During his final year as president of the University of Georgia, Michael F. Adams was recognized as one of Georgia’s most prominent figures by Georgia Trend Magazine.
Adams made his 17th appearance on the Most Influential Georgians: Georgia’s Power List through his contributions to UGA.
While Adams’ latest influences include establishing the College of Engineering and teaming up with the Medical College of Georgia to provide a four-year medical education program in Athens, Adams and his staff were also forerunners for the environmentally efficient proposal known as the Master Plan.
As a member of this list, Adams earns his spot through his overall effect — not only his standing as president.
“We look at impact, not just position,” said Jerry Grillo, executive editor of Georgia Trend Magazine. “For the university system, he’s one of those slam-dunk obvious choices.”
Adams is recognized not only through his initiatives but also UGA’s growth since his presidency began June 11, 1997. In Adams’ 17 years at UGA, enrollment has increased by almost 6,000 students, and approximately $1 billion have gone to construction.
“The University’s reputation has grown and enrollment has increased,” Grillo said. “And the University continues to draw millions in research dollars from around the country.”
For teachers at UGA, the reputation precedes the man. Only some actually interact with Adams and are able to know the reputation along with the man holding it.
“He is just as much a stranger to me as he probably is to you,” said Dr. John Nicholson, a professor of classics at UGA.
Both Adams and his staff view the recognition as an honor for Adams, as well as for UGA. Although it is not a foreign concept, the accreditation is still respected and seen as a reflection of the institution as a whole.
“It is emblematic not only of Adams, but of the presidency itself,” said Tom Jackson, vice president for public affairs.
Although Adams will step down from the presidency on June 30, his achievements and contributions will be remembered long after his retirement.