The University of Georgia will observe its anniversary as the birthplace of public higher education in America Jan. 22-26, and the UGA Alumni Association will celebrate the occasion by hosting a weeklong series of events, including the 16th annual Founders Day Lecture on Jan. 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the Chapel.
Marshall Shepherd, Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences, will present the lecture, “Partly Sunny or Partly Cloudy? The Challenges of Communicating Science to Non-Scientists.”
Shepherd is the director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program and full professor in the department of geography, where he is associate department head. He chairs the NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Committee and is a former member of its Earth Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. Former President George W. Bush honored him in 2004 at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for pioneering scientific research in weather and climate science. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, host of The Weather Channel’s award-winning Sunday talk show “Weather Geeks” and a contributor to Forbes Magazine. Shepherd is passionate about science education, and co-authored a children’s book about weather and weather instruments, “Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch.” He is the co-founder of the Alcova Elementary weather science chat series.
The Founders Day Lecture is traditionally held on or near the date the university was established—Jan. 27. On this day in 1785, the Georgia General Assembly adopted a charter establishing UGA as the first institution of public higher education in America.
The lecture is sponsored by the Office of the President, UGA Alumni Association and the Emeriti Scholars, a group of retired faculty members known for their teaching abilities who continue to enhance the university’s academic endeavors through part-time teaching, research and service assignments.
In conjunction with the lecture, the Office of the President will host an invitation-only luncheon on Jan. 22 during which the President’s Medal will be presented to Mary Frances Early and Del Dunn. The President’s Medal recognizes extraordinary contributions from individuals who have supported students and academic programs, advanced research and inspired community leaders to enhance Georgians’ quality of life.
The Student Alumni Council will sponsor a series of events for students in the days surrounding the lecture. The schedule of those events is as follows, although more activities could be planned and will be posted online.
- Monday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Founders Week T-shirt giveaway on Tate north lawn.
- Tuesday, Jan. 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Tradition Tuesday at the statue of Abraham Baldwin and 100 Days ‘Til Graduation Celebration in Memorial Hall Ballroom, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Wednesday, Jan. 24, 3:30 p.m., State of the University Address in the Chapel and 100 Days ‘Til Graduation Celebration in Memorial Hall Ballroom, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Thursday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Founders Week banner contest.
- Friday, Jan. 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Founders Day Celebration in Tate Plaza.
“Founders Week is the university community’s opportunity to reflect on our shared history and recognize the growth that has taken place on campus through the decades,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations. “I hope that alumni and friends will take this time to come back to campus for the lecture and see how UGA is leading innovation.”
UGA Alumni Association
The UGA Alumni Association supports the academic excellence, best interests and traditions of Georgia’s flagship university by inspiring engagement through relevant programming, enhanced connections and effective communications.