Overview of the Foundation
The University of Georgia Foundation accepts and manages donor funds on behalf of the University of Georgia to enhance academic programs and opportunities at the university. The foundation continues to be one of the most effective ways for individuals to support the University of Georgia.
The foundation is overseen by a Board of Trustees that includes individuals of diverse backgrounds and experience, and includes leaders in business, community service and philanthropy.
As a steward of donor funds, the UGA Foundation has an outstanding record of fiscal and financial management, with an investment portfolio that has outperformed key market indexes for more than 10 years.
From its beginnings in 1937, the foundation today has amassed more than $1 billion in assets, and provides more than $40 million to the university each year to support student scholarships, chairs and professorships, academic research and other programs.
The growth of the University of Georgia Foundation has mirrored the expansion and success of the university itself over the years:
1937:Foundation was founded by a group of alumni who were concerned about the academic quality of their alma mater. It allowed the University of Georgia, for the first time in its history, to raise private funds in an organized way that would be used for scholarships and to attract top-quality instructors to campus.
1945:Assets approached $250,000 and the foundation made its first grant – a $600 supplement for the salary of history Professor E. Merton Coulter.
1950s:Foundation provided a $10,000 grant to ward off a raid on promising faculty and to raise salaries to attract better candidates. Part of the grant also was used to help create a microfilm file of Georgia newspapers in the university library. A few years later, another $10,000 grant was approved for the naming of the first eight "Foundation Professors."
1966:A National Merit Scholars Program underwritten by the foundation made 15 awards to Georgia finalists. During the next 10 years, the program grew to one of the nation's largest.
1971:Foundation began to create a series of “super scholarships” which resulted in the Foundation Fellows Program, patterned after the Morehead Scholarships of North Carolina.
1972: The University of Georgia hired staff to support the fundraising efforts of the foundation.
1980s – 1990s: Several organized fundraising drives, combined to raise more than $240 million.
2005: The Arch Foundation for the University of Georgia was incorporated. Its mission and purpose was to “provide support to the teaching, research and public service and outreach programs of the University of Georgia by means of volunteer leadership and assistance in development and fundraising activities; fiduciary care for the assets of the corporation for the long-term benefit and enhancement of the University; and the provision of broad advice, consultation and support to the President of the University.”
2011: The boards of both the Arch Foundation and the University of Georgia Foundation recognized that, while both foundations were enjoying success in their respective, though very similar, missions; this paradigm presented an opportunity to merge the two entities into a single foundation. In June 2011, the boards of the two foundations voted unanimously to approve a merger agreement that brought the strengths of both together in a robust organization with a clear focus on raising and managing funds in support of the University of Georgia’s academic mission.
2014: The University of Georgia Foundation's total assets exceed $1 billion for the first time in history.
Today: The University of Georgia Foundation is working with the university in support of its 2020 Strategic Plan to sustain undergraduate and post-graduate education while advancing its reputation as a global leader among research institutions. The University of Georgia Foundation continues as a primary source of funding for scholarships, endowed chairs, professorships and other academic endeavors at the university.