Leaving Mercedes Benz Stadium triumphant SEC champions, we UGA fans reveled in yet another banner year for the Dawgs. There’s just been something about this year: the unexpected greatness of a team that seems bound by a rare mix of talent and commitment, of size and speed to be sure, but also of grit and accountability to teammate. It’s the stuff of the very best teams, the ones that raise SEC banners in Sanford Stadium.
I’m struck by how similar I feel about the team we’ve been fortunate enough to build at Grady College. We’re in the middle of our very own recruiting season, to further torture the football analogy, interviewing candidates for faculty positions. Each candidate spends time with me during their two-day interview process, and every one of them has asked me a variation of this question: “How do you build such a collegial, productive culture?”
I didn’t build it. It was built years ago. Our job is to maintain and improve it, and to hire faculty with a true passion for teaching as well as research or practice. We take that mission very seriously. It’s the most important thing we do – hiring the next generation of Grady faculty and staff. Alumni play a critical role, ensuring that the standard is maintained, keeping us current, and introducing us to new trends in the marketplace that we need to bring into our classrooms. It’s all a virtuous cycle.
As I write this, I can say that I’ve never had a better team. This is a world-class faculty, buoyed by a staff that shares the mission. I’ve worked and learned at six different universities, and never, ever have I witnessed a connectedness like there is here. Grady College is just a different place.
So, as we approach the holiday season, let me send thanks to each of you. You all have a vital role to play on this team, one that is always striving to attain greater heights. Let’s keep hanging banners together!
Dean Charles Davis (MA '92)