UNG Alumni Logo 

University of North Georgia
Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving
60 West Main Street, 3rd Floor
Dahlonega, GA 30533





Phil Collins '75 stands with Mr. Eugene Kuykendall on his third trip to Omaha Beach.

 Mr. Kuykendall's first trip was on June 7, 1944.

UNG Alumni and Friends,


The new 2015 fiscal year is upon us and I hope that you will notice the new look of the Alumni Bulletin and Newsletter. This quarterly publication by the Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving is designed around information of interest to alumni. Please explore the articles and active links provided so that you become familiar with how to stay informed about alumni events, news and opportunities. Enjoy and give us your feedback.


In late June and early July, I was privileged to travel with an alumni tour group visiting the American Cemetery in Colleville Sur Mer, France. Three of our alumni are buried there, all having lost their lives in combat during the time of the allied invasion of Normandy in 1944. Our goal during the visit to each grave was to represent you and to remember each of them as members of our alumni family. It was a moving experience for each of us, one that we won't forget. A series of photos from this occasion along with others from the tour are included in the following photo album: UNG Alumni Tour 2014. 


Soon the Fall semester will begin and the 2015 year will be in full swing with many opportunities for alumni to participate in the life of the university. As always, we appreciate your support of the university and its programs. Our office is here to help you, don't hesitate to give us a call. 
Phil Collins' Signature


Associate VP, Alumni Relations & Annual Giving

The steering committee charged with creating the new UNG Alumni Association continues to make progress on the task at hand. The committee has created vision and mission statements and a list of strategic initiatives. Additionally, work has been completed on the organizational concept of the new association as well as a list of volunteer/board member roles and responsibilities, a plan for the first (transition) year and association structure. In the coming weeks, the respective governing councils of the existing alumni associations (GSC and NGCSU) will be given the opportunity to cast a Yes or No vote to accept these guidelines. The members of the steering committee representing both councils are: Ann Davis, Ben Clark, Chris Stenander, Elizabeth Rhodes, Jackie Wallace, James Wright, Jason Cox, Rob Reid, and Vicki Davis, with staff - Phil Collins, and Consultants from Sinclair, Townes & Company.


NGCCA - The first SIG to receive conditional approval as a university-recognized Shared Interest Group, the North Georgia Corps of Cadets Association (NGCCA), is making progress on the requirements to be fully approved. In collaboration with the Commandant of Cadets, the NGCCA is considering several opportunities to deploy its resources in support of the Corps of Cadets. The NGCAA is also sponsoring a Cadet Alumni Meet and Greet on Thursday, July 31 at Sine' Irish Pub on Pentagon Row in the Washington, DC area, hosted by LTC Jason A. Bryan, `95. A Facebook page has been established for this event. Click here to visit the page.


Alumni interested in exploring the formation of a Shared Interest Group, based upon a common bond or connection shared with others during your time at the university, may find information online, or e-mail the Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving.
Whether you are down the street from one of our four campuses, in another state or on a base half-way around the world, your Office of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving is working to keep you engaged. In the next several months, we will launch our Nighthawk Networking Events, host a UNG Day at the Atlanta Zoo, tee-off at our annual Alumni Scholarship Cup and offer several additional opportunities for you to stay connected. Click here to stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming events, including Alumni Weekend 2015 taking place next spring April 17-19. We will celebrate the 50th reunion for the class of 1965 and reunions for the classes of 1975, 1985, 1990 and 1995. Lastly, please take a few moments to complete this quarter's Alumni Survey. Your input will assist us in planning for future events and programs.

Alumni Weekend
was held on a picture-perfect Dahlonega weekend in April. We celebrated the 50th Reunion of the Class of 1964 and reunions for the classes of 1974, 1984, 1989 and 1994. Several new events took place, including the All Alumni Mixer on the Price Memorial Plaza, as the steeple shone above the guests. The annual Starlight Concert and Fireworks, held in early June, welcomed thousands to our Gainesville Campus for an evening of family fun, live music and a fireworks show capping off the night.
Haley Lee '06 MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Northeast Georgia Medical Center

How did your time at UNG benefit you in your career?

