Dedication ceremony for naming of Vandiver Hall at UGA scheduled Sept. 26; Georgia Law alumnus honored

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Writer: Larry B. Dendy, 706/542-8078, ldendy@uga.edu
Contact: Tom Jackson, 706/542-8090, tjackson@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - A dedication ceremony will be held Sept. 26 to officially name a student residence hall at the University of Georgia in honor of former Gov. Ernest Vandiver.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will be on the lawn of East Campus Village, a cluster of four residence halls on UGA's East Campus. One of the buildings is being named S. Ernest Vandiver Jr. Hall.

Speakers for the ceremony will include UGA President Michael F. Adams and Vandiver's daughter, Jane Kidd of Athens. A plaque will be unveiled and a reception will follow the ceremony.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents last month gave UGA permission to name buildings for Vandiver and two other former governors, Joe Frank Harris and Zell Miller, to recognize their contributions to higher education in Georgia and their support for UGA. Dedications of the buildings honoring Harris and Miller will be held later.

Vandiver, who died in 2005, was governor of Georgia from1959 to 1963. A native of Lavonia, he received degrees in business and law from UGA. 

During his administration, state funding for public higher education rose 29 percent. UGA received state appropriations for several residence halls and other major buildings including the physics, biological sciences, chemistry, geography/geology, and poultry science buildings as well as the pharmacy building and Stegeman Coliseum.

However, Vandiver's lasting legacy is his leadership in keeping UGA open in the face of efforts by other state leaders to close the school rather than accept racial integration in 1961.

Other major accomplishments of his administration include creation of a statewide system of mental health institutes, limits on waste and fraud in state government and elimination of the county unit voting system.

Vandiver was a pilot in World War II and served as mayor of Lavonia, state adjutant general and lieutenant governor before being elected governor.

Vandiver Hall, opened in 2004, is a six-story apartment-style residence hall that houses upper-class and graduate students.  

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