Athens, Ga. – A pictorial exhibit of UGA football by photojournalist Wingate Downs, “1980 Championship Year Revisited,” is on display at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center through September 30. The exhibit is free and open to the public in the Georgia Center’s Hill Atrium, located at 1197 S. Lumpkin Street.
The exhibit profiles UGA’s 1980 National Championship football team. The collection tells the story of that successful football season and the players who made it possible. Downs captured the excitement of this legendary year of UGA football including Herschel Walker’s first day of practice, Walker’s touchdown at the Sugar Bowl and fans watching home games from the railroad tracks.
Downs is an Athens resident and a graduate of UGA’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has earned 40 state and national awards for his news and advertising photography throughout his career, including a prestigious Instant Citation from the Associated Press. Downs’ photography has been published in Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, People, Glory! Glory! Georgia’s 1980 Championship Season: The Inside Story by Lewis Grizzard and Loran Smith and Dooley’s Dawgs: 25 Years of Winning Football at the University of Georgia, by Smith and Vince Dooley. Downs has also served as a local newspaper and event photographer.
The Georgia Center, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2007, is a unit of the University of Georgia’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. The Center provides innovative lifelong learning opportunities through its continuing education programs. On UGA’s campus, the Georgia Center includes a full-service hotel with 200 rooms and suites, restaurants, banquet areas, conference rooms, auditoriums, a fitness center and a computer lab – all under one roof. For more information, see www.georgiacenter.uga.edu.