Campus News

Foundation gives university $3.3M for academic initiatives

The UGA Foundation will provide an additional $3.3 million to the university for support of academic initiatives, including student scholarships and endowed professorships. The additional funding was available from unrestricted investment returns for the fiscal year ending June 30.

The foundation board voted unanimously to use the funds for specific needs identified by President Jere W. Morehead. Highlights of the funding include $500,000 for need-based student scholarships; $200,000 for professional school scholarships; $125,000 for endowed professorships (to match a donor commitment); $500,000 for the UGA Washington Semester Program; and $500,000 for study-abroad scholarships.

The board also earmarked $1 million for the purchase of a permanent facility to house the UGA Washington Semester Program, founded in 2008 to provide students opportunities for internships in the nation’s capital while taking classes.

The funding is in addition to more than $40 million in annual support provided by the foundation to the university and $500,000 provided earlier for endowed professorships.

“One of the great traditions of this foundation has been its ability to grow the endowment year after year and to realize significant budget surpluses that allow for funding in areas that will provide great benefit to our students and faculty,” said Bill Young Jr., immediate past foundation chairman. “We were pleased to work with President Morehead to fill key areas of need he identified and look forward to continuing this tradition in the years ahead.”

The funding dedicated to need-based scholarships will support the Gateway to Georgia program, launched earlier this year, which benefits students who are outstanding academically but who might not be able to afford the full cost of a UGA education.

Morehead also requested that the $220,000 budgeted for the 2014 Celebration of Support, which recognizes UGA’s top donors, be redirected to the Georgia Access Scholarship, which provides funding for the neediest students at UGA.

Morehead plans to form a group to review the Celebration of Support and make recommendations for future events.

Funding for a Washington facility will allow UGA to have a permanent space in the capital for undergraduate students to live together and take classes, while interning in congressional offices, museums, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and media outlets, among others.

Since the program began UGA has leased residential and academic space. Owning a facility will allow the university to better control costs and have a fixed presence in Washington, as do many other universities.

Since spring 2008, 189 undergraduate students representing eight colleges and schools and 47 majors have participated in the program.