by Drew Flaherty

Summertime is a quiet season for Athens, Georgia. Don’t let the empty streets fool you! Students are still engaged with UGA, and the calmness of campus provides the Student Alumni Council — a group of student volunteers committed to connecting their peers to university traditions, philanthropic opportunities and alumni — the opportunity to reach new students as they begin their journeys at UGA. In this blog, I’ll share our approach to student engagement in the summertime. If you have a resource or story that would resonate with students during the summer, let’s connect!

At any given time, we have roughly 22,000 students to connect with. Most second- and third-year students likely met SAC at Freshman Welcome or one of their subsequent Founders Day celebrations. Each year, roughly 7,500 of those students are preparing for graduation and life after the Arch as alumni.

The incoming class of first-year and transfer students adds over 6,000 new students to our engagement pipeline. Students from across the state, country and globe are all visiting campus for New Student Orientations and counting down the days until move-in. They bring a fresh perspective to campus as they explore what UGA has to offer and what they can gain as a student. The excitement that these students bring allows SAC to capitalize on their potential. In partnership with New Student Orientation, SAC connects with new students several times throughout the summer.


UGA’s campus and buildings are beautiful backdrops for engaging signage! Thanks to the creative work of DARCOMM, we’re able to connect with students that are on campus this summer through yard signs, digital screens and more. These marketing materials drive students to the SAC Instagram, where we rotate through first-year resources, DAR education and spirited content.


You might remember the lecture portion of Orientation, where various campus teams present important information on resources available to UGA students. Large audiences fill Tate Grand Hall for the summer presentation, but SAC members are there to bring the spirit. During this time, our office presents various university traditions. The crowd is educated on UGA icons, like the Arch, as well as a few of the common athletic cheers. All of this prepares students for their first time as a student in Sanford Stadium at Freshman Welcome.


SAC finishes the drill during orientation at Fourth Quarter. This is an opportunity for students to attend Ramsey for a night of community building. Organizations greet students with additional resources and games, highlighting that life at the UGA is about learning and getting involved on campus.

There is no replacing the energy of a UGA campus in full swing. However, as we capitalize on the summer months by targeting our newest Bulldogs, there is something magical about focusing on the Dawgs that have made it here for the first time. SAC is proud to represent Development and Alumni Relations and share the incredible opportunities that come with being a Georgia Bulldog.