While attending the University of North Georgia, I learned that effective communication skills, teamwork and good time management are essential for success both personally and professionally. These skills were beneficial when I later pursued and completed my Masters in Occupational Therapy. I currently use each of these skills on a daily basis while treating patients and interacting with coworkers.

How do you stay involved as an alumnus?
I stay involved as an alumnus by having UNG students shadow during treatment sessions and spend time with me during the workday. This includes a variety of students, including those in the Nursing and Physical Therapy Programs. I am appreciative for what the University of North Georgia has done for me and would like to ensure that future generations are successful in their careers.
If you know someone who should be spotlighted in a future addition, please send your nomination to alumni@ung.edu. The Young Alumni Board's Marketing and Outreach Committee selects the quarterly spotlight to be featured. Learn more about how you can become involved with the Young Alumni Program by clicking here.
Donate to UNG 

The hodgepodge of terms that make up the language of higher education philanthropy can be confusing. In each issue of the UNG Alumni Bulletin & Newsletter we will attempt to isolate and explain many of the terms you read and hear, plus provide examples of how your donations are used. 

 UNG Annual Fund 

An example of how your gifts to the UNG Annual Fund are used include assisting the Center for the Future of North Georgia with two very distinct programs. The Cottrell Speaker Series hosts executives who share innovations in the business industry with students and friends of UNG. The UNG Annual Fund also provides additional funding for 84 students who have completed 60 hours with a GPA of 2.5 or higher to participate in the Center's internship program in one of the following concentrations: accounting, marketing, computer science, computer information, finance or management.



My name is James Barbee and I am a Spring 2014 graduate of the University of North Georgia. I was raised in Summerville, Georgia. I come from a big family, being one of ten children, and grew up in a single-parent home. Due to my family not being able to financially provide for me, the option of going to college was never really an option. I enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst and then became an Interrogator. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010.


I started off at Dalton State College prior to deployment. As part of the deploying process, I had to do two weeks of training in Arizona. The college was unwilling to work with me and I couldn't avoid the training. It was clear that I needed to select a college that was military friendly. I needed to find a college that understood the obstacles that I as a student veteran encountered. After some researching and speaking with several alumni, I decided to apply to the University of North Georgia.


Although I was entitled to G.I. Bill benefits, the price of education and the complicated procedures involved meant that I still did not have enough money to cover my educational expenses. The UNG Scholarship helped me cover the gaps that my military service couldn't, allowing me to focus more on my education and less on how I was going to pay for it.

I am currently scheduled to attend the Arabic Language course in Monterey, California. My language training will take a year and a half. After I complete my Arabic course, I plan to enroll at a law school within Georgia. My ultimate career goal is to work in international law, combining my military experiences and my education.

Corps Corner Graphic 
There are five new brigadier generals among the class of 1988. Congratulations to BG Joseph F. Jarrard (GAARNG), BG William K. Gayler (USA), BG Paul T. Calvert (USA), BG James B. Jarrard (USA) and BG Michael L. Scholes (GAARNG) for earning this rank.

COL (Ret.) Gerald Lord '61 served as the Professor of Military Science and Commandant during their tenure at North Georgia. He said, "It makes me feel good to look at these five General Officers and say I knew that General when he was a Cadet. These five individuals are outstanding Officers and have, and will continue to have, a major impact on the U.S. Army. In the past we have had classes that produced up to three Generals but never one that produced five. We can be proud of all five and I predict they have set a trend that will continue in future classes."


From 1987-1991, Major Neikirk was an active duty Captain, stationed in Dahlonega. When asked about the class of 1988 having brigadier generals he said, "I have monitored their progress over the past 26 years as they have risen up through the ranks. I am extremely proud of their accomplishments and I hope I had some small part in getting them off on the right foot when they entered the military."


"The U.S. Army assigned me to teach Army ROTC at then, North Georgia College. The Professor of Military Science at the time was COL Gerald Lord.  When I arrived at North Georgia, COL Lord assigned me to teach the seniors (Military Science IV) and also serve as the Detachment Adjutant. The first senior class I taught was the class of 1988, and all 5 of these generals were my students. That class is a special class because it was my first. They all are great Americans!"    

