Athens | Gwinnett

Giving Opportunities
Established Funds
How to Give

Giving Opportunities

Every day, our graduates are changing lives around the world, and it is the education and training they receive at the UGA School of Social Work that help make this possible. Private support ensures that our graduates are prepared to tackle the complex social problems that individuals, families, and communities are facing. By supporting our students, you are also supporting the countless people who are helped by our graduates throughout their careers.

Funding Opportunities

Student Scholarships & Assistantships
International Studies Endowment
Faculty Research Endowment
Enhancement of Endowed Professorships

We ask that you join us in supporting the education of tomorrow’s social workers.

Student Scholarships & Assistantships

Developing the skills of a social worker is no easy task. Our students balance a rigorous schedule of course work with hundreds of hours of field work in community service agencies across the state. This tremendous commitment of time and service is matched only by their financial commitment, and the ever-rising cost of obtaining a college or graduate degree.

Scholarships and fellowships allow our students to focus more of their time and energy on their studies and graduate with less student loan debt. This is particularly important for social work graduates, for whom high salaries are not the primary award upon graduation. With nearly 500 students, we need more people to join the ranks of these generous supporters in creating scholarships and assistantships for our students.

Scholarships are financial awards to undergraduate and graduate students that help offset education-related expenses. For undergraduate students, scholarships can help with expenses not fully covered by the HOPE Scholarship, such as books and fees.

Assistantships provide financial assistance to graduate students in the form of a tuition reduction and a monthly salary. In return, the student works thirteen hours per week with a faculty or staff member helping with research and other projects.

We are grateful for the generous financial gifts from our friends and alumni that make these scholarships possible. Your generosity has had a tremendous impact on our students over the years.



Tisha Abolt Scholarship
Created in 2000 and endowed in 2006, this scholarship provides financial assistance to students interested in social work with children in the Savannah area.

The Joanne T. Emerson Nonprofit Leadership Scholarship
Established in 2015 in memory of the fund's namesake by her daughter, Katharine Farlowe, the fund supports the education of a qualified student who is enrolled in the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Organizations program.

James D. Horne Memorial Scholarship
Established in 1995 in memory of Mr. Horne, philanthropist and friend of the School. Provides financial assistance to BSW and MSW students, with preference given to students interested in working with the homeless.

The Helen Elizabeth Huey Scholarship Fund 
Established in 2014 in memory of the fund's namesake by her brother John W. Huey, Jr. and his wife, Kate Ellis Huey. The fund provides scholarship support for Masters of Social Work students. Strong preference shall be given to students devoted to protecting the interests of disenfranchised children, particularly those growing up in the foster care program.

Wilbur P. Jones Scholarship
Established in 1985 in memory of respected community activist Wilbur Jones, this scholarship promotes excellence, diversity, and equity in the profession of social work by diversifying the student population within the School of Social Work. The scholarship is typically awarded to a graduate student from an underrepresented group within the field of social work.

The Leadership in Addiction Treatment Scholarship
This award, established in 2013 by former faculty member Donna Leigh Bliss, provides scholarship support to second year graduate students interested in addiction treatment-centered social work practice. Eligibility is based on merit and interest in the addiction treatment field.

Pauline D. Lide Scholarship
Established in 1987 in memory of former faculty member Professor Pauline Lide. Provides financial assistance to MSW students demonstrating financial need and superior scholarship.

Elizabeth B. Loyd Scholarship
Established in 2009 in memory of Elizabeth B. Loyd. Master of Social Work (MSW) students with a clinical focus are eligible for this award. Prospective applicants must have completed their undergraduate degree no less than three years prior to applying for this award. Criteria for the award also include superior academic achievement, a demonstrated financial need as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid, and a record of volunteer and community service.

Joe and Diane Perno Scholarship Fund
Established in 1987 in memory of School of Social Work alumnus Joe Perno and his wife, Diane. Provides financial assistance to social work students, with preference given to students pursuing the MSW degree.

Robert A. Vonk Scholarship
Established in 2013 by Betsy Vonk and Jodie Raney in memory of their brother, this scholarship provides support for a student who is committed to providing excellent social work services to benefit people with developmental disabilities. Recipients shall demonstrate strong scholarship and an interest in the field of developmental disabilities. All BSW and MSW students are eligible to apply, but preference will be given to those who do not have a current University-sponsored scholarship or assistantship.

The Kenneth Whiddon Scholarship
Established in November 2012 for students interested in clinical practice in the field of mental health.

Heather Christina Wright Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship
Established in November 1994, in memory of a former student of the School who died from cancer in her final year of study. Provides financial assistance to a BSW student, with preference given to students demonstrating financial need and the desire to work with cancer patients and their families.

Heather Christina Wright Memorial Graduate Scholarship
Established May 1995 in Heather's memory. Provides financial assistance to a MSW student using the same criteria as above.


