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University System of Georgia Campuses to Salute Gov. Zell Miller

Atlanta — October 8, 1998

The 34 campuses of the University System of Georgia and the System’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography are joining together with the Board of Regents and University System Chancellor Stephen R. Portch to host a festive salute to Governor Zell Miller, in appreciation of his eight years of unparalleled contributions to higher education in Georgia.

The “Tribute to Georgia Governor Zell Miller” is scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, 1998, at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. The event will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception and book-signing featuring Gov. Miller and First Lady Shirley Carver Miller, followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner and program. The nine-member Valdosta State University Jazz Combo will provide the musical entertainment for the reception.

Over 1,500 guests, representing all sectors of the University System community – including students, faculty, staff and administrators – will be represented at the gala affair that is being double-billed as a “celebration in honor of Georgia’s education governor.”

“Gov. Miller has received extensive national acclaim for his leadership and accomplishments in the higher education arena, yet we’ve not celebrated his achievements here in our own state,” said Chancellor Portch. “We felt that it was essential for the University System and the people of Georgia – who have benefited from his programs and policies – to have an opportunity to thank our Governor personally for what he has done to promote higher education and educational attainment. The governor’s vision and dedication have tremendously changed how Georgia’s higher education system is perceived throughout this nation, and brought us much pride. We will use this celebration to express our deep gratitude for what he has done.”

The invited guests for the tribute are representative of the University System and its friends, which is composed of 206,000 students and approximately 30,000 faculty and staff. Governor Miller’s HOPE scholarship program will be a centerpiece of the evening, with scores of HOPE scholars in attendance.

Three guest speakers will provide brief testimonies of how they have been personally impacted by the governor’s policies and actions. Elizabeth Jill Stephens, of the University of Georgia, will represent current HOPE scholars. Mary Jo Fayoyin, of Waycross College, will represent University System staff; and Larry Burton, of Georgia Southern University, will represent the faculty. A University System-wide chorus representing the campuses throughout the state also will perform two musical selections during the formal program, accompanied by a 35-member orchestra that will include students from Georgia Perimeter College.

Miller also will be honored and roasted by Chairman of the Board of Regents Edgar L. Jenkins and Chancellor Portch, who also will make special presentations.

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