Wednesday, July 31, 2002

WRITER: Larry B. Dendy, (706) 542-8078, ldendy@uga.edu CONTACT: David Shipley, (706) 542-7140, shipley@uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. - Former Gov. Carl E. Sanders is giving $1 million to the University of Georgia School of Law, bolstering a vow he made nearly 40 years ago to make the school one of the nation's best.

The gift, which is part of UGA's capital campaign, will create a new endowed professorship, the Carl E. Sanders Chair in Political Leadership, in the school where Sanders earned his law degree in 1948. Also, the main reading room in the school's library will be named for Sanders.

UGA President Michael F. Adams said, "Gov. Sanders is a personal hero of mine, and one of the all-time great champions of education in Georgia. Our state, and the University of Georgia especially, have benefited immeasurably from his enlightened leadership and boundless generosity. The university is immensely proud that he is one of our most distinguished alumni."

David Shipley, dean of the law school, said the Sanders Chair will strengthen an already outstanding law faculty by adding a distinguished scholar who will "educate students about the roles of law and lawyers in shaping public policy, and about the role of lawyers in positions of leadership." Naming the main reading room in the law school's Alexander Campbell King Law Library for Sanders is fitting in view of Sanders' long-time support of the school and especially its library, Shipley added.

Sanders' support for UGA dates back to his term as governor from 1963 to 1967. He was instrumental in providing state funding for an expansion of the law school building that included a new building for the law school library, which opened in 1967. He also secured $1 million in state funds to buy books for the library, and in 1987 he made a personal gift to create the Carl Sanders Law Library Fund to support the facility .

In 1995, Sanders donated $125,000 to the law library and his Atlanta law firm, Troutman Sanders, matched the gift in honor of his 70th birthday. Sanders has also donated his gubernatorial papers, photographs and other memorabilia to the library.

He is a past president of the law school's alumni association, served on the school's Board of Visitors, and headed the fund-raising campaign for the school's Dean Rusk Hall. He also served as president of UGA's alumni association and was a trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation.

Shipley said the law school "is grateful to have loyal and dedicated friends such as Gov. Sanders, whose support enables us to continue to provide a superior legal education and help develop the future leaders of our state and nation."

Presiding over groundbreaking ceremonies for the law library in 1964, Sanders made a statement that is carved into the building's wall: "The people of Georgia want and deserve nothing but the best. The University of Georgia School of Law is, therefore, to be one of such excellence that no citizen of Georgia need ever leave the state because a superior legal education is afforded elsewhere."

Sanders, who is now chairman of Troutman Sanders, one of Georgia's largest law firms, said his new gift is intended to reinforce that commitment.

"I owe the University of Georgia law school a great debt and, therefore, I am going to do all that I can to make sure that it can provide opportunities to succeed for young men and women as it did for me," Sanders said.

Sanders earned the title of "Georgia's Education Governor" for his strong support of education while serving as the state's chief executive. More than $2 billion was invested in educational and training programs during his administration, including more than $552 million spent on the state's public colleges and universities.

Expenditures for buildings in the University System of Georgia topped $176.5 million - more than had been spent in the previous 31 years. UGA received more than $40 million in construction funds, launching the largest building program in school history with the start or completion of more than a dozen buildings.

Salaries for the University System rose by 32.5 percent, and UGA's faculty doubled in size. An educational television network was created, vocational-technical education was expanded statewide, and the state's junior college system was enlarged to put a school within commuter distance of every Georgian.

An outstanding high school athlete in his native Augusta, Sanders enrolled at UGA in 1942 on a football scholarship. The next year he withdrew, joined the U.S. Air Force and piloted bombers during World War II.

He returned to UGA after the war with enough college credits earned through examinations available to war veterans to enter law school. He also rejoined the football team and played on the 1945 team that beat Tulsa in the Oil Bowl.

After receiving his law degree, Sanders practiced law in Augusta and in 1954 was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. He later served three terms in the Georgia Senate before winning election as governor.

In 1967, Sanders and two associates founded Troutman Sanders. The firm has more than 500 attorneys and offices in eight cities including London and Hong Kong.

Sanders has remained active in public life, serving on corporate boards and leading civic and philanthropic causes. A past chairman of the Japan-America Society of Georgia, he was on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and was an Olympic Torch Bearer in Augusta.