Dean’s Message: Elevating Terry’s departments and opportunities

Ben Ayers

Throughout our history, the Terry College of Business has been deeply impacted by the generosity of alumni and donor friends who helped us build Terry and enhance the college’s reputation. It’s my great privilege to share with you the naming of the John Munro Godfrey, Sr. Department of Economics in honor of alumnus John Munro Godfrey, Sr. The naming recognizes John’s career as a leader in economics and his longstanding support of the university and the Terry College — including a transformational gift from John and his wife, Flavel, to endow the Department of Economics. Their generous support reflects a belief in the power of education and signals the profound effect our students, faculty and alumni will have on the world of business. We will feature the Godfreys in depth in the spring/summer issue of Terry magazine.

John and Flavel’s support builds on the momentum carrying the Terry College forward. When the UGA Entrepreneurship Program started in 2015, the coursework centered on problem-solving and managing growth. Using faculty entrepreneurs and case studies, the goal was to take away the mystery of forming a startup and show what was possible. Eight years later, the possibilities, opportunities and successes are plentiful. The program, housed in the Terry College, has launched several thriving companies, with more than half of its accelerator pitch contest winners in business five years after their formation. Entrepreneurship students are winning national competitions and attracting millions of dollars in funding — all part of a dynamic ecosystem that is transforming dreams into reality.

As I approach my 10th year as dean of the Terry College, I am grateful for how much the college has changed, grown and achieved. We rank prominently among the nation’s best business colleges, bolstered by the number of top 20 programs, including Risk Management and Insurance, ranked No. 1 in the nation again. Our Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA programs rank among the top 10 public programs, and our undergraduate and graduate programs are attracting record enrollments of highly qualified students. This fall, we launched our Online MBA program, offering students the chance to earn a Terry degree from anywhere in the country and beyond.

Our commitment to analytics strengthens as we establish the Center for Business Analytics and Insights, a hub for the development and dissemination of analytics knowledge and skills. Dr. Chris Cornwell, Simon S. Selig Jr. Chair for Economic Growth, was named the center’s first faculty director.

By investing in these key areas — entrepreneurship, analytics and innovation — Terry remains on the leading edge of business education while maintaining our core commitment to teaching the foundational disciplines. Paired with the generosity of our prestigious alumni, Terry is paving the way for students to become leaders in the global business landscape.


Benjamin C. Ayers, Dean

Earl Davis Chair in Taxation