Institutional Excellence: UNG

The Georgia Education Advancement Council is pleased to honor the Office of University Advancement at the University of North Georgia with the 2013 GEAC Award for Overall Institutional Excellence in Advancement. UNG staff members have made significant and specific professional contributions that have yielded positive results for their office, institution and field.

Faced with the challenge of consolidating the operations of two institutions within the University System of Georgia, advancement professionals representing Gainesville State College and North Georgia College and State University worked together to identify best practices and build a cohesive unit. Despite merging two advancement operations, expanding over four campuses, and placing six colleagues in entirely new roles and job responsibilities, this team has figured out how to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together in support of the University of North Georgia.

The UNG team has successfully completed a $44 million capital campaign, exceeded goals for a new scholarship ball (raising more than $240,000 in the process), and merged two existing donor databases and financial systems into one. Donor integration was further promoted by the recent completion of a donor-wall campaign.

Additionally, these new colleagues have coordinated reunion events for alumni from both institutions, including a golf tournament to support scholarships, and established new Young Alumni and Student Alumni programs. They continue to cultivate their combined alumni population and are thinking outside the box as they look ahead to the establishment of a new alumni organization.

Through both their challenges and their accomplishments, these 17 committed higher education professionals have proven themselves to be a model advancement team and are well deserving of this shared honor.

By Jennifer Hendrickson, GEAC Awards Committee
Director of Institutional Advancement, Gwinnett Technical College