Campus News

UGA mourns passing of former faculty, staff members

Ira Aaron
Ira Aaron

Ira Aaron

Ira Edward Aaron, a retired faculty member in UGA’s College of Education, died Sept. 27. He was 97.

A native of Jenkins County, Aaron was stationed in Alaska during World War II serving as a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. An award-winning public school teacher and administrator, Aaron brought those same leadership qualities to UGA classrooms and administrative positions. As the elected president, he led the International Reading Association and that organization’s Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of awards from local and international professional associations.

The author of teaching materials used by students and teachers throughout the world, Aaron was a productive scholar and teacher.

A graveside service was held Oct. 3 in Millen for Aaron, who is survived by a host of nieces, nephews, a great-niece and great-great nephews.

Memorial donations may be made to the Ira Aaron Award for Teaching Excellence and Collegiality ( or the Ira Aaron International Study Scholarship (

Melanie Andrews Burden

Melanie Andrews Burden, 56, a retired staff member, died Sept. 13.

Formerly of Newport, Rhode Island, Burden was an Athens resident for more than 30 years. During her 30 years at UGA, Burden worked in various departments and roles until her retirement in 2012 as the assistant to the dean of the College of Pharmacy. After retiring from UGA, Burden dedicated her time to the Athens Nurses Clinic helping the organization provide free medical services to those in need.

During her time in Athens, Burden also volunteered with various community organizations including, but not limited to, the YMCA, the Morton Theatre, Relay For Life, the Athens Area Arts Council, Saint Joseph Catholic Church and The Links Inc.

Survivors include her husband Sige Burden Jr., a senior managing HR director at UGA; her sons, Jason Andrews, Brandon Andrews and Trenton Andrews; her sister and brother, Cheryl and Joel McCray, and her father, Harold McCray.

A remembrance service was held Sept. 17 at The Graduate in Athens. Donations in Burden’s memory may be made to the Athens Nurses Clinic. A page has been set up in her name at or donations can be made directly to the organization by contacting Paige Cummings at 706-613-6976.