About the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Awards

Elridge McMilan Lifetime Achievement Award

Elridge McMillan, the longest-serving member of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia, was the inaugural recipient of the University System of Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees’ Lifetime Achievement Award.


In recognition for Regent Emeritus McMillan’s long career serving higher education, the award was officially named The Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The award is given in recognition of extraordinary service to higher education in Georgia.

USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue, Philip A. Wilheit, Sr. (award recipient), Elridge McMilan, and Governor Brian Kemp at the 2023 Board of Regents' Scholarship and Awards Gala.

Alumni and Distinguished Friends Award


Spirit and Purpose
The USG Board of Regents’ and USG Foundation seeks to honor an individual or couple of such remarkable character, accomplishment, and dedication to higher education that their recognition will fill the entire University System of Georgia with pride and inspiration. While USG alumni are welcome, this honor transcends institutional ties; we champion those who demonstrably care for and elevate Georgia's academic landscape, becoming an exemplary source of motivation for all.

Selection Process
A distinguished committee composed of Board of Regents’ members and USG Foundation board members will carefully review all nominations. They will choose one exceptional individual or couple in each category, embodying the highest standards of our USG community.


Four categories encompass the full spectrum of contributions:
Research Institutions: Pushing the boundaries of knowledge and innovation.
Comprehensive Universities: Shaping diverse communities through education and service.
State Universities: Championing academic excellence and access to higher education.
State Colleges: Nurturing talent and fostering individual growth.

Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award

Felton Jenkins

When Felton Jenkins passed away on January 1, 2011, he left a legacy of service to Georgia that will resonate for decades. A native of Madison, Georgia, he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia and began a distinguished legal career with King & Spalding, which he helped mold into an international legal powerhouse.


Jenkins was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2006 and quickly earned a reputation for being extremely well-prepared for meetings, for an insightful mind and for asking tough but fair questions about the issues that came before the Board. Ever the graceful gentleman, he was widely known for treating people with respect. 


Regent Jenkins was driven by a desire that every student in Georgia would have access to top-quality higher education. His focus was always on what was best for the students, and he understood keenly the connection between the success of the System’s students and the success of the state of Georgia. Education, he knew, was the key to all of life’s opportunities and possibilities. In honor of his dedication to the mission of the University System of Georgia and his life of exemplary service to others, the trustees of the University System of Georgia Foundation have renamed the annual faculty award “The Felton Jenkins, Jr. Hall of Fame Faculty Award.”