Established in 1999 in honor of the fourth dean of the College, this award is presented to graduates who have attained substantial achievements and are at the midpoint of their careers.
One of Emily Pou’s main goals during her tenure as dean of FACS was to establish an alumni organization to connect graduates back to the college and increase alumni support.
It’s fitting that this year’s recipient of the Emily Quinn Pou Professional Achievement Award, Meredith Gurley Johnson, is UGA’s Executive Director of Alumni Relations.
“Meredith is cut from the same cloth as Dean Pou,” said David Muia, who once served in Johnson’s current role. “Both of them epitomize what it means to be a servant leader: leading with others in mind.”
Johnson graduated from UGA with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences in 2000.
Since then, she has served in various roles within UGA’s Alumni Relations, from working with alumni in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences to serving as the Atlanta Alumni Center Director.
Throughout her time working with UGA alumni, Johnson has implemented several programs that have become staples within the alumni department.
The Bulldog 100, 40 Under 40 and athletic partnership events have all come about as a result of Johnson’s hard work and dedication to improving alumni engagement. She also has worked to strengthen affinity groups such as the Women of UGA and Black Alumni Leadership councils.
“As a FACS graduate, I have applied all that been taught to me about the importance of building and maintaining relationships to my lifelong career of impacting the University,” Johnson said. “I am most proud of the team that I have built over the years and of the board of directors that I have the privilege of leading.”
Even though she has already accomplished so much, Johnson has a long career ahead of her, as she continues to strive to unite alumni efforts across all colleges at UGA and encourage alumni to stay connected with the university.
“Today, Meredith directs the programs and mission of the University’s alumni programs,” Muia said. “She does this with a level of professionalism and spirit that inspires alumni to stay connected and involved. All in all, it sounds a lot like Dean Pou and what she desired for FACS.”