By Marli Collier

On many fall Saturdays in Athens, you can find Eric Teusink waking up early, ready to take on the day. He admits, “I arrive before 7 AM to set up a tailgate for any home game I’m attending.”

SEC football’s infectious nature is hard to deny, but Eric knows UGA is more than football. “I think the University of Georgia provides excellent opportunity for students at a good value. It’s been a hobbyhorse of mine that I think the acceleration of the cost of college education is preposterous,” he says. “There are a large number of universities out there that aren’t providing value to their students, whereas UGA continues to be one of the better rated values. That’s an important thing to promote.” In 2017, UGA moved up to the No. 10 spot on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of 100 best values among public colleges and universities. UGA is one of just two SEC schools to make the list.

After graduating in 2003 with bachelor’s degrees in political science and economics, Eric went on to law school at Georgia State University. Today, he practices in Decatur, GA, specializing in real estate and corporate law. His practice, Williams Teusink LLC, has been recognized multiple times as a Bulldog 100 company, an award given to the 100 fastest-growing alumni owned businesses. “When I attended Georgia, it really gave me the opportunity to get to know people from all over Georgia, to get to know how Georgia works. Now I practice law all over the state. UGA provided the foundation for an understanding of how this state runs, and I think that was incredibly valuable to me,” he says.

Eric identifies his participation in the Oxford program as one of his fondest memories while at UGA. “UGA Oxford is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I did the program, my wife did the program, my sister did the program… We had our own little piece of Athens across the Atlantic.” Eric has given back to UGA by serving on the Oxford Study Abroad Development Board. He explains, “I wanted to assist with opening that opportunity to more UGA students, not just for those whose families might have the means to attend that program.”