Campus News

Former Willson Center director to deliver Founders Day Lecture

Betty Jean Craige

Athens, Ga. – In observance of the University of Georgia’s 227th anniversary, Betty Jean Craige, retired university professor of comparative literature and former director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, will present the 10th annual Founders Day Lecture on Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. in the UGA Chapel as a part of Founders Week.

Craige’s talk, “We Are All Part of the Tangled Bank,” focuses on the connectedness of university life. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“At the end of the ‘Origin of Species,’ Darwin used a tangled bank—of plants, birds, insects and worms—as a metaphor for the interactivity of organisms in evolution,” Craige said. “So I’m using Darwin’s beautiful paragraph as a metaphor for the interactivity of scholars across disciplines in the intellectual life of a great research university.”

Students from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music will provide pre-lecture entertainment, followed by an official welcome by the UGA Alumni Association and university leaders.

The student response will be given by Waring “Buck” Trible, a Foundation Fellow majoring in ecology and entomology.

The Founders Day Lecture recognizes the date UGA was established in 1785, when the Georgia General Assembly adopted a charter creating the university as the country’s first state-chartered institution of higher education.

The event 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.

“The alumni association has been pleased to partner with the Emeriti Scholars for the past 10 years on this lecture commemorating Founders Day,” said Deborah Dietzler, executive director of the UGA Alumni Association. “Some of our most distinguished emeriti faculty have participated, and each lecture has provided a wonderful opportunity to take time to reflect on the university we hold dear. Betty Jean Craige certainly adds luster to an already accomplished group, and I encourage students, faculty, staff and alumni to join us to hear from such an outstanding scholar and university servant leader.”

The UGA Student Alumni Association also is sponsoring free events leading up the lecture as part of Founders Week. The events are a T-shirt giveaway Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. at the Abraham Baldwin statue, a daylong button giveaway Jan. 24 at various locations across campus, a daylong cupcake giveaway Jan. 26 at the Snelling Dining Commons and the birthday surprise Jan. 27 at noon at the Tate Student Center.