The University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) is excited to announce the 50th anniversary of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. The MPA 50th Anniversary was recognized on the House and Senate floors of the Georgia Legislature, resulting in a resolution congratulating the program for its positive impact from local to global.  In celebration of 50 years of excellence, SPIA and the Department of Public Administration and Policy will host a weekend of events on April 15-16, 2016 in Athens, Georgia.

“SPIA was extremely honored to be recognized by our State Legislature and specifically by Speaker Ralston and SPIA alumnus Representative Earl Ehrhart,” said Stefanie A. Lindquist, dean and arch professor of public and international affairs. “We are proud of the impact our faculty and alumni have had on our state, nation, and the world in the last 50 years,  and we are excited to see what we can accomplish in the next 50.”

The MPA degree at UGA is a rigorous two-year academic program aimed at training professionals for careers in the management of government and nonprofit organizations. Established in 1966, the program has grown significantly in terms of the number of students enrolled and the number of faculty and staff members assisting those students, but throughout the program’s history a constant theme uniting everyone involved has been the promotion of excellence in education for public service.

In 2016, U.S. News and World Report ranked the MPA program fourth in the nation among graduate schools of public affairs. The only schools ranked above SPIA are Harvard at #3 and Syracuse and Indiana University tied for #1. SPIA also has three highly ranked specialty programs: the specialization in public finance and budgeting is ranked second, moving up from fifth place in the 2012 rankings; the public management administration program is ranked second; and the public policy analysis program is ranked 18th.

In addition, SPIA is also recognizing the outstanding work and retirement of Professor and Associate Provost for Academic Planning Jerry Legge.

“An important part of this 50th anniversary is honoring the individuals who have been instrumental in the program’s success,” said Brad Wright, department head of public administration and policy.  “While there have been many stellar faculty leaders and professors in the MPA program during its fifty year history, the contributions of Professor Jerry Legge stand out in many ways.”

In his honor, SPIA is raising $100,000 to endow the Jerry Legge Graduate Fellowship to provide merit-based scholarships for students in the MPA Program.   Such graduate student support is increasingly important in order to attract top students and maintain SPIA’s reputation as an elite program.
For more information about the fellowship or to register for the weekend events, please go to