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09.18.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Padgett “Pat” Wilson (AB ’96)

Padgett “Pat” Wilson (AB ’96) spent the summer between his junior and senior years at UGA studying abroad in Erlangen, Germany. That trip offered a number of “firsts” for the small-town Georgia native – his first time truly leaving home, his first passport, his first trip abroad, his first time dreaming in another language, his first train trip, his first glass of wine, and the first time to take “the blinders off to the world and the opportunities that exist outside of the life” he knew.

This young graduate has come a long way since those days. Today, he serves as the chief operating officer for the Georgia Department of Economic Development in Atlanta. In this role, Wilson directs the long-term strategy and daily operations of the Georgia agency tasked with growing jobs and investment across the state. He manages a $26 million annual budget and oversees approximately 170 employees in Georgia and 12 international offices.

After graduating from UGA, Wilson served as a Congressional intern, legislative correspondent, and North Georgia regional representative in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2005, he worked for Greenberg Traurig. The subsequent five years were spent in former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s administration – first as Perdue’s director of federal affairs in D.C., and then as his government affairs director in Atlanta.

In 2010, Wilson joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development as deputy commissioner of global commerce, and in 2011, was named the agency’s COO.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development is responsible for a number of important tasks, including growing and expanding the state’s existing industries; developing and recruiting new businesses to the state; enhancing Georgia’s trade relationships around the world; attracting tourists to Georgia; and promoting the state as an ideal location for film, video, music and digital entertainment enterprises. During the last three years, the alumnus has helped attract some big names to the state, including Baxter, Caterpillar and Starbucks.

In addition to his role as COO, Wilson serves as the executive director of Georgia Allies, a marketing partnership between the State of Georgia and the private sector that promotes Georgia’s economic development priorities. He is a former member of the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors and a past president of the Georgia State Society in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Pat Wilson on being named to the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013. Tomorrow is the big day! It’s not too late to attend the 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon at the Georgia Aquarium; walk-up registration will be available at 11:30 a.m. See you there!

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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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