The University of Georgia (UGA) is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, the oldest and largest of the state’s institutions of higher learning. Founded in 1785, it claims the title of oldest public university in the United States.
The university regularly performs well in both undergraduate and graduate program rankings in such publications as U.S. News & World Report and BusinessWeek, as well as studies ranking top journalism schools. It has also been recognized as one of the South’s three Public Ivies.
As a college town, Athens often ranks highly. On campus, students enjoy a successful athletics program, an acclaimed student newspaper, and a strong Greek system. The university also hosts the prestigious Peabody Awards. It is the largest university of the University System of Georgia, with an enrollment of 33,831 as of fall 2007.
Though there have been many additions, changes, and augmentations, UGA’s campus maintains its historic character and southern charm. The historical practice has been to divide the 614-acre main campus into two sections, North Campus and South Campus. In the last decade, new facilities have added “East Campus” to the traditional map. This area includes new apartment-like dorms called East Campus Village. Adjacent is the newest and fourth dining hall on campus called East Village Commons. Also on East campus is the Performing and Visual Arts Complex, the Ramsey Center for Physical Activity and the new Lamar Dodd School of Art. “West Campus” is a term used as an informal reference to the area where many of the freshman residence halls are located; most UGA freshman live in one of the high rise dorms in this area.
Modeled on Yale University’s Central/Old Campus, UGA’s North Campus contains the picturesque historic buildings—such as the Chapel, Old College, New College, Demosthenian and the Phi Kappa Halls, Park Hall, Meigs Hall, and the President’s office—as well as modern additions such as the Law School and the Main Library.The dominant architectural themes are Federal—the older buildings—and Greco-Roman Classical/Antebellum style. UGA’s North Campus has also been designated an arboretum by the State of Georgia.
The first Greek letter fraternity to charter at the university was Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 1865, and the first sorority was Phi Mu in 1921. There are 17 sororities from the Panhellenic Council and 26 IFC fraternities. Students with Greek affiliation made up 23 percent of the undergraduate student body as of 2007, including 21% of the males and 24% of the females. Perhaps the most prominent features of Greek Life at the University are the large, mostly Greek Revival, mansions maintained by the national fraternities and sororities as chapter houses lining South Milledge Avenue and South Lumpkin Street and the ubiquitous t-shirts worn by students on campus commemorating Greek social events.
The Bulldogs’ most historic rivalry is with Auburn, referred to as the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” in reference to the first football game played between the two teams in 1892 and the more than one hundred meetings since. For the vast majority of the 20th century, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were unquestionably UGA’s biggest rival (the two schools are a mere 70 miles apart). However, the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s witnessed a growing rivalry with the Florida Gators as well as the University of Tennessee. content via wikipedia