Honoring the Past; Looking to the Future

The University of Georgia will celebrate the 225th anniversary of its founding with a two-day symposium April 22-23. Themed “Honoring the Past; Looking to the Future,” the symposium features experts leading lectures and discussions on the university’s history and the future of higher education.

“The University of Georgia is proud to hold the distinction as the nation’s first chartered public institution of higher learning,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “For 225 years, UGA has served the people of this state through teaching, research and service.

Today, UGA stands as the state’s most comprehensive and diverse institution of higher learning. We look forward to celebrating the rich history of this place and the role UGA can and will play in the future prosperity of Georgia.”

The first day of the symposium, Thursday, April 22, will focus on the university’s history. Events in room 150 of the Miller Learning Center include:


  • 9 a.m., “Alma Mater, Lost and Found: The History of the University of Georgia in National Perspective,” John R. Thelin, University Research Professor at the University of Kentucky
  • 10:15 a.m., “The baby boomer generation in college,” James C. Cobb, B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History, with response and commentary by James C. Hearn, Professor in the UGA Institute of Higher Education
  • 11:15 a.m., “Historical Images of the University of Georgia,” Nash Boney, history professor emeritus
  • 1:30 p.m., “Mary Frances Early and UGA’s desegregation,” Robert A. Pratt, professor and chair of the history department; “The admission of women to UGA,” Sharon Y. Nickols, Janette M. Barber Distinguished Professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Panel response with undergraduate students moderated by Derrick Alridge, director of the Institute of African Ameri0an Studies.
  • 3 p.m., “The evolution of campus plans, landscapes and preservation efforts,” Danny Sniff, associate vice president for facilities planning; John C. Waters, professor in the School of Environmental Design; and Dexter Adams, director of the grounds department in the Physical Plant

In room 350 of the Miller Learning Center on Thursday, April 22:



  • 3 p.m. “Intercollegiate Athletics,” J. Douglas Toma, an associate professor in the Institute of Higher Education, panel discussion with former student athletes on Title IX and athletics moderated by Welch Suggs, assistant to President Michael F. Adams

At the Tate Student Center Reception Hall:



  • 4:30-6 p.m., reception and concert featuring student ensembles from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music performing pieces related to UGA, including ones written especially for UGA and songs traditionally heard at sporting events and academic ceremonies

The theme for the second day of the symposium, Friday, April 23, is “UGA, Still Making History: Looking to the Future.” Events in room 150 of the Miller Learning Center include:



  • 9 a.m., “The Future of Higher Education.” Stephen R. Portch, chancellor emeritus of the University System of Georgia
  • 10:15 a.m., “The Future of Teaching, Research and Service at the University of Georgia,” panel discussion with Laura Jolly, interim vice president for instruction and dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; David Lee, vice president for research; and Arthur Dunning, former vice president for public service and outreach.
  • 11:30 a.m., closing remarks, UGA President Michael F. Adams,

The symposium will close with the 3 p.m. rededication of the UGA Fine Arts Theatre. Built in the late 1930s, the structure was modernized to include more restrooms and handicap accessible facilities, more theater seats and better acoustics. The project also restored the original ticket booth, coat check and the theater’s ornamental plaster ceiling.


An art exhibition celebrating the university’s 225th anniversary is on display at the Visual Arts Building until April 30. University of Georgia Turns 225 includes objects that reflect the history and current state of UGA. Works by Lamar Dodd, George Cooke, Charles Frederick Naegele, Howard Thomas and current students and professors are on display.

A display at the Main Library, titled ” Celebrating Our Past, Present and Future,” will examine UGA’s relationship with the various occupants of property at the corner of Prince and Oglethorpe avenues over time, from the property’s inception as University High School to its current occupant, the US Navy Supply Corps School. The medical partnership between UGA and the Medical College of Georgia will be housed on the property beginning in 2012, with the first graduates expected in 2014.

“The symposium has a really wonderful mix of people: students, professors, alumni and guests,” said Tom Dyer, professor emeritus and chair of the planning committee. “It should produce a really interesting program.”