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01.14.2014

UGA alumnus Tom Okie (PHD ‘12) explains the history behind “The Peach State”

The Garden State. The Big Apple. The Magnolia State - there's no question as to which states these terms relate. And the Peach State? That should be an easy one!

In his award-winning dissertation and upcoming book, Everything is Peaches Down in Georgia: Culture and Agriculture in the American South, UGA graduate Tom Okie (PHD ’12) explains why "Peach State" became synonymous with our beloved Georgia. Okie’s interest in peaches is far from random; his father was a U.S. Department of Agriculture peach breeder based in Byron, Georgia.

In his book, Okie explains that the peach represented progress 100 years ago. At the dawn of the 20th century, cotton suddenly represented poverty and carried a negative connotation, relating to the “benighted vassalage” of the South’s cotton planters. The adoption of the peach as representation of change was carried out in order to give the the agricultural economy a face-lift. In his book, Okie says “the cultural footprint of the peach is much larger than its economic impact.” Despite the fact that blueberry sales significantly surpassed the annual value of peaches, the peach icon lives on because of its historical value to Georgia.

According to the alumnus, “Growing up [in Byron], I took for granted that middle Georgia was common, even ugly. But reading the glowing descriptions of these early horticulturists gave me a new appreciation of the nuanced beauty of my home. Wendell Berry has a line in his poem How to be a Poet that captures this feeling. He wrote, ‘there are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.'”

I encourage you to read more about Okie and his dissertation, which was described as “a beautifully written, elegantly rendered tale full of surprises and profound implications for understanding America’s past” by the Society of American Historians. He even received the 2013 Allan Nevins Prize for best-written history doctoral dissertation on an American topic. The UGA Office of the Vice President for Research covered Okie's work beginning on page 27 of the Fall 2013 issue of "UGA Research."

Great work, Tom! The meaning behind "Peach State" is something that most of us should probably learn - thank you!

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09.29.2014

Clear the Air at UGA

Uga needs your help to clear the air at UGA! 

UGA recently launched a "Let's Clear the Air" campaign to promote the University System of Georgia's ban on tobacco products on all system campuses.

The campaign, which began September 22, advises faculty, staff, students and campus visitors that "UGA is a tobacco- and smoke-free campus," in accordance with a policy adopted in March by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

The policy, which is effective starting October 1, reinforces the USG's commitment to provide a safe and amicable workplace for all employees as outlined in the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act of 2005 and to preserve and improve the health, comfort and environment of students, employees and visitors on all system campuses.

New signage around campus and messaging on the UGA website and via social media will promote the tobacco- and smoke-free campus policy, which applies to persons in indoor or outdoor areas, including all buildings, recreational areas, lawns, university sidewalks, university vehicles and parking lots.

Banned products include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless tobacco, clove cigarettes and any smoking device that uses tobacco such as hookahs or simulate the use of tobacco such as electronic cigarettes.

For more information on the policy and resources to promote the policy as well as resources available for tobacco cessation, see uga.edu/tobacco-free or contact UGA Human Resources at 706-542-2621.

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09.26.2014

Good Eats: Alton in ATH

Notable UGA alumni Alton Brown (AB ‘04) is coming home to the Classic City on October 21 to kick off the third leg of his “Edible Inevitable Tour.”

You might recognize Alton from his Food Network shows “Good Eats,” “Iron Chef America” and “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Brown began producing his own show in the late nineties when he was dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows in America. His dream came true in 2011 when he won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best TV Food Personality.

He brings his charm and charisma to his culinary variety show. The two-hour stage show centers around food, includes food songs, a mini lecture/stand-up segment titled “10 Things I’m Pretty Sure I’m Sure About Food” and two very large food demonstrations. One of which creates such a big mess that he gives the first five rows ponchos.

The UGA Alumni Associations wants to give YOU the chance to go see Alton Brown live when he comes to the Classic Center! Check out the UGA Alumni Association’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for more information on how to enter. Good luck and Go Dawgs!

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09.25.2014

Sic ‘Em City: Homecoming 2014

Beginning September 28, the University of Georgia will welcome alumni, friends and fans to campus for UGA Homecoming Week. This year’s theme, “Sic ‘Em City,” features several Las Vegas-inspired events for students and visitors alike, including a comedy show, game night and carnival.

The homecoming parade, with UGA Basketball Coach Mark Fox acting as grand marshal, will begin at 6:00 p.m on Friday, October 3. The parade will travel through downtown Athens and will include floats, appearances by UGA cheerleaders and a performance by the Redcoat Marching Band.

Directly following the parade, the UGA Alumni Association will host a Homecoming BBQ for its board of directors, campus administrators and Student Alumni Council members and alumni. The BBQ will also serve as a 50th reunion for the Class of 1964. It is not too late to register to attend, so please visit the Alumni Association’s homecoming page for more information and to RSVP.

Many of the colleges and schools will also host celebrations to welcome their alumni back to the Classic City on Saturday, October 4.

Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will have a Game Day BBQ beginning at 2:00 p.m. Click here for more information.

The School of Law will hold its annual Law Dawg BBQ on Herty Field beginning at 1:30 p.m. Prepaid reservations are required to attend.

The Terry College of Business will host a tailgate on the Brooks Hall Lawn at 1:00 p.m. For tickets and more information, click here.

The College of Pharmacy will host class reunions for 2009, 2004, 1999, 1994 and 1989 graduates. It will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the R.C. Wilson Building at 1:00 p.m. For more information, visit the College of Pharmacy’s web page.

For more information about Homecoming Week events, click here.

The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to welcoming alumni and friends back to campus for the 2014 Homecoming Week! Sic 'em!

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