Campus News

VP for development, alumni relations speaks to Staff Council

UGA is making progress on increasing alumni and outside engagement, but still has room to grow.

That was the message Kelly Kerner, vice president for development and alumni relations, gave to UGA Staff Council April 1. Kerner, who was addressing the group for the first time since he started last July, said UGA needs to grow its endowment as well as its participation rate for giving.

“The good news is that there’s a lot of people who love this place,” Kerner said.

Everyone in Development and Alumni Relations has been working to create “a culture of giving.” That culture is something relatively new to UGA within the last 20 years, Kerner said.

“I like to think about UGA as a family, and all of you would probably do just about anything for your family,” he said. “I think our job in fundraising and alumni engagement is taking care of our family.”

Kerner said his division is trying to find ways to connect people outside the university to the institution in meaningful ways.

“We always have to be looking to deliver value back to them,” he said.

While Kerner said UGA is lagging behind peer institutions in some aspects of giving and engagement, he is optimistic.

“We’re so fortunate to be a part of a place like this,” he said.

Also during the meeting, Staff Council officers were elected. Marie Mize and Mary Moore were re-elected vice chair and coordinator, respectively. Andy Davis was elected recording secretary.