Come Celebrate 100 Years!
The UGA Graduate School will begin its 100th anniversary celebration with the Centennial Kickoff featuring a speech by Debra Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. She will discuss opportunities and challenges facing graduate education in the next decade and beyond in a speech called The Future of Graduate Education: What Do We Need to Do Monday and Why?
Stewartís speech will address the developments of graduate education in the United States and how universities can prepare themselves for oncoming changes. She will also address how graduate programs can establish benchmarks to achieve their aspirational goals.
After serving several higher education positions in North Carolina, Stewart has been a national spokesperson for graduate education as president of the Council of Graduate Schools for 10 years.
The Council of Graduate Schools is the leading organization in advancing and researching graduate education nationwide. CGS has more than 500 member institutions, and CGS members award 94 percent of U.S. doctorates and 75 percent of U.S. masterís degrees.
The inaugural event to the year-long celebration will also include remarks from Michael Adams, UGA president, and Maureen Grasso, dean of the Graduate School, as well as the presentation of the first annual Graduate Schoolís Innovation in Graduate Education Award.
The Centennial Kickoff will take place on Jan. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Tate Student Center.
Although masterís degrees have been awarded by UGA since 1870, the formal recognition of graduate education at UGA ushered in a new era of student learning and teaching. Departments set standard benchmarks for students to reach before awarding a graduate degree.
On June 10, 1910, UGA organized its graduate education practices under the Graduate School when the Board of Trustees named Professor Willis Henry Bocock as dean of the Graduate School. Still, the Graduate School remained a small segment of the overall university. In 1910, seven students enrolled for graduate study; in 2008, a record-setting 7,160 students enrolled for graduate study.
The Graduate School awarded its first masterís degrees to three students in 1913. A year later, Mary D. Lyndon became the first woman to receive a masterís degree. She went on to become the universityís first dean of women.
The initial graduate degrees offered by UGA were Master of Arts, Master of Science, Civil Engineering and Master of Science in agriculture. Doctoral degrees were first offered in 1935 in three fields Ė chemistry, biological sciences and history. From the limited number degrees available in the early years, today UGA offers masterís degrees in 118 fields and doctoral degrees in 79 disciplines.
In 1962, Mary Frances Early made history when she became the first African-American to receive a degree from UGA. Early graduated with a masterís degree in music education, and afterward she went on to teach music in Atlanta public schools and serve as chair of the music department at Clarke-Atlanta University.
Since then, the student population has become more diverse every year. African-American and Latino graduate student enrollment increased by 5.6 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, in 2008. Also, in the last few years UGA has been consistently ranked in the top 20 U.S. universities for awarding doctoral degrees to African-Americans.