Pauline M. Berger Memorial Assistantship
The Pauline M. Berger Memorial Assistantship was established by her husband, Dr. Israel R. Berger on June 12, 2002. This gift promotes teaching, research and service in the area of family and child welfare. Given Pauline's legacy for student and community outreach while at the school, this memorial helps assist the Berger professorship and the awarded graduate assistant fulfill the goals of the endowment and advance timely and current knowledge in the area of family and child welfare.



International Studies Endowment

Experience is often the most profound teacher, and our international education programs provide just that—unique opportunities for students to learn about different cultures through hands-on experience.

The School of Social Work sponsors many opportunities for students and faculty to engage in international learning, teaching, research, and service. Our students and faculty work regularly in Ghana and Ireland.

While many students express an interest in these programs each year, most students are unable to participate because of the high cost of international travel. At present, we have no funding available to support study and service abroad.

Support of our International Studies Endowment will ensure that annual funding is available to help more students take advantage of exciting international learning opportunities.



Research Support Endowment

The research of our faculty has an impact far beyond the academic community, reaching out to shape policy and practice. Faculty evaluate the effectiveness of social work services and programs, develop innovative ways to serve families and communities, and build the knowledge base of the field to help social workers and agencies everywhere be most effective.

Contributions to the Research Support Endowment will help to continue and enhance the important research of our faculty.

"The field of social work is a dynamic one, which makes continued research development necessary. As the flagship university within the state, our School continues to promote new knowledge about social conditions that will benefit individuals, families, communities, and organizations within Georgia, the nation, and the world." — Maurice C. Daniels, Dean



Endowed Professorships

Endowed professorships attract leading social work scholars to our school, and their instruction, research and outreach initiatives benefit both our students and the families and communities those students will serve. The School of Social Work has four endowed professorships—the Thomas M. "Jim" Parham Professorship of Family and Children Studies, the Pauline M. Berger Memorial Professorship in Family and Child Welfare, the Donald L. Hollowell Distinguished Professorship of Social Justice and Civil Rights Studies and the Georgia Athletic Association Professorship in Health and Well-Being.

Enhancement of these professorships will provide greater resources to support the important contributions of these scholars.

Jim ParhamThe Thomas M. "Jim" Parham Professorship of Family and Children Studies, established in 2001, was the school's first endowed professorship and honors the late professor Jim Parham's contributions to social welfare policy and his work on behalf of families in need throughout Georgia and the nation. In addition to serving on the school's faculty from 1979 through 1994, he headed the Georgia Division for Children and Youth and the Georgia Department of Human Resources. He served as Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Human Development Services in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and served with President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. Professor Parham is perhaps best remembered for his service to children, particularly for the development of the statewide juvenile justice programs, the licensing of child care centers, and adoption program improvements.

June Gary Hopps holds the Thomas M. "Jim" Parham Professorship. In addition to teaching courses and guiding research, she is the school's liaison with state and federal government offices and legislators regarding emerging public policy issues. Hopps is a scholar of national and international distinction and is the former dean of the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College.

Pauline BergerThrough the generosity of Dr. Israel Berger, the Pauline M. Berger Memorial Professorship in Family and Child Welfare was established in 2002. This professorship honors the contributions of Dr. Berger's wife, Professor Pauline Berger, to the School of Social Work and to the social work profession. Professor Berger served on the faculty from 1966 to 1976 as both assistant professor and admissions director. She was a dedicated social worker who worked tirelessly on behalf of others. According to her husband, "Pauline was totally devoted to the social work profession and to teaching and working with students. She often said she loved her work so much she would do it without getting paid."

Michael Holosko was appointed the first Pauline M. Berger Professor. As the Berger Professor, Holosko uses his extensive background in child and family welfare research to create practice-based learning and research opportunities for students who go on to serve children and families.

Donald L. HollowellThe Donald L. Hollowell Distinguished Professorship of Social Justice and Civil Rights Studies is named in honor of Donald L. Hollowell, a pioneering civil rights attorney and lead counsel in Holmes v. Danner, the landmark case that secured admission to the University of Georgia for Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, the first African American students to register for classes at the University in 1961. The professorship was endowed in April 2010 at the premiere of a documentary about Hollowell that was produced by the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies.

Obie Clayton, Jr., held the professorship from 2011 to 2013. During his tenure he taught courses in justice studies and established the Donald L. Hollowell Lecture, which annually brings to campus individuals noted for their work in civil rights or social and economic sustainability. Clayton also played a key part in the creation of the Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil RightsLlewellyn J. Cornelius was appointed to the professorship in September 2015.

The Georgia Athletic Association Professorship in Health and Well-Being, established in 2015, will address persistent and emerging disparities in the health and welfare of underserved populations and help to strengthen the university’s dual degree graduate program in social work and public health. For details about recruitment for this position, please visit

For more information, contact Development Director Jennifer Abbott.



Donate Now Donate Now!