Campus News

State legislature recognizes MPA program’s 50 years of public service

SPIA 50th dean Stefanie A. Lindquist Ralston-h
Dean Stefanie A. Lindquist addresses the state house with Speaker David Ralston.

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs Master of Public Administration program was recognized on the Georgia House and Senate floors in a resolution congratulating the program for its positive local and global impact over the last 50 years.

“SPIA was extremely honored to be recognized by our state legislature and specifically by Speaker (David) Ralston and SPIA alumnus Rep. Earl Ehrhart,” said Stefanie A. Lindquist, dean and Arch Professor of Public and International Affairs. “We are proud of the impact our faculty and alumni have had on our state, nation and the world in the last 50 years, and we are excited to see what we can accomplish in the next 50.”

In celebration of the program’s 50th anniversary, SPIA and the department of public administration and policy will host a weekend of events April 15-16 in Athens.

The celebration includes the following five events:

Friday April 15
2 p.m., MPA student and alumni showcase.
5:30 p.m., networking reception on Herty Field.

Saturday, April 16
10 a.m., breakfast with faculty in Baldwin Hall.
1 p.m., G-Day tailgate hosted by Georgia Students for Public Administration.
7 p.m., gala dinner at Athens Country Club. Speaker: James C. “Jim” Miller III.

In addition, SPIA is also recognizing the work and retirement of Jerry Legge, professor and associate provost for academic planning

“An important part of this 50th anniversary is honoring the individuals who have been instrumental in the program’s success,” said Brad Wright, department head of public administration and policy. “While there have been many stellar faculty leaders and professors in the MPA program during its 50-year history, the contributions of Professor Jerry Legge stand out in many ways.”

In his honor, SPIA is raising $100,000 to endow the Jerry Legge Graduate Fellowship to provide merit-based scholarships for students in the MPA program. The scholarship aims to attract top students and maintain SPIA’s reputation as an elite program.

In 2016, U.S. News and World Report ranked the MPA program fourth in the nation among graduate schools of public affairs. SPIA also has three highly ranked specialty programs: Public finance and budgeting is ranked second; public management administration program is ranked second; and public policy analysis program is ranked 18th.

Established in 1966, the MPA degree at UGA is a two-year academic program aimed at training professionals for careers in the management of government and nonprofit organizations.

For more information about the fellowship or to register for the weekend events, see