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Intelligence and national security expert to give Founders Day Lecture

Athens, Ga.- In observance of the University of Georgia’s 229th anniversary, Loch Johnson, Regents and Meigs Professor in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, will present the 12th annual Founders Day Lecture on Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel.

Johnson’s lecture is entitled “Accountability in the Shadowy World of Intelligence.”

“Every democracy must wrestle with the dilemma of providing security for its citizens, while also safeguarding their liberty and privacy,” said Johnson. “In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, this equilibrium has shifted dramatically away from liberty and privacy. As we aspire to create a more perfect democracy, we must confront more effectively the question of how an open society can accommodate secrets agencies, yet keep them between the lines of law and propriety.”

Johnson earned the certificate of distinction from the National Intelligence Study Center in Washington, D.C., and was named the inaugural SEC Professor of the Year by the Southeastern Conference in 2012. He led the founding of the UGA School of Public and International Affairs in 2001, as well as the UGA Memorial Service Garden in 2005.

Johnson is the author of more than 200 publications, including 28 books on U.S. national security. Throughout his career, he has served in a number of high-profile positions in Washington, D.C., including foreign policy adviser to former President Jimmy Carter during his 1980 re-election campaign.

The student response will be given by Megan White, a third-year Foundation Fellow from Johns Creek. She is majoring in international affairs and linguistics, and minoring in French and Russian.

The UGA Vocal Quartet will provide pre-lecture entertainment, followed by an official welcome by the UGA Alumni Association and university leaders.

The Founders Day Lecture recognizes the date the university was established—Jan. 27. On this day in 1785, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a charter establishing UGA as the country’s first state-chartered institution of higher education.

The original document chartering the first state university system is displayed annually on Founders Day at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. This year the manuscript and an accompanying exhibit will be on view Jan. 27 and 28 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the second floor gallery hallway of the special collections library.

To protect the ink of the parchment manuscript from further fading it is displayed to the public only once a year in honor of Georgia’s contribution to our country’s tradition of supporting education to advance democracy. The Charter is housed in University Archives, a part of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The lecture is sponsored by the UGA Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars, a group of retired faculty members known for their teaching abilities, who continue to be involved in the university’s academic life through part-time teaching, research and service assignments.

In conjunction with this year’s lecture, the UGA Alumni Association will host an invite-only luncheon where the inaugural President’s Medals will be presented to Louise McBee, emerita UGA vice president for academic affairs and former state representative for Athens, and posthumously to Thomas Dyer, UGA emeritus professor and vice president for instruction. Dyer’s wife, Anna Burns Dyer, will accept the award on his behalf. The President’s Medal recognizes extraordinary contributions of former employees who have supported students and academic programs, advanced research and inspired community leaders to enhance Georgians’ quality of life.

The UGA Student Alumni Association will sponsor a series of free events in advance of and following the lecture. The schedule of events is as follows:
Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., UGA’s 229th Birthday Celebration in Tate Plaza
Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Founders Week T-shirt giveaway in Tate Plaza
Jan. 29, “Wear Your Shirt Wednesday.” Students are encouraged to wear a Student Alumni Association T-shirt and receive discounts at participating Athens businesses.
Jan. 30, birthday cupcakes for students in UGA Dining Halls during lunch and dinner
Jan. 30-31, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 100 Days Until Graduation event in the Tate Student Center Grand Hall.

“I am pleased that the UGA Alumni Association is once again able to present this series of Founders Day festivities,” said Deborah Dietzler, executive director of alumni relations. “I know Loch Johnson’s lecture will be particularly intriguing as intelligence-gathering has been a widely discussed topic in recent months. I’m pleased to see Dr. McBee and the late Dr. Dyer recognized with the first ever President’s Medals for their longstanding commitment to this institution.”

The UGA Alumni Association
The UGA Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Georgia’s flagship university and its more than 280,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, see