Greatest Generation Alumnus Reflects on “UGA Attitude,” Athens Town
A 94-year-old former student is proud of his one year of graduate study at UGA, and recently sent a greeting to the University that ended up in the Alumni Association office. A member of the Greatest Generation, Vaughn Bornet’s message follows, and we thought you would enjoy hearing from him:
I spent my second graduate year at UGA in 1940-41. It was a great year for me. I came to appreciate what I can only call "the UGA attitude." That is, it was downright pleasant.
Several aspects of my time have interest: I tutored many members of the championship football team in Constitution of Georgia and Constitution of the USA. That included Frankie Sinkwich ’43, champion running back, and a famous "end" whose name I forget. The place was a dorm room and all were in skivvies or the equivalent
Another tiny source of extra income was being a news announcer in the early AM on the local radio station, what I called "the Voice of Frustration" because it was alleged they covered three counties in a state that boasted 159 as I recall. As a serious (dull?) grad student I only visited my Sigma Chi house now and then, a real change since I lived in it at Emory nearly four years. Somehow I decided to build up my body at the local YMCA which boasted the top Southeastern Champion weightlifter of the US. (My idea was to help preserve my life when the inevitable time came to join the military and fight. The goal was fully realized!)
I still remember a pretty Education major, a Margaret Walker from Macon, who made life more pleasant. My classes were all in the oldest building on campus; I still remember, vividly, the electric sparks seen against the black background inside the attic all the time. The building housed one of UGA's gems then, E. Merton Coulter, author of over 30 books on things Southern. I virtually lived in the Library and got to know it very well indeed. Everything was open, and I reveled at the sometimes old-fashioned contents of the stacks on the South's big war (War for Southern Independence, of course). I almost hated to go home. But all good things end.
Hail to thee, blithe Georgia! Too bad my great grandchildren live clear across the Country and are unlikely to repeat my joy I feel for "Athens Town."
Vaughn Davis Bornet