Commentary: Woodruff Grant Changing UGA Students' Lives | WABE 90.1 FM

Commentary: Woodruff Grant Changing UGA Students' Lives

Nov 21, 2016

The University of Georgia kicked off its largest-ever fundraising campaign Nov. 17 at the Georgia Aquarium.

UGA is seeking to raise $1.2 billion by 2020. It has already raised $680 million during the quiet phase of the campaign, including the largest single gift the university has ever received – $30 million from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

Jere Morehead, the president of the University of Georgia, has a special understanding of students who fight the odds to get a college degree.

Morehead was the first generation in his family to go to college – enrolling at Georgia State University when he was only 16 years old.

He graduated and entered UGA Law School, earning his law degree when he was only 23.

It’s no surprise Morehead has a special commitment to students who are struggling financially to stay in school.

That’s why a centerpiece of UGA’s Commit to Georgia campaign is to help close the financial gap many students face, despite receiving both HOPE and Pell grants.

There are more than 6,000 UGA students facing financial challenges.  And the $30 million Woodruff grant is a significant step to helping those students.

Morehead, who joined UGA’s faculty in 1986, eventually became the University’s provost in 2009 and president in 2013, is a prime example of the success that comes with education.

According to Morehead, success of our efforts will be measured not only by the number of dollars raised but also — and more importantly — by the number of lives changed.

Maria Saporta is editor of SaportaReport.