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UGA College of Public Health to celebrate 10th anniversary

Patricia Sullivan researched the military muscle of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. An assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs

Athens, Ga. – In honor of its 10th anniversary, the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health will welcome students, alumni and community guests to the UGA Health Sciences Campus Oct. 5. A full slate of afternoon events open to the public will be punctuated by a 5 p.m. program and reception at Miller Parade Grounds.

The 10th anniversary celebration will include a keynote address from Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H.W. Bush, as well as comments from Harrison Spencer, president of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.

Established in 2005, the college became the first accredited college of public health within the University System of Georgia and was seen as an integral piece of the state’s broader efforts to improve population health. The college began moving its various programs and departments to the Health Sciences Campus in 2012, establishing itself as that campus’s principal occupant and energizing a growing health corridor in Athens-Clarke County.

“The past 10 years have been an exciting time for public health in Georgia, and we’re pleased the college has been able to play such a strong role in changing the state for the better,” said Phillip L. Williams, founding dean of the UGA College of Public Health.

“From the cutting-edge research that is improving the health and well-being of countless lives across Georgia to our work in educating the next generation of service-minded public health workers, our commitment to serving the state has remained constant throughout our 10 years. This celebration gives us the opportunity to honor the progress we’ve made as we cast a hopeful eye toward the future.”

The celebration will begin at 2 p.m. as the college’s Public Health Association hosts a question-and-answer panel discussion with Sullivan at George Hall. In partnership with UGA Press, Sullivan will then sign copies of his recent autobiography, “Breaking Ground: My Life In Medicine,” at 4 p.m. in Rhodes Hall.

“Breaking Ground” won the 2015 NAACP Image Award for outstanding literature/autobiography and was featured on the list of “Books All Georgians Should Read” by the Georgia Center for the Book.

A native of Atlanta, Sullivan grew up in segregated Georgia where he was denied access to the state’s medical schools. After graduating from Morehouse College in 1954, he earned his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and taught and practiced medicine in the Northeast for 17 years. In 1985, he returned to Georgia as the founding dean and director of the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College, which became the School of Medicine at Morehouse College in 1978.

In 1989, Sullivan was appointed to serve as U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held to 1993. He also served as the chair of the President’s Commission on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the co-chair of the President’s Commission on HIV and AIDS and currently is the chair of the board of directors of the National Health Museum in Atlanta.

In addition to the Oct. 5 festivities, the college is hosting a 10th anniversary lecture series throughout the fall, featuring three of the top minds in public health. On Sept. 17, Ian Lapp, the associate dean for strategic educational initiatives at the Harvard School of Public Health, will discuss innovations in public health education; on Sept. 24, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, will discuss how the U.S. can become the “healthiest nation in one generation” as a part of UGA’s Signature Lecture Series; and on Oct. 19, Michael Perri, dean of the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions, will address obesity in rural America.

All lectures will be at 5 p.m. in George Hall. Parking will be available in the visitor’s lot located off Foster Drive on the Health Sciences Campus.

Visit and click on the Upcoming Events page to find more information on all 10th anniversary events.

For the 10th anniversary celebration on Oct. 5, registration is requested, though the event is free and open to the public. Alumni of the college are encouraged to email if they plan to attend.

UGA College of Public Health
Founded in 2005 as a response to the state’s need to address important health concerns in Georgia, the UGA College of Public Health is comprised of four departments and two research institutes as well as the Center for Global Health. The college offers degree programs in biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health promotion and behavior, public health, health policy and management and toxicology as well as certificate programs in gerontology, disaster management and global health.

Graduates from the College of Public Health—nationally known for its work related to infectious disease, cancer research, gerontology, disaster preparedness and other areas—typically go on to a diverse range of careers, including medicine, health education, emergency management, public health policy, environmental science and social work. For more information, see