Campus News

Alumni Seminar will examine ‘sense of place’

From virtual reality to the tiny house movement, alumni and others interested in lifelong learning will examine “A Sense of Place” during the 2017 Alumni Seminar Feb. 17-18.

The seminar, an educational gathering that will allow participants to experience firsthand what has changed—and what will always stay the same—at the birthplace of public higher education in America, will include lectures, interactions with students and other exclusive events such as behind-the-scenes tours.

This year’s theme encourages participants to explore how individuals and communities build and experience a sense of place in today’s changing world.

“The University of Georgia is a meaningful and important place for our alumni,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, UGA executive director of alumni relations. “This year’s Alumni Seminar experience will not only bring alumni and friends back to this special place but will also share with them how research, service and teaching at UGA are helping redefine what ‘place’ means.”

Noted UGA faculty, including J. Marshall Shepherd, a Georgia Athletic Association Professor; Sun Joo “Grace” Ahn, an assistant professor in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; Kim Skobba, an assistant professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; and others will introduce participants to ongoing research related to place.

Participants will consider the role that place plays in community and identity, from the nation’s 100-year history of national parks in a presentation by Lucy Lawliss, a College of Environment and Design alumna and former historical landscape architect for the U.S. National Park Service.

The keynote speaker for the 2017 Alumni Seminar is Roy Blount Jr., the author of 24 books; a columnist for Garden and Gun, Esquire, The New York Times and many others; and a panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me. Blount is a 2016 Georgia Writers Hall of Fame inductee.

“We are pleased to have Roy Blount Jr. returning to campus to serve as the keynote speaker during the Alumni Seminar,” Johnson said. “We’ve seen how inspiring speakers like him can stimulate great conversation, put other sessions into context for attendees and ultimately inspire involvement with the University of Georgia community among our most loyal supporters.”

The seminar also will include a lunch with UGA President Jere W. Morehead during which he will discuss his perspective on UGA and its role in meeting the needs of the state and nation and a campus tour highlighting UGA’s new and recently renovated facilities.

Registration for the two-day seminar is $275 per person, and space is limited. Those unable to attend the entire seminar may purchase individual dinner reservations for Friday evening with Lawliss or Saturday evening with Blount for $75 per evening. Lodging for the seminar is available at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center.

For more information or to register online, see