The gonfalon, a banner that hangs from a crosspiece or frame, originated in the medieval republics of Italy as an ensign of state or office. Gonfalons have been adopted in many universities around the world as college or institutional insignias, and many use them to identify and lead colleges and schools within the university in academic procession. The sixteen gonfalons represent the sixteen colleges and schools making up the University.
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Founded in 1801, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest, largest and most academically diverse college at the University of Georgia. The first classes were taught in a forest clearing on what is now the University’s historic North Campus.
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences was founded in 1857. It was the first college at the university to accept women (1918).
The law school was created in December 1859 and was originally housed in the law office of Lumpkin and Cobb. In 1861, the school closed due to the Civil War and was reopened in 1867.
In 1903, the Board of Trustees authorized the organization of a School of Pharmacy. Since graduation from a college or high school was not a requirement at that time to practice pharmacy, many students took classes for a year and then apprenticed in a pharmacy.
The oldest existing southern forestry school was established in 1906 through an endowment by George Foster Peabody. The School was originally called the George Foster Peabody School of Forestry.
The College of Education was founded in 1908 by the University Board of Trustees and Chancellor David Barrow as the Peabody College of Education. The school's first building was George Peabody Hall on UGA's North Campus.
Graduate studies began at UGA in the 19th century. The first Master of Arts curriculum was put in place in 1868 followed by graduate degree programs in civil engineering, civil and mining engineering, agriculture and science. In 1910, the Graduate School was formally established.
The seeds that would become the Terry College of Business were sown back in 1912, when the state authorized a School of Commerce to begin instruction at the University of Georgia. It was, at that time, the first business school in the South.
The Grady College was founded in 1915. Lamar Trotti, the first graduate, earned distinction as a motion-picture writer and producer, with more than 50 films to his credit. While at UGA, he was the editor of the independent student newspaper The Red and Black.
Family and consumer sciences began at UGA in 1918 with the establishment of the Division of Home Economics. In 1919, Mary E. Creswell became both the first home economics graduate and the first female to graduate. She later appointed the school's first dean.
The College opened in 1946. The first laboratories were housed in Hardman Hall, which had previously been used as a livestock judging pavilion and later as a Navy warehouse. The school graduated its first class of 44 students in 1950, the year it was accredited.
The School of Social Work opened its doors in 1964 with eight professors, 24 students, and one graduate degree program. Today, the school has more than 20 faculty and a student body numbering nearly 500.
In 2001, the CED was formed by combining the Institute of Ecology with the School of Environmental Design (SED). It has been consistently rated as one of the top landscape architecture schools in the United States.
SPIA opened in 2001 when the department of political science separated from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Since then, the School has added two additional departments (international affairs and public administration and policy).
The College of Public Health (CPH) officially opened as UGA's 15th college in January 2005. It was the first public health school created within the University System of Georgia.
In 2001, the Institute of Ecology merged with the School of Environmental Design to form the College of Environment and Design. In 2007, the Institute became the Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology, the first of its kind in the world.
UGA’s College of Engineering was established July 1, 2012, becoming the University’s 17th academic school or college. In addition to five existing undergraduate degrees in biological and agricultural engineering, the college offers new bachelor’s degrees in biochemical, computer systems, and environmental engineering.