Robert Toombs Sign

A defaced memorial plaque stands where an oak tree once did, under which Rober Toombs made a famous speech at the University of Georgia. Toombs later served in the Confederate government during the Civil War. Athens, Ga. Sept 5th, 2017 (Photo/Justin Fountain, justingf@uga.edu)

The University of Georgia is known for its academics, campus and athletics. Even with national recognition, some fail to realize the immense history of the school. Students should be encouraged to seek and learn the history of UGA, because the future relies on the students to keep the past alive.

It is pertinent that as students embark on their college journeys at UGA, they take time to educate themselves on the diverse history that surrounds the university. UGA was chartered in 1785. It is the oldest university in America to be started by a state government.

UGA’s campus is over 700 acres of land made up of 17 different colleges. Franklin College of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1801, making it the oldest college in UGA history. The most recent college was the College of Engineering founded in 2012.

There are historical markers all around UGA’s campus that signify pieces of history throughout the years. There is a plaque in front of Old College which symbolizes the first building ever built on UGA’s campus. The Chapel Bell is another historical marker on UGA’s campus. The bell was put in place in 1835 and is still an important part of UGA history.

UGA’s history is also focused around its athletics. The university is home to 21 nationally competitive teams. In 1886, baseball was the first sports team at the university which kicked off the beginning of an athletic legacy.

UGA won its first football game on January 30th, 1892 against Mercer with a goat as the mascot. Even so, the bulldog symbol has long been associated with UGA in a long, complicated history.

Georgia played Auburn on February 20th and lost with an ending score of 10-0. Ever since that game, back in 1892, Georgia vs Auburn is known as the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.”

Desegregation played an important role in the history of the university. In 1961 when Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter made history by registering for classes at UGA, they paved the way for desegregation throughout the South. When students walk past the Arches on North Campus, they can see the Holmes/Hunter Academic Building, the same building that Holmes and Hunter walked into over 50 years ago.

The history of the University of Georgia is extensive. It is the responsibility of each and every student to engulf themselves in its past. Every student must understand what it truly means to call themselves a bulldog because it means so much more than just being accepted into a university.


The Red & Black publishes opinions from a number of contributors and staff columnists. Their opinions do not reflect the opinions of the editorial staff. The editorial staff is in no way involved with the opinion pieces published with the exception of editorials. Editorials are written by the editorial board consisting of the opinion editor, managing editor and editor-in-chief. Editorials are clearly marked EDITORIAL at the beginning. This article is from contributor Lyndsey McElhannon, a junior English major. 

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