Jere W. Morehead, JD
President, University of Georgia
The INSIGHT Into Diversity Giving Back Award honors college presidents and chancellors who go above and beyond their everyday duties to give back to their institutions and communities. President Morehead was nominated by colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a 2016 Giving Back Award recipient for his dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion and encouraging community service both on his campus and in the surrounding community.
A Focus on Community Service
Through the Public Service and Outreach Day of Service, made possible by Morehead, more than 10,000 University of Georgia (UGA) employees give back to the entire state of Georgia.
Encouraging African American Youth
Under Morehead’s leadership, UGA partnered with 100 Black Men of Atlanta Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing support and improving the quality of life in the Atlanta community for African American youth. Through UGA, youth will gain exposure to postsecondary education and access to academic and research initiatives and mentor relationships.
An Inclusive Environment
In an effort to make the UGA campus a more inclusive place, Morehead has taken action to respond quickly to negative incidents. After two situations in which racially charged, derogatory comments were made on social media last year, he personally reached out to the underrepresented group to whom these remarks were directed, apologizing for the incidents and reaffirming that those types of words and actions are not welcome or tolerated at UGA.
Investing in Students’ Future
Morehead recently donated $100,000 to the Experiential Learning initiative, a program through which students engage in undergraduate research, study abroad, service learning, and an internship prior to graduation. He also makes annual contributions to the Morehead Honors Support Fund, the Jere W. Morehead Moot Court Fund in the UGA School of Law, and the need-based Wade and Virginia Morehead Scholarship.
Diversity and Inclusion Action
In 2015, Morehead announced the allotment of a $250,000 endowment for faculty and staff diversity training and funding for a campus climate study.
“Morehead makes it clear that students are his top priority. He takes this a step further by ensuring that all students have access to an affordable and inclusive education. On his first day as president, his schedule was full of meetings with various student groups. Although he was somewhat familiar with the largest student groups … he knew that there were still opinions and viewpoints with which he was not as familiar. … Morehead listens to the needs of his students and does his best to address [them].”