Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Athletic Association will establish a $1 million endowment to support the university’s new experiential learning initiative. The association’s board of directors approved the contribution during its spring meeting.
“The athletic association has a strong track record of supporting the university’s most important academic initiatives,” said President Jere W. Morehead, who also serves as chair of the board, “and none is more relevant to the institution right now than this initiative designed to further enhance student learning at UGA.”
The $1 million gift to establish the endowment for experiential learning will bring the athletic association’s total contribution to the university’s academic enterprise to $5 million for this fiscal year.
“We are exceptionally pleased to provide these funds that will support the experiential learning initiative,” said Greg McGarity, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics. “It is one of the university’s most important programs being developed and will be a cornerstone in the undergraduate curriculum for years to come. It’s also another way we can integrate academics and athletics on our campus, continuing the strong partnership around programs that benefit the university.”
The university has a strong history of providing experiential learning opportunities to its students-particularly through study abroad, service-learning, research and internships. Its new initiative builds on these strengths by making these experiences a graduation requirement starting in fall 2016 for incoming first-year students.
Each student will be able to select from a diverse slate of “learning by doing” opportunities tailored to reflect their individual interests and aspirations. The program is designed to increase students’ academic performances while preparing them for graduate school and the workforce.
“Experiential learning enables students to make substantive, purposeful connections between their academic foundations and their future educational and professional aspirations,” noted Linda Bachman, director of university experiential learning. “This extraordinary gift from the athletic association will have a tremendous impact on the initiative and sets a leadership example for other partners in this important effort.”
UGA will become one of the largest public universities to provide experiential learning opportunities to all undergraduates. For more information on UGA’s experiential learning initiative, see http://www.ugaexperience.com/.