Located 60 miles northeast of Atlanta in Athens, Georgia, the University of Georgia was the first state-chartered university in the United States, making it the birthplace of the American system of public higher education. It was incorporated January 27, 1785 by the Georgia General Assembly which gave its trustees 40,000 acres for the purposes of founding a “college or seminary of learning.”

The first meeting of its board of trustees installed its first president, Abraham Baldwin, a native of Connecticut and graduate of Yale University. This meeting also identified the 633 acres on the banks of the Oconee River on which the University was to be built.

The first classes were held in 1801, in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences—named in honor of Benjamin Franklin—under the direction of President Josiah Meigs. The university graduated its first class in 1804.

White and male most of its history, women were admitted to the university in 1918. In 1961, UGA became racially integrated after notable tension with the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Now, UGA is a racially and gender diverse campus with a student population that is 57% female and 43% male.

The university's motto is et docere et rerum exquirere causas ("to teach and to inquire into the nature of things").

UGA is home to the George Foster Peabody Awards, which are presented annually for excellence in television and radio news, entertainment and children’s programming. It also presents the annual Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which recognizes individuals or groups whose initiatives promote peace and cooperation among cultures and nations.

Table of contents
1 Campus
2 Football
3 Statistics
4 Distinguished Alumni
5 Sources
6 External links


Though there have been many additions, changes, and augmentations, UGA’s campus maintains its historic character and southern charm. The customary practice is to divide the extensive, 4,308 acre campus into two sections: North Campus [1] and South Campus [1].

Early view of the North Campus

Modeled on Yale University’s Central/Old Campus [1], UGA’s North Campus contains the picturesque historic buildings—such as the Chapel [1], Old College, New College, the Phi Kappa [1] and Demosthenian Houses [1], Park Hall [1], Meigs Hall, and the President’s office [1]—as well as modern additions such as the Lumpkin Law School [1] and the Main Library [1]. The dominant architectural themes are Federal—the older buildings—and Greco-Roman Classical/Antebellum style. UGA’s North Campus has also been designated an Arboreum by the State of Georgia.

the Arch
Perhaps the most notable North Campus fixture, though, is the Arch [1]. Situated where historic downtown Athens, Georgia meets the campus, the Arch is modeled on the arch found on the Great Seal of the State of Georgia [1]. Legend has it that if you walk through the arch as a Freshman, you will never graduate from UGA [1].


Moving from North Campus toward South Campus — the more recently constructed and scientific and mathematical section of campus — one passes the Tate Student Center [1] and, most notably, the 92,058 seat Sanford Stadium[1]: home of the UGA Bulldog Football Team [1]. The white English Bulldog is UGA’s mascot and is properly known as "Uga" [1]. (UGA's mascot is another Yale influenced aspect of the University.) The Bulldogs play in the Southeastern Conference against teams such as the University of Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Louisiana State University. The biggest rivalries, though, are between the Bulldogs and the Atlantic Coast Conference Georgia Tech Yellowjackets and—most importantly—the University of Florida Gators [1].

The UGA-UF game is held annually in late October/early November in Jacksonville, Florida: a supposedly neutral site. Often referred to as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," this event is a must-do for UGA undergrads as well as alumni. The Bulldogs are cheered on in this game--as well as in all the others--by the 90,000+ fans that sell out every home game as well as the UGA Marching Band, affectionately known as “The Red Coat Marching Band.” [1]

Certainly, Football dominates the UGA athletic scene. However, other notable teams include the UGA Equestrian Team [1], the UGA Gymnastic Team [1], the UGA Fencing Club [1], and the UGA Baseball Team [1] and the UGA Basketball Teams (men's [1] and women's [1]) which play in the UGA Stegeman Coliseum [1].


  • The main campus is 368 buildings on 614 acres; total acreage is 42,064, within 31 of its 159 counties.
  • Enrollment in fall 2002 was 32,941:
    • 24,771 undergraduates
    • 7,958 graduates and professionals
    • 212 others
  • U.S. News & World Report magazine ranked UGA 18th on its 2002 list of 50 top public universities.
  • In recents years, the university's athletic association, which receives no tax dollars, has undertaken $81 million in construction projects, including:
    • over $30 million to expand and upgrade Sanford Stadium, adding 10,000 seats and glassed-in suites
    • a new $7.66 million tennis complex
    • $6.4 million for a new soccer and softball stadium and clubhouse
    • $750,000 in renovations to the football team's trophy room
    • $700,000 in 2003 for another remodeling of the men's basketball coach's office and locker room
  • Since November 2001, the state Legislature has cut $211 million from the university system's budget; the tuition increase for 2003 was 15%.
  • Money magazine’s "Best College Buys" edition listed UGA as one of nine “unbeatable deals” nationwide. Georgia residents can attend tuition-free because of the State of Georgia H.O.P.E. Scholars Program. [1]

Distinguished Alumni

  • Governor Sonny Perdue
  • Robert Benham, first African-American chief justice of the Ga. Supreme Court
  • A.D. “Pete” Correll, chairman and CEO of Georgia-Pacific Corp.
  • Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox
  • Georgia State Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher
  • Former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas
  • John Huey, editorial director of Time, Inc.
  • Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN International bureau chief in South Africa
  • Robert McTeer, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Pat Mitchell, president of Public Broadcasting Service
  • Hala Moddelmog, president of Church’s Chicken
  • Deborah Norville, television journalist
  • Deborah Roberts, ABC News producer and correspondent
  • Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor
  • U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss
  • Former GA Governor, U.S. Senator, and Founder of the H.O.P.E. Scholarship Zell Miller


External links