Contact: Kelly Simmons, 706-296-0855, simmonsk@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – A commitment to service and having a sense of purpose is the bedrock that has made Georgia a great state, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Monday during his keynote speech at the 24th annual UGA Public Service and Outreach Meeting and Awards ceremony.

“Life is about service and service to others,” Cagle told an audience of about 300 gathered in Mahler Hall in the Georgia Center for Continuing Education. “When we commit ourselves to service we truly find the greatness this world has to offer.”

Introduced by UGA President Jere W. Morehead, Cagle spoke to the work that all eight units of the Office of Public Service and Outreach are doing across the state to make Georgia a better place for residents.

He cited the Marine Extension Service for its efforts to diversify opportunities for coastal residents who depend on aquaculture for a living, and the Small Business Development Center for assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs, who are crucial to many rural communities.

And he mentioned his first experience with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government when he was elected to the Georgia state Senate in 1994.

“I had the opportunity to come here and it had a great impact on my life,” he said.

Cagle’s speech followed a luncheon during which awards were presented to seven UGA faculty and staff members who have exhibited excellence in outreach efforts at UGA and across the state. In partnership with Georgia Trend magazine, the Office of Public Service and Outreach also presented “Four for the Future” awards to four Georgia communities that have addressed critical issues in their communities through public-private partnerships.

“It is our responsibility as a land-grant institution to help the state grow and prosper,” Jennifer Frum, vice president for public service and outreach, said in welcoming guests to the luncheon. “But it is the commitment of our faculty and staff that makes the difference.”

UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach includes eight units that contribute to Georgia’s short- and long-term prosperity by bringing university resources to bear on the state’s most pressing economic, social and community needs: Archway Partnership, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Marine Outreach Programs comprised of the Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant, Office of Service-Learning, Small Business Development Center, and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

For more information on the 2015 PSO award winners, click here.