Jim Day Housing ScholarshipNews & Alumni Spotlight

Reconnect with University Housing and we’ll let you know about alumni events and gatherings on campus and in your area and make sure to keep up with UGA Housing alumni by liking our Facebook page.

University Housing is proud of its thousands of alumni now working in various professional fields around the globe. Students who have worked for University Housing cite that their college years were some of their most memorable—the opportunities they had to meet and network with new people, to stay involved with what's happening on campus and to gain valuable experience have made them stronger leaders and more well-rounded individuals. Equally impactful are former full-time staff members who have formed friendships and professional connections that transcend time and distance even after they leave UGA and Athens.

If you left last semester or years ago, we want you to know that University Housing is still going strong. Please allow us to share important points of pride that we hope will illustrate our recent success:

  • Through the first-year live-on requirement, we house 98 percent of our freshmen class and the University retention rate is up to 95.2 percent
  • Freshmen College Summer Experience (Oglethorpe House) learning communities (Building 1516 and Creswell), Franklin Residential College (Rutherford) Honors magnet (Myers) and language communities (Mary Lyndon) continue to attract eager participants
  • The Russell Academic Center, academic advising offices in Brumby, Creswell and Russell and tutoring from Academic Enhancement are thriving
  • National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) most up-to-date figures for average room and board rates at U.S. colleges and universities, ranked UGA No. 20 on its list of Most Inviting and Affordable College Dorms
  • Staff member Dr. Keener Scott won an Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) Parthenon Award
  • University Housing was acknowledged with the ACUHO-I Presidential Service Award
  • Student-led Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster and Donate diverted 57,600 pounds of material from the landfill and donated futons, clothing and other valuable items to seven local charities.

Former staff members continue to support University Housing and its mission after graduation. Private funds from individuals dedicated to the residence hall experience are often necessary to provide the best opportunities for our staff members. Please take a moment to consider the level of financial support that will enrich the experiences of current and future members of the University Housing community. Any contribution, no matter how small, is important and appreciated. Only private gifts can be used to support appreciation activities for custodial staff, annual recognition awards and events for all staff, holiday and break meals where we thank staff for their superior efforts.

Make a donation to the University Housing Development Fund and consider asking friends and family to make their own contribution in honor of your service to University Housing


University Housing offers two $500 scholarships to returning residents for the fall semester through the Jim Day Housing Scholarship Fund, named for Dr. James “Jim” Day, who served as executive director of University Housing from 1990 to 2006. Dr. Day conceived and initially funded the University Housing Scholarship Fund to assist students with financial need offset the cost of on-campus housing. In recognition of his devoted service to the University of Georgia and in honor of his personal commitment to helping secure financial assistance for students, the scholarship was perpetually named the Jim Day Housing Scholarship Fund upon his retirement.

The application process for Fall 2018 has closed. Information about the application process for Fall 2019 will be announced in November 2018.

Check out what our fall 2017 scholarship recipients have to say about their experience in the residence halls.

Oliveea Bertin

Third-year student Oliveea Bertin, a public health major, is very grateful for her years spent in on-campus housing. She writes in her scholarship application, “I truly believe that living on campus provides an extraordinary experience while attending school, and I plan to take full advantage of everything that it has to offer me.”

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Javan Jacques

Fourth-year mechanical engineering major Javan Jacques cherishes his experiences living on-campus the past three years. “The support, convenience, companionship and compassion are a few of the reasons why living on campus is so great to me” he says. “From my freshman year until now, I have always felt so welcome by the University of Georgia community.”

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Make a donation to the Jim Day Scholarship Fund and help residents enjoy a secure, comfortable environment where their academic success and personal growth are encouraged and supported.

The application and selection process for fall 2016 has closed. Information about future application opportunities will be communicated to eligible residents via email.

Applicants must:

  • Be a current UGA undergraduate student
  • Complete the scholarship application in its entirety
  • Have demonstrated financial need as determined by the UGA Office of Financial Aid
  • If awarded a scholarship, commit to living on campus for the next academic year

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Featured Alumni - Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt

Digital and Broadcast Journalism (ABJ) 2013

I currently work as an anchor and reporter for FOX23 News in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before that I worked as a reporter for a TV station in Columbus, Georgia. During my time at the University of Georgia, I held a number of positions in University Housing. I started as a member of RHS (Residence Hall Studios) my freshman year of college. I loved that housing gave me the opportunity to learn more about broadcasting and news. It also introduced me to a number of really great people. During my sophomore years on college, I had the opportunity to serve as a desk assistant in the Reed Community. My junior and senior years I served as a Resident Assistant in 1516. This was by far my favorite experience in University Housing.

When I look back at how working with University Housing contributed to my current success I would say it was interviewing for the jobs listed above. I was able to credit a lot of the skills valuable to my life of work to my time in University Housing. As a Resident Assistant, I learned time management, how to make people comfortable, and how to put myself out there and be able to be ok in uncomfortable situations. It taught me responsibility, hard work, and how to get along with new people. I loved the chance I got to interact with residents and get to know people I normally would not interact with. All of these skills are vital to my broadcasting career.

Most importantly I gained several great friends, who I still hang out with this day. We all have a special bond because housing brought us together. I remember our staff meetings the most. Both years as a Resident Assistant I worked with an amazing group of people. It was like a family reunion every time we got together for a staff meeting. We all had very busy schedules so it was really nice to take a few hours to talk about work…but mostly catch up on each other’s lives.

As a Resident Assistant I learned how to be a leader, how to plan programs, how to deal with conflict. I am so glad that I found University Housing my freshman year, and was able to get so involved throughout my college career.

UGA Sets Record High Freshman Retention Rate

The University of Georgia set a record in 2015: Its freshman retention rate increased by a full percentage point from 2014 to 2015 to reach 95.2 percent.

The freshman retention rate measures the percentage of a school’s first-time, first-year undergraduate students who continue at that school the next year. The national average for public, four-year institutions is 80 percent, and UGA’s 95 percent retention rate places it among the nation’s top universities in this measure.

“We continue to invest in faculty, staff and innovative programs to ensure that students at Georgia’s flagship university have an unparalleled learning experience,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Our high retention rate is one sign that these investments are having a positive impact on student success.”

UGA Breaks Record With Year-End Recycling Event For Move-Out

University Housing broke a record with its 2015 Dawgs Ditch the Dumpster and Donate program by diverting more than 56,700 pounds of material from local landfills during campus move-out.

Sponsored by University Housing, UGA Hillel and Goodwill of North Georgia, the event was in late April and early May for housing residents to recycle unwanted clothing, books and other household items instead of throwing them away.

The massive effort included donation trucks, tents, trailers and bins set up in 23 locations across campus and more than 60 student and staff volunteers.

“This is a great program that provides an avenue for our students to give back to the community and contribute to our sustainability initiatives,” said Gerard Kowalski, University Housing executive director. “It allows for us to provide a place for furniture, refrigerators and other goods that may have ended up in a dumpster and it relates directly to a core value of University Housing to help with living green and lending a hand.”

Scott Garners International Recognition

University Housing’s M. Keener Scott has received the Parthenon Award from the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International.

The honor recognizes outstanding collegiate housing professionals for their service, leadership, achievement and contributions to the housing field.

Scott, who serves as associate director for staff development and student conduct in University Housing as well as an adjunct professor in the department of counseling and human development services, said she wants her students to look back on their experiences without saying “what if.”

“I do this work because of my servant attitude based on my faith and my desire to help others achieve their best,” Scott said. “Being a member of the University Housing team is an experience that I value. Being a part of an organization that lives its mission gives me the foundation needed to do this work.”

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