News from the UGA School of Social Work
October 2016

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History and the School of Social Work

As social workers we know how important it is to understand the history of an individual or a community as we enter into relationship with them. I think it is the same way with organizations; understanding our history is important if we are to move into the future (I think it was George Santayana who said “Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.”)

So this month I have been thinking a great deal about history and heritage, particularly as it relates to the School of Social Work. We have such a rich history; from our humble beginnings in a single classroom in Waddell Hall to the beautifully-restored antebellum-period cotton mill that now houses our school. Along the way we have been fortunate to have great contributions from leaders and scholars in our faculty and our administration.

One important recent event honoring of our history, held on September 15th, was the celebration in honor of the work of Maurice Daniels, who was dean here at the school for over 10 years. A very special event was held on campus for Dean Daniels, with praise and thanks from the president, the provost, community leaders, colleagues, former students, faculty, and friends. It was wonderful to hear people talk about the historical contributions made by Dean Daniels and to see his role in the rich past of the school. As part of our tribute we presented Dean Daniels with a painting by local artist and community activist Broderick Flanigan. Titled On Their Shoulders it symbolically depicted the work of the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement and the path they cleared for the future.

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A second initiative we are undertaking as a way to connect with our history is our new Trailblazers Project. It is a celebration of our school’s splendid history, an effort to chronicle all the wonderful stories of our students from the first ten MSW graduating classes. These students worked tirelessly, and their efforts helped our school develop its powerful reputation in social work education. Ultimately, these “trailblazers” became the social work pioneers who helped shape the profession and train the next generations of leaders.

For this project we are seeking stories from alumni in the MSW classes of 1966 through 1976, to hear about their experiences at the University of Georgia School of Social Work and their professional careers. We’re also hoping our Trailblazers will send us pictures, both current and from their time at UGA. We’ll create a special section of our web site for these Trailblazer stories and launch them at the beginning of next semester.

So if you are a Trailblazer, or know one, please let us know. We’d love to learn more about your time at UGA and your experiences as a social worker. I’m looking forward to hearing your stories….please send them to me at or to 279 Williams St, Athens, GA 30602.




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University of Georgia
School of Social Work
279 Williams Street
Athens, GA 30602

(706) 542-3364

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