni Council, is hosting the third annual Thank a Donor Day today from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Tate Student Center Plaza. During this annual event, students will have the opportunity to express their donor appreciation in a variety of ways.

Students are invited to write personalized thank you notes, sign a large thank you card and/or create video and photo messages of gratitude. These messages will be combined and shared in the coming weeks with donors near and far (click here to view last year's video). UGA "student celebrities" will be part of the event, too! Expect to see "Big Man on Campus" Rance Nix, Miss UGA Adeline Kenerly, the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, Hairy Dawg and more.

Thank a Donor Day educates the UGA community about the importance of private giving and offers students opportunities to thank donors for their generosity and encourage a culture of philanthropy at UGA. 

Follow along with the day's activities via the Thank a Donor Day Instagram accountFacebook page and Twitter handle. Students, be sure to stop by to express your gratitude - and receive some free giveaways. See you  there!

Update: Click here to view photos from this year's Thank a Donor Day!

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04.15.2014

2014 UGA Day Tour

The 2014 UGA Day Tour is launching tomorrow with its first stop in Greenville, S.C. For the past three years, the UGA Day Tour has brought administrators and coaches to more than 26 cities across the country. This year's stops include: Greenville, S.C.; Gainesville, Ga.; Dalton, Ga.; Orlando, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Albany, Ga.; Houston, Texas; Tifton, Ga.; Augusta, Ga.; Columbus, Ga.; Macon, Ga.; and Gwinnett County, Ga. Will YOU be there to join in the fun?

Each stop on the tour will feature one administrator and two athletic coaches. The program includes updates on UGA's latest research initiatives, athletic teams and the Class of 2018. On top of that, attendees will enjoy delicious food in each city and enjoy the opportunity to mix and mingle will fellow Bulldog Faithful.

Put on your red and black and practice your Dawg bark because, in the next few weeks, UGA will be coming to a city near you. It’s not too late to join the tradition; click here for more information about each stop on the tour.

The UGA Day program is a collaboration between the UGA Alumni Association and UGA Athletic Association.

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