Elridge McMillan, the longest-serving member of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia, was the inaugural recipient of the USG 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.  

Spirit and Purpose of the Award

The McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by the USG Foundation, was established to recognize extraordinary service to higher education in Georgia.  The award is presented to an individual or couple who has demonstrated a long and significant record of commitment and accomplishment on behalf of higher education in Georgia.  


To be selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award, nominees must be a person of such integrity, stature, and proven ability that the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the University System of Georgia will take pride in and be inspired by their recognition. Nominees need not be graduates of an institution in the University System of Georgia, but must demonstrate a love for and commitment to higher education in Georgia that inspires others.
  The following shall not normally be considered for the McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • An active member of the Governing Boards, Faculty, or Staff of the University System of Georgia
  • A deceased person

Award Presentation

The USG Foundation Board will officially present the McMillan award to the recipient at our Board of Regents Gala.

Scholarship Funding

The USG Foundation will make a gift of $30,000 to a USG Institution(s) in honor of the Eldridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.  The award recipient is invited to designate the funds to an institution of their choice and the funds will be directed towards needs-based scholarships for students in their name.   


Nominations may be made by any of the following: 

  • Any alumni or friend of the institutions in the University System of Georgia
  • Members of Governing Boards for the University System of Georgia 

Nominations will be held for consideration up to three years.  

Nominations should include:

OPTIONAL: Nominations may include up to three letters of recommendations detailing how the nominee fulfills one or more of the criteria listed above and a resume and/or other biographical information.

Nominations for the September 2023 award will close on February 1, 2023. Only completed nominations received by the due date will be considered. Nominations received after February 1, 2023 will be evaluated in the following year.

For questions, please contact Kirby Thompson at 404-962-3056 or