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11.14.2013

Founding director of Right Steps Inc., speaks in Athens

Dr. Jerry Neill, minister at Campus View Church in Athens, emailed me this week to let me know that Dr. Chi Ekwenye-Hendricks, a UGA alumna, would be speaking at his church on Sunday morning. Chi is the founding director of Right Steps Inc. and is committed to saving children and homeless women who do not have the resources or opportunities that so many others enjoy.

Chi grew up in southern Nigeria during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), observing firsthand what starvation and homelessness can do to the lives of children.

“I am what I am today because somebody cared enough to give me a second chance in life,” Chi said.

It is Chi’s goal to reciprocate that blessing, giving back to those who are less fortunate and cannot take care of themselves. After growing up and being educated in Nigeria, Chi came to the U.S. to work and continue her studies. As a female in a male-dominated society, she was not granted the same level of credibility that an educated man would typically receive; therefore, when she came to America, she was able to earn a Ph.D. from UGA.

While in America, Chi has gained valuable experience working with families and underpriveledged children through Georgia AGAPE. This organization offered her valuable training and education to help her continue to work with families in need.

Upon completing school and work in the U.S., Chi returned to Nigeria and launched Right Steps, a human rescue mission focused on providing relief services for orphaned children. The organization’s first project was Susana Homes, which serves orphaned children and homeless women. Susana Home remains the primary initiative managed by Right Steps, in addition to numerous other projects that have developed as the organization has grown.

Dr. Neill, thank you for sharing this update on Chi's efforts in Nigeria. It is comforting to know that the hard work of a UGA alumna will help many orphaned children and homeless women find hope and comfort. Chi, congratulations on establishing Right Steps, and thank you for serving as a shining example of Bulldog compassion in your native Nigeria.

For more information on Right Steps, please click here.

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Recent Entries


02.03.2016

Alumnus Spotlight: Peter Conlon (BBA '75)

One of the biggest attractions to the Atlanta music scene is its annual music festival, Music Midtown. From mainstream pop artists to rising rock bands, Music Midtown offers the crowds that gather performances from a wide variety of artists. For Peter Conlon (BBA '75), one of two founders of the festival and president of Peter Conlon Presents, this was the overall goal: to create an event fit for attendees of all music tastes and genres.

Conlon graduated from Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in international business in 1975. During his four years as an undergraduate student, he was a member of University Union where he first began booking rock concerts that featured artists such as Jethro Tull and the Allman Brothers. He attended law school for a short period of time after graduation, but then took a risk and dropped out to work as an intern for the Carter presidential campaign, a risk that ended up paying off through a victory.

Peter continued to work for Jimmy Carter throughout his presidential term. His position required that he help set up benefit concerts for the president. In 1982, Conlon partnered with Alex Cooley to begin his career in the music industry.

Music Midtown at Piedmont Park

After working many years booking concerts, the pair founded Music Midtown in 1994, inspired by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. After having to pull the plug on the event in 2005 due to low sales, the festival was reintroduced in 2011 and now takes up several stages across Piedmont Park, hosts more than 30 different artists, and attracts attendees from all over the nation. Moreover, since the festival’s relaunch, it has generated $50 million for the local economy each year.

Congratulations to Peter and best wishes for the continued success of Music Midtown! 

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02.01.2016

Alumna Spotlight: Devin Clower (BFA ’08)

Anyone family with downtown Athens and its eclectic variety of shops is surely familiar with Frontier. Since opening nearly 20 years ago, the store has connected local artists with community members by providing a venue for them to showcase and sell their work. 

UGA alumna Devin Clower (BFA '08) took ownership of the store three years ago. Her background in interior design helped her with the introduction of custom framing and redesigning the store layout.

The store’s motto, “All for the heart and home,” is reflected in the unique gifts that you can find at the store. Devin has worked hard to fulfill the motto, and through her leadership, the store has grown into a local favorite.

Congratulations on your hard work, Devin!

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01.29.2016

UGA awards the President’s Medal

On January 27, the UGA President’s Medal was awarded to Francis “Abit” Massey (BBA ’49) and the late Jane Seddon Willson. This honor recognizes extraordinary support and contributions to individuals that have made a tremendous impact in the lives of students and staff. Through them, the university is able to continue to push forward to greater heights in the realm of academia.

Francis "Abit" Massey (BBA '49)

Abit served as the president of the UGA Alumni Association’s Board of Directors from 1991-1993. Throughout his career, he served in the roles of head of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and executive director of the Georgia Poultry Federation. Currently, he is serving on the board of the UGA Real Estate Foundation, Georgia Research Foundation, and is an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation. Moreover, Abit has received numerous medals throughout his lifetime that include the 1986 UGA Alumni Merit Award and the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association.

During her lifetime, Jane served as a member of on the Arts and Sciences Advisory Board, the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council, the Franklin College Advisory Board, the UGA Research Foundation, the Honors Program and Advisory Board, the Georgia Museum of Art Board of Advisors, and she served as an emerita trustee of the UGA Research Foundation. In 2004, she endowed the William Harry Willson Distinguished Chair of Business in honor of her husband and later on, she created the Willson International Honors Scholars Program for students in the university’s Honors Program. Jane was honored with a Doctor of Laws degree in 2006, one of the highest accolades granted to any individual that is a part of the Bulldog community, and in 2008, she was inducted into the Crystal Arch Society in recognition of her passion for giving back to the university.


 

The late Jane Willson 

 “We are honored to recognize two great Georgians for helping to improve our state and strengthen the university,” said President Morehead. “Through their influential vision and tremendous generosity, both Abit Massey and the late Jane Willson have had a profound impact on UGA, and their contributions will continue to benefit the university for generations to come.”

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