Campus News Society & Culture

UGA’s international community to celebrate 40th anniversary of coffee hour

Athens, Ga. – For the past four decades, University of Georgia students, faculty, staff and members of the local community have gathered on campus each Friday to celebrate international cultural diversity. Sponsored by the Office of International Student Life, the International Coffee Hour program will mark its 40th anniversary with a special reception on Sept. 21 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Ballroom.

The campus community and the general public are invited to attend.

International coffee hours have given the campus community an opportunity to learn about other cultures by sharing food, music, performance and conversation. Each week, a sponsoring registered student organization, university department or community agency highlights a different culture or nation. In addition to native food, music and occasional performances, international students also distribute literature and promote their organizations.

The 40th anniversary event will include international teas, coffees and food items, student cultural displays, a global fashion show, and entertainment from around the world, including a santur (Iranian instrumental performance), steel drum soloist, an Argentinian dance exposition and breakdancing.

“International Coffee Hour is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the country,” said Leigh Poole, associate director of student life. “It is truly significant that for four decades, the university and local communities have come together in the same room at the same time on a weekly basis to learn and celebrate various cultures around the globe.”

Richard Reiff, former executive director of the Office of International Education at UGA, founded coffee hour in 1972. It has been held exclusively in the Memorial Hall Ballroom and has only temporarily been relocated during renovations.

For more information about coffee hour or programs and services for international students, call 706/542-5867 or see

International Student Life is a unit of the department of student life within UGA’s Division of Student Affairs.