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2020 Student Convocation

If the video is not working, try our secondary livestream link.

Join Us Here Monday, August 17 at Noon for a Virtual Event

Join students, staff, and other members of the UNG community online as we kick off a new academic year.

We know things will look different, but we are still one UNG, one community. We are all Nighthawks together.

Download the Convocation Agenda (PDF).

Share Your Experience

Share your virtual convocation experience on social media using #NighthawksGoVirtual. 

Meet Your Speakers

Dr. Bonita Jacobs
University of North Georgia

Meet Dr. Jacobs

Dr. Bonita Jacobs is President of the University of North Georgia.

Dr. Jacobs took office as the 17th president of North Georgia College & State University, prior to its consolidation with Gainesville State College to become UNG, in July 2011, becoming the University’s first woman president and only the second woman to lead one of the country’s six Senior Military Colleges.

She has been named by Georgia Trend magazine one of the "100 Most Influential Georgians" and by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the "Top Education Leaders in Atlanta" and to its list of “Women Who Mean Business.”

Previously, Dr. Jacobs served as Executive Director of the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (2009-2011), Vice President for Student Development (1998-2009), and as a tenured professor of counseling and higher education at the University of North Texas.

Dr. Jacobs received bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and history and a master’s degree in counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University. She earned her doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Jacobs is originally from Huntington, Texas, and she and her husband, Glenn, live in Dahlonega.

Dr. Chaudron Gille
Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Meet Dr. Gille

Dr. Chaudron Gille currently serves as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of North Georgia. Dr. Gille began her career teaching French and English as a Second Language. She has worked in the areas of curriculum development, strategic planning, accreditation, international education, distance education, academic advising, student success initiatives and faculty professional development. She has a Ph.D. in French Literature from Emory University and a M.A. in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language from Georgia State University.


Dr. James Conneely
VP for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management

Meet Dr. Conneely

Dr. Conneely has over 38 years of experience in higher education administration. Dr. Conneely currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of North Georgia.

Dr. Conneely received his B.A. degree from Saint Bonaventure University, his M.S. in Education from Alfred University, and his Ph.D. from Georgia State University. Additionally, he received certificates from Harvard University’s Management Development Program, Institutional for Educational Management, and New President’s programs; and a certificate from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s summer institute at Dartmouth University.

Dr. Conneely has a passion for his family (Becky his spouse, Jessica and Caitlin his daughters, and Lily Emmeline and Ella Delphine, his granddaughters), fitness, and aviation including being a Private Pilot.

Dr. Richard Oates
Vice President of the Gainesville Campus

Meet Dr. Oates

Dr. Richard Oates, Ed.D., is the Vice President of the Gainesville Campus, and is a Professor of Physical Education at the University of North Georgia (UNG). As Vice President, Dr. Oates oversees strategic leadership and daily operations of the campus, developing and maintaining relationships with community partners, as well as providing leadership to campus directors on three other UNG campuses. In 2012, Dr. Oates was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the “Top 100 Leaders in Education” for the metro Atlanta area. He has served on the Executive Board of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE) and is a past vice president of the organization. He was recognized by NAKHE as its 2016 Distinguished Administrator and received the association’s distinguished service award in 2020. In 2018 was also named a Fellow by the association.

Dr. Oates has established a long history of professional and community service throughout his academic career. He currently serves the Boy Scouts of America as a member of the Northeast Georgia Council’s Executive Committee. He is an Eagle Scout (as are his two sons) and received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award recognizing his outstanding service to youth in the council. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, the Elachee Nature Center, the Northeast Georgia YMCA, the UNG Athletics Hall of Fame, and is an active member of the Gainesville Rotary Club.

Sandy Ott

Sandy Ott
Blue Ridge Campus

Meet Sandy

Sandy Ott serves as the Campus Director of the University of North Georgia Blue Ridge Campus. She has over twenty years of experience in higher education. She has been involved with numerous of student success initiatives and has served as a campus administrator with the University System of Georgia and Technical System of Georgia.

Sandy Ott holds an M.Ed. from Georgia Southern University, and BA in Communications from Shorter College. She completed a Graduate Level Certification program in Diversity Education from the University of North Georgia.

Ms. Ott received the University System of Georgia’s 2016 Chancellor’s Service Excellence Award for Outstanding Leadership. She is actively involved with in numerous community/civic organizations and values the relationships of community partnerships and collaboration.

Jason Pruitt
Executive Director,
Cumming Campus

Meet Jason

Jason Pruitt has spent his entire professional career in higher education, serving in a variety of roles with the University of North Georgia over the past 27 years. He began his career in Admissions, served as the Registrar of the University, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Cumming campus. He is passionate about students and enjoys seeing them achieve their academic goals and become successful in their chosen career path. Jason lives in Gainesville, GA with his wife Kristen and their five children. 

Dr. Cyndee Moore
Executive Director,
Oconee Campus

Meet Dr. Moore

Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore has served as the Executive Director of the University of North Georgia’s Oconee campus in May 2017. This Fall marks her 30th year in the field of education with the last 17 spend as a higher education administrator.

Dr. Moore received a B.A. in English and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Policy and Leadership from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Moore is active in the Oconee County community where she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation, is President-Elect of the Pilot Club of Oconee County, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Oconee County and Dolly Parton Imagination Library Advisory Board.

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