Neikirk continued, "I remember them all very well! They were all good Cadets, they didn't get into any trouble! My class wasn't easy, but I think all 5 of them made A's in the class each Quarter.....in those days we were on Quarters, not Semesters." 


"I got to know them inside and outside of the classroom, especially while serving as Adjutant and also as a Cadet Company Advisor. BG Gayler was the Brigade Commander that year and he had the difficult task of keeping all the Cadets in line. I also remember making him serving as the class leader for his section of Military Science.....if a Cadet was late or absent, BG Gayler was held responsible!" Major Neikirk also recalled that BG Gayler would sometimes receive some "punishment'" for his peers' lack of self-discipline!


Major Neikirk went on to say, "During their senior year, all Cadets requested their branch choices.......my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be, but BG Gayler wanted to branch Aviation----he did.  BG Joe Jarrard wanted to branch Field Artillery----he did.  BG Jamie Jarrard wanted to branch Infantry----he did. BG Calvert wanted to branch Armor---he did. BG Scholes wanted to branch Armor---he did. You didn't get your first branch choice in those days unless you had an outstanding record."


In closing, "This school has produced some outstanding General Officers over the years. Right now, North Georgia currently has 10 General Officers leading our Army. That is a great tribute to this military program.  I don't think there is another school in the nation that can say this, other than perhaps West Point.  I think that is fantastic that 5 of the 10 are from the same class," said Neikirk.    


The UNG PMS position will open up in Summer '15. NG alumni who are currently serving as colonels or
promotable lieutenant colonels in year groups 1988-1992 who want to be selected for the PMS position at North Georgia in Summer '15 must be nominated (or self-nominated) in Spring/Summer 14.


All PMSs, including those assigned to senior military colleges, are now selected through a centralized selection board that will take place at Human Resources Command at Fort Knox in August 14 for a report date of Summer '15. Details provided in Milper Message 14-092, issued 1 April 14. Note that a Masters degree is absolutely required; other restrictions exist.


Contact US Army Cadet Command G1 for more info on the PMS selection board: Mr. Burns, 502-624-2724 or Mr. Hefner 502-624-0122. 

As many of you may recall, deciding a major, or deciding what to do with a major, can be a challenge. Students often want to know what our alumni are doing and would benefit from a conversation about the various fields that UNG alumni find themselves in.


Now, YOU can help current students and recent graduates with this exploration process by participating in the Alumni Career Network through Career Services. As an Alumni Career Network member, you may answer questions from students and fellow alumni as they explore various career fields, assist with questions about job and internship searches, and possibly invite students to shadow you for a day.


Just being in the database can assist students in their career journey, even if they don't contact you! Accessing the database allows students to see what real UNG alumni are doing with their degrees, opening their eyes and giving them ideas of the various career paths that are available.


The information you provide can only be accessed by students and alumni through a visit to Career Services. Won't you consider giving back to students to help them prepare for their future? To participate, simply click hereYour assistance is greatly appreciated!


A Message from Liberty Mutual Insurance

You can help the next generation of alumni receive a UNG education.
Support your future alumni! Simply get a free quote on Liberty Mutual Auto, Home, or Renters Insurance by July 15, and we will donate $10 to the University of North Georgia Scholarship Fund.1 What's more, we'll donate up to $10,000 to the top two alumni associations with the most quotes1!                                                                                                             

You, too, can benefit! Liberty Mutual has partnered with your alumni association to provide you exclusive savings up to $427.96 on quality insurance coverage2. We offer benefits such as:

  • Accident and Loss Forgiveness, if you qualify
  • Better Car Replacement
  • Multi-Policy Discount2

Visit Liberty Mutual or call 855-323-2150 for a free, no-obligation quote and we'll contribute to your school's scholarship fund.



1 No purchase of a policy is required. Limit one quote per policy type per person. Not available to residents in in CT, FL, IA, MA, ME, MO, ND, NM, or PA; or to existing Liberty Mutual Insurance customers. Top alumni associations determined by the ratio of the number of quotes to number of alumni association eligibles. First prize is $10,000 and second prize is $8,000.

2 Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Figure reflects average national savings for customers who switched to Liberty Mutual's group auto and home program. Based on data collected between 9/1/2012 and 8/31/2013. Individual premiums and savings will vary.


Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. 2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance.

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