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03.20.2014

Wisdom from Athens

This past February, the Athens Area Chapter of the UGA Alumni Association won Chapter of the Year during the Alumni Leadership Assembly. I had the opportunity to interview some of the chapter leaders following their impressive win. Here is what they had to say:

What did your chapter do to win this award?

"It certainly wasn't easy, but we had a core group full of ideas and energy that stuck together! We worked to gain interest and exposure by hosting different types of events and meetings to attract a diverse group. We couldn't have done it without the leadership of the team at the Alumni Association." -Theresa Silcox (BBA '08), Athens Chapter Communications and Events Coordinator

Do you think you have an advantage by being located in Athens?

"In many ways, being in Athens is actually a disadvantage. Typical programming such as game watching parties are not possible here. Also, everyone is local and feels an immediate tie to UGA; they don't feel the need to connect via the Alumni Association. We have had to determine how we fit into the community." -Kim Metcalf (BSEH '93, MS '96), Athens Chapter Vice President

What was the most unique event your chapter hosted this year?

"Our holiday event was awesome! Lee Epting (BBA '67) was gracious enough to host our event a The Hill and it was a perfect evening. There were so many connections made and a great time was had by all." -Caroll Williams (BBA '72), Athens Chapter President

What was the most important thing you have learned about engaging alumni with the chapter?

"You have to constantly reevaluate your approach and come up with new ideas to reach different groups of alumni. This year, we branched out into the Athens community by becoming more involved with other young alumni groups, which has led to more contacts. You have to always be looking for new ways to reach individuals and grow your chapter network." -Mike McConnell (AB '07), Athens Chapter Young Alumni Representative 

What tips would you give other chapter leaders?

"The strength of UGA is dependent on the support and involvement of its alumni. The work of the chapter leaders is so important to set the stage for creating enthusiasm and involvement in their area." -Carol Williams (BBA '72), Athens Chapter President

"My biggest tip is perserverance. It took our chapter a long time to gain traction and become successful. It took getting a solid and energetic core team of leaders and some fresh ideas flowing from new members to get us rolling. Also, rely on the UGA Alumni Association's Regional Program staff. They are amazing and are always available to guide." -Kim Metcalf (BSEH '93, MS '96), Athens Chapter Vice President

"Come to the Alumni Leadership Assembly! This award is great for the Athens Chapter, but it's a bigger win for the university if more and more chapters get involved. With the growing number of attendees at ALA, the positivie momentum is exciting to watch." -Mike McConnell (AB '07), Athens Chapter Young Alumni Representative

"Don't give up. It takes a while to put the right team together to be successful. Build your core group and work to add your committee members over time." -Theresa Silcox (BBA '08), Athens Chapter Communications and Events Coordinator

On behalf of the UGA Alumni Association, congratulations on a job well done, Athens Area Chapter!

Danielle Alexander (MSW '11)
Assistant Director of Regional Programs

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10.22.2014

Bulldogs in the Sunshine State

Southern California is known for its beaches, beautiful weather and the glamour of Hollywood, but the Sunshine State has a touch of Bulldog, topo. With more than 3,535 UGA alumni, Southern California is home to a host of alumni and alumni-owned businesses. 

A beer tap made from a Harley engine? Check. An annual Halloween party that includes a strait jacket escape contest and something called the Dead Marionette Theater? Check. A Johnny Cash shrine? Sure! All these elements and more come together to create the Gasser Lounge, a rock n’ roll bar located in Redondo Beach, California, the pride of owner Mike Bouchard (BBA ’03).

Serving as the Southern California Chapter’s game watching party venue, the Gasser Lounge hosts an energetic crew of football devotees every week for an indoor tailgating experience unlike any other, complete with a red leather interior and a special surprise after every Dawgs touchdown, served up by bartender Bouchard.

Bouchard and his bar aren’t the only ones keeping the Southern California Chapter entertained, however.

  

M. Ali Salimi (BBA ’03), president of the chapter, is an esteemed attorney who lived in Switzerland and London before beginning his own firm in Irvine.

Outside of work, Salimi opts for a hobby that’s a little less serious - gracing the stages of comedy clubs across the region. 

The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments, Mike and Ali! Continue keeping the Southern California Chapter interesting.

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10.21.2014

2014-2015 Signature Lecture Series

Guest Blogger: Meg Amstutz, Ph.D. 
Associate Provost for Academic Programs

UGA is now highlighting a number of premier lectures through its new Signature Lectures designation, designed to help focus attention on the variety of prominent thinkers visiting campus.

When I first came to UGA in 1997, one thing I missed from my prior institution was the twice-yearly notice of its endowed lecture series. At the beginning of each semester, the arrival of the list of upcoming lectures would prompt my fellow graduate students and me to mark our calendars and chat with friends and colleagues about the topics that interested us most. Faculty across campus encouraged students to attend these lectures, and they often incorporated the work of the speakers into the classes they were teaching.    

In 2013-2014, more than 50 individual lectures were listed on UGA’s Master Calendar, signaling the strong level of intellectual activity taking place. At the same time, this long list signaled an opportunity to reframe these offerings conceptually, so that students and faculty might more easily mark the dates, participate and engage in classroom discussion together.

To that end, we have launched the UGA Signature Lectures, featuring speakers noted for their broad, multidisciplinary appeal and compelling bodies of work. This special designation recognizes a number of UGA’s endowed lectures, including the Gregory Lecture and the Mason Public Leadership Lecture, as well as lectures with historic significance on our campus, such as the Louise McBee Lecture, the Holmes-Hunter Lecture, and UGA’s Founders Day Lecture.

I am grateful to those who have chosen to endow lectures, because these Signature Lectures are one of the best ways for students to discover that they are truly part of a larger, international intellectual conversation.

For a full list of the 2014-2015 Signature Lecture, please click here.

The UGA Alumni Association will hold the 2015 Founders Day Lecture at the Chapel on Tuesday, January 27 at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

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10.20.2014

Alumna Spotlight: Christy Hulsey (ABJ '98)

Bulldog 100 and 40 Under 40 honoree Christy Hulsey (ABJ ’98) lives a busy life as owner and creative director of Colonial House of Flowers in Statesboro, Georgia. 

Hulsey’s work, inspired by her grandmother, is self-described as “timeless elegance that is ethereal and moody.” The majority of her designs feature unusual materials, such as pinecones and berries - something that caught the attention of both Pottery Barn and White House staff. Hulsey’s shop was selected to launch Pottery Barn's 2014 summer brand, and her floral designs were displayed at the White House in 2013.

A regular on Pottery Barn’s Have and Hold wedding blog, Hulsey informs brides-to-be on the art of creating flower girl halos, cake stand centerpieces and seashore-inspired tablescapes.

Hulsey enjoys opportunitues to work with fellow UGA alumni. She began her relationship with Pottery Barn after the floral arrangements she designed for friend and fellow Grady graduate Linsay Cheney Rudd’s (ABJ ’08) wedding were noticed by the blog. Hulsey also uses her friends in various photo shoots for Pottery Barn, including one for a driftwood lantern centerpiece tutorial that features Lea Lanier (BSED ’99).

  

In 2013, Colonial House of Flowers, generously donated flowers to UGA Day in Statesboro. She also gifted each 2014 40 Under 40 honorees with a red rose after the awards ceremony.

Congratulations on your success, Christy! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to many more years of your beautiful designs.

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