Women’s Leadership Initiative continues UNG legacy

Oreva Aki is the 2016-2017 Student Government Association president for the Dahlonega Campus. She has been active in the Women’s Leadership Initiative.
Graduates of 1878
UNG was the first co-educational public college in Georgia and the first to graduate a woman.

UNG has pioneered equal access to higher education and leadership opportunities since 1873, when it became the first co-educational public college in the state, and, in 1878, it was the first to graduate a woman, founder William Pierce Price’s daughter, Willie B. Lewis. Later, it became the first school in the country to accept women into ROTC, two decades before other military schools would face lawsuits by women seeking admission.

This legacy of equality continues today, as UNG celebrates 40 years of women in the Corps of Cadets and continues to offer leadership opportunities to all students.

A new program this year, the UNG Women’s Leadership Initiative, prepares women for leadership through empowering events, mentorship, and creating a culture of acceptance and persistence within the community.

In conjunction with Women’s History Month in March, the initiative hosted weekly sessions on topics like workplace assertiveness, mentorship, feminism, and the Civil Rights Movement.

“The Women’s Leadership Initiative is important to the UNG community because it supports the university’s mission of developing leaders and preparing women for the dynamic world we live in,” said Mimi Fortune, coordinator of student leadership and chairwoman of the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Lindsay Bailey, director of student involvement and another Women’s Leadership Initiative coordinator, thinks their efforts have paid off.

“This year, all of our campus SGA presidents are female,” Bailey said. “In the past, we’ve had many potential female leaders who didn’t think that they could get those leadership positions, and that was distressing. Now, we’ve created a culture where anyone can be a leader.”