The University of Georgia Alumni Association kicked off a series of activities surrounding Saturday’s UGA vs. Notre Dame football game with a rousing reception in Chicago on Thursday. The gridiron matchup was the first time that the Bulldogs faced the Fighting Irish since defeating them in the 1981 Sugar Bowl – a victory that led to the Bulldogs’ 1980 National Championship title. Georgia won Saturday’s game 20-19, with an impressive Bulldog contingent in Notre Dame Stadium.
About 15,000 members of the Bulldog Nation traveled to Chicago and South Bend for the game. A large crowd attended the reception at The Peninsula Hotel in downtown Chicago. The event gave President Jere W. Morehead, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Kelly Kerner, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity and other administrators and staff an opportunity to connect with UGA supporters who live and work in the city.
“Our alumni and friends in Chicago are passionate about the University of Georgia and care deeply about its future,” Morehead said. “Tonight’s reception was a great reminder of the tremendous strength of the Bulldog network, which spans the nation and, indeed, the world.”
Weekend events were planned around the country to bring together UGA alumni. Saturday’s Official UGA Alumni Association Tailgate, which sold out in less than 20 minutes, drew more than 1,000 Bulldog fans to the Notre Dame Tailgate Village. More than 40 alumni chapters hosted game watching parties on Saturday.
“Whenever we travel to cities across the country, I am more impressed by the wonderful work that our graduates are doing in their professions and their communities,” said Meredith Gurley Johnson, executive director of alumni relations. “Our alumni in the Chicago area are eager to remain involved with and support their alma mater. They make us proud!”
More than 3,000 alumni live in Chicago, working in fields ranging from finance to health care to theater. In addition to the Chicago chapter, the UGA Alumni Association also has regional chapters in Indianapolis and a budding group in Evansville, Indiana. These chapters and others across the nation host events for local alumni throughout the year.