- Franklin alumni Julie and Drew Wade
Georgia Magazine features a UGA couple this month who personify the long-lasting effects of our learning environment - both on career success and on the desire to make sure more UGA students share thier opportunities:
The couple and their three children live in Savannah, where Julie (AB ’96, JD ’00) leads a thriving law firm and Drew (BS ’97, AB ’97) is a radiologist with SouthCoast Health. As Julie tells it, their life together really started at UGA, where both benefitted from state-funded and private support.
“We had a tremendous experience for free,” Julie explains. “I was on scholarship as an undergraduate and in law school. Drew was considering colleges around the country, but received a Foundation Fellowship [the foremost merit scholarship offered at UGA]. We owe a lot to UGA and want future students to have a tremendous experience just like we did.”
Sweethearts at Walton High School in suburban Atlanta, Julie and Drew continued to grow together in their shared experiences at UGA, including as goodwill ambassadors through the Arch Society. “Leadership was not something I expected to get in college,” Julie says. “You expect a degree, the academics, but I did not go to UGA thinking I would get leadership experience. It was not until after I graduated that I realized how valuable and unique the experience was.”
At once a dynamic we are all familiar with but also one that can be difficult to articulate: the way your UGA experience shaped your life. It could have been a moment or semester-long experience, because of a professor or a friend, but something, many things, happen to people here that allow them to make an important decision or chart a course and they never forget. Many want to give back like Wades and we salute them. Many more likely want to share their experience in some way. We thank them and hope to be able to help all of our alumni share their affection for UGA and the opportunities they cherish. They understand what it means.