The University of Georgia bestowed one of its highest honors on Robert G. “Bob” Edge, a UGA alumnus, attorney, civic leader and advocate of the performing arts.
The President’s Medal recognizes remarkable contributions of individuals who are not current employees of UGA and who have dedicated their lives to supporting UGA students, championing UGA’s research enterprise or engaging in public service on behalf of the UGA community. The honor is awarded in conjunction with the university’s annual Founders Day celebration.
“Bob Edge has played a key role in the establishment of some of UGA’s most impactful academic and performing arts programs,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are incredibly grateful for his extraordinary support and all that he continues to do on behalf of our university.”
As an undergraduate student at UGA, Edge was captain of the debate team and president of the Phi Kappa Literary Society and the University Chorus. He graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1960 and received the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for his outstanding achievements.
Following his time at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a law degree from Yale University and became an attorney in the Atlanta firm of Alston, Miller & Gaines (now Alston & Bird). He still serves as senior counsel in the firm and is widely recognized for his expertise in estate planning.
Edge served for several years as a trustee of the UGA Foundation, including two years as chair. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Foundation Fellowship, the university’s premier academic scholarship for undergraduates. He has remained active as an emeritus trustee and, in 2016, helped create the Distinguished Law Fellows program in the School of Law to support students who demonstrate extraordinary academic achievement and exceptional professional promise in the legal field.
A dedicated supporter of the arts, Edge was trained in piano by the namesake of UGA’s School of Music, Hugh Hodgson. Edge chaired the steering committee for the $15 million campaign to build UGA’s Performing and Visual Arts Complex in the 1990s. His generosity and vision also led to the creation of the annual Robert G. Edge Piano Competition, in which students can earn the opportunity to perform at Steinway Hall in New York City. The Robert G. Edge Recital Hall in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music is named in his honor.
In addition to his involvement at UGA, Edge has served as a board member or chair of numerous civic, educational and arts organizations such as the Carter Center, the Charles Loridans Foundation, the Atlanta History Center, the Woodruff Arts Center and the Atlanta Opera.
The President’s Medal ceremony is part of Founders Week, when UGA observes the date the university was established, Jan. 27. On this day in 1785, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a charter establishing the University of Georgia as the first institution of public higher education in America.