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UNG President Jacobs receives Distinguished Citizen Award

March 9, 2020

University of North Georgia (UNG) President Bonita Jacobs received the Ralph Cleveland Distinguished Citizen Award from the Northeast Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America at the 2020 Gainesville American Values Dinner on March 5.

Jacobs, Rob Fowler and Scott McGarity were honored with the award during the event at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville, Georgia. Former Gov. Nathan Deal was the keynote speaker, a role Jacobs held a year earlier.

Through Jacobs' leadership and commitment to excellence, UNG has become one of the nation's leading universities for academic excellence, student success and affordability.

In 2013, when North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College merged, the two schools' combined enrollment was just over 15,000 students. Today, enrollment across UNG's five campuses is nearly 20,000 — marking an increase of more than 30 percent and making UNG one of Georgia's largest and fastest-growing universities.

Recent achievements for UNG include:

Also, UNG's Corps of Cadets earned the General Douglas MacArthur Award twice in the past three years as the top Army ROTC program among the nation's six senior military colleges, which also include Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, The Citadel, Virginia Military Institute, and Norwich University. 

Jacobs also initiated the university's Nationally Competitive Scholarships office, through which students have earned about $2 million for some of the country's most prestigious awards. Those awards include internships with the National Institutes of Health, the Truman Scholarship for graduate school, and the Fulbright Student Program

In February, UNG was named as a national top-producing institution for the Fulbright Student Program — for the third year in a row — and is the only university in Georgia to receive the recognition for the student program this year.

Another of Jacobs' top priorities has been to raise money for merit- and need-based scholarships to help attract and support students. With the tremendous fundraising success, UNG awarded $1.9 million in scholarships to students in 2018.

Jacobs established the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students in 2002, and she was recently named to the American Council on Education's National Task Force on Transfer of Credit.

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