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40 Under 40 Spotlight: Nathan Hardeman (BBA ’05)

Nathan Hardeman (BBA ’05) came to UGA from Guatemala in 1992, but struggled to acclimate to college life in Athens. Despite the best efforts of his academic advisor, Sally Vandiver, Hardeman dropped out of UGA. Nine years later, though, he returned to campus and Vandiver was there to encourage him to complete his degree.

In 2005, Hardeman earned his bachelor’s degree in international business, and he is now working toward a graduate degree in global urban leadership from Bakke Graduate University.

The alumnus notes that his greatest achievement came during his time as a project coordinator for Shalom Baptist Church in Guatemala City. In this role, he helped build more than 50 homes for impoverished families and a soccer stadium in the slums of Guatemala City’s Zone 18. According to Hardeman, the soccer stadium gave him immediate credibility with the locals and allowed him to continue to combat the poverty and illiteracy plaguing the neighborhood.

Today, Hardeman and his wife, Claudia, have dedicated their lives to others through Engadi Ministries International in Guatemala City. Hardeman is the co-founder and executive director of the organization, which provides a safe family environment and an education to hundreds of at-risk boys living in Zone 18.

Phillip Blume (ABJ ’06, AB ’06) is a friend of Hardeman’s and the director of the documentary “Lost Boys of Paradise,” which chronicles Hardeman and Engadi Ministries.

Blume nominated Hardeman for 40 Under 40, saying, “Nathan Hardeman is a true visionary. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of Guatemala’s impoverished and fatherless culture, Engadi Ministries provides boys with a refuge from gangs where they can realize their full potential and, as Nathan describes, become the mighty men who will turn around Guatemala’s culture entirely.”

Congratulations, Nathan, on this great honor. I am so impressed by your steadfast dedication to helping these young people in Guatemala. I look forward to seeing you at the 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, September 19, if you are able to join us in Atlanta. Go Dawgs!

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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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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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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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