ALBANY, Ga. -- The University of Georgia Alumni Association and the UGA Athletic Association have formed a new partnership that is the highlight of the school's annual "UGA Day" treks across the region.
The new alliance is being used in only six cities this year and will hit town Tuesday during Albany's UGA Day at Doublegate Country Club, which starts at 6 p.m.
UGA Head Football Coach Mark Richt will make an appearance, as will Director of Basketball Operations Kent Davidson, WSB Sports Director Chuck Dowdle and Director of UGA's Honors Program David Williams.
The tour has already visited four cities: Greenville, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, and Gainesville. After visiting Albany, the final stop will be in Atlanta in July.
"We are very fortunate that Albany made the short list. We're the smallest city on the roster," UGA National Alumni Association President Vic Sullivan said. "In the past we've just brought in coaches, but that changed when Greg McGarity took over as athletic director and decided to implement a more holistic approach to the trips and not focus as much on football but be more broad-based toward the university as a whole."
The model is based on what McGarity experienced while working in the athletic department at Florida.
Has the new approach worked?
"UGA has fully endorsed this from the top down. It's been successful beyond what we anticipated," Sullivan said. "It's been fun and a tremendous success. The crowds at the first four stops were basically double those of last year.
"It's given us the advantage of using the UGA special events, and we've never had that full buy-in before. They handle the logistics, and adding the academic side to the mix has allowed us to tap into a lot of UGA grads that aren't that interested in athletics. It's allowed us to touch the interests of a lot more people."
Tickets for the function are $15 each, and children under 12 are admitted free. Tickets may be purchased at the door.