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Welcome to a New Generation of GA Bulldogs

Welcome to a New  Generation of GA Bulldogs
By Dick Yarbrough
Welcome to a New  Generation of GA Bulldogs
By Dick Yarbrough

There is a lot going on at my alma mater, the University of Georgia. Not all the news has been good. There was the tragedy last year when an athletic department staffer and a member of the football team were killed in a tragic car crash that law enforcement authorities say involved speeding, racing, reckless driving and alcohol impairment. This, ironically, hours after a parade in Athens to celebrate the team’s back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championships. A year later, the lawsuits and recriminations continue.

The latest tragedy involves 22-yearold nursing student, Laken Riley, who was killed while jogging last month. Jose Antonio Ibarra, an illegal immigrant from Venezuela, is charged with her murder. He had been previously arrested by both federal and state officials in multiple jurisdictions and had a bench warrant issued for his arrest in December in Athens after failing to appear in court in a shoplifting case.

I used to call Athens “The Classic City of the South,” but no more. The inmates are running the asylum now. The mayor is an unapologetic liberal weenie and the local district attorney archly announced she wouldn’t enforce all the laws of the land. Just the ones she agrees with.

And then, of course, there is all the hand-wringing over the football team’s prospects of another national championship, as though anything less is abject failure.

But in spite of all of this, the University of Georgia is busy doing what its mission states: “To teach, to serve, and to inquire into the nature of things.” In other words, it is first and foremost an academic institution. And a good one. UGA has been ranked among the top 20 among public universities for eight consecutive years and looking at the incoming Class of 2028, it is only going to get better.

The university announced that it had received more than 43,000 applications for admission and more than 15,900 students accepted for the fall semester. The incoming class comprises approximately 80% in-state students and 20% out-of-state students. In total, 20,100 applications came from in-state students representing 618 Georgia high schools in 148 of Georgia’s 159 counties. Applications from in-state students were up 7% this year. In addition, some 23,440 applications came from 48 states, Washington, D.C., and 41 countries.

“While getting into the University of Georgia is increasingly competitive, UGA is the state’s flagship institution and our primary focus is on recruiting, admitting and enrolling Georgia residents,” said David Graves, director of undergraduate admissions.

Close to one-third of UGA’s graduates will enter the university as transfer students, as well. Decisions on admission of transfer students for summer and fall 2024 are being made with notification every Friday until mid-April.

Wherever they come from and however they got here, they are brighter than a newly minted penny. Admission was offered to those with superior academic records. The middle 50% of admitted students reported a GPA of 4.05-4.33; an ACT score of 29-34 and an SAT score of 1280-1470. Interestingly, first generation students, where neither parent nor guardian has earned a bachelor’s degree, make up 21.6% of the class.

Knowing all of this, I’m hiding my diploma lest the powers-that-be decide to take a look at my academic record. It was somewhere south of stellar. That will be our secret.

“As the University of Georgia’s reputation for excellence continues to grow, we are attracting the best and brightest students from across our state and around the world,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I congratulate all of the students admitted to the Class of 2028 and look forward to the many contributions they will make to our stellar academic community.”

I add my congratulations and I would offer the Class of 2028 some advice: Enjoy the next four years. They will be some of the most memorable years of your life. I don’t have to remind you to study hard. You could not have gotten into the university had you not had good study habits. But soak in the experience while you are there. I can promise you that there is nothing like Sanford Stadium on a bright, crisp fall afternoon. Have some fun. Party a little. (But not too much.) Get involved in campus life. Make friends. The ones you make will likely be friends for life.

Most importantly, remember that once your four years are over and you have that diploma in hand, no matter where life takes you, you will be Georgia Bulldogs forever. Welcome and Woof! Woof!

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.

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