Learning center

UGA inaugurates experiential learning center in Wormsloe

New University of Georgia facility will enhance research, education and public outreach at one of the most ecologically and historically significant sites along the Georgian coast.

The university on Thursday, March 3, opened the $1.8 million Center for Experiential Learning to expand educational opportunities at the Wormsloe Research and Education Center. CREW, a unit of UGA Libraries, supports the work of graduate students and faculty who investigate a multitude of environmental and sociological issues across a wide range of disciplines including ecology, archaeology, geology, landscape architecture , historic preservation, environmental planning and more.

The 3,200 square foot multipurpose space is largely funded by private donors and the Wormsloe Foundation in honor of the conservation legacy of UGA alumnus Laura Barrow McIntosh. McIntosh, who died in 2019, dedicated much of her life to protecting the natural environment of the Southeast Coast through advocacy and public service. The new building will expand opportunities to integrate research with educational and outreach activities for visiting scholars, students, and the Savannah community.

“The CREW and Experiential Learning Center represent the University of Georgia’s commitment to interdisciplinary studies, which are necessary to solve the complex problems facing our world, and our commitment to learning experiences that help our students to succeed after graduation,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “We are deeply grateful to the Wormsloe Foundation and all the generous donors who have contributed to this new facility.

Located on the Isle of Hope, CREW was established in 2012 on a 15.5-acre section of the historic Wormsloe Estate, a sprawling property claimed in the 1730s by Noble Jones, one of Georgia’s first settlers. In the 1950s, Elfrida De Renne Barrow, descendant of Noble Jones, and her family established the Wormsloe Foundation to promote preservation and support research.

“The academic research that takes place here is another major asset to our state, which strengthens Georgia’s reputation as the best place to live, work and raise a family,” Governor Brian Kemp said at the inauguration. . “The construction of the experiential learning center that will soon stand on this historic ground will only add to that reputation and further enrich the growing minds who come here to learn and experience all that this history-rich place has to offer. to offer.”

UGA Libraries’ partnership with the descendants of the Jones family began in 1938 with the acquisition of the Wymberly Jones Library From Renne Georgia, a collection of over 10,000 documents dating from the colonial period that were once housed at the Wormsloe Estate. . The materials, now housed in the Athens Special Collections Libraries, include the only known copy of Georgia’s Second Constitution of 1789 and rare books by prominent 18th-century naturalists John Abott and Mark Catesby, which include some of the early depictions of North American plants and plants. animal life, as well as a rich collection of historical maps, featuring one of the best-known images of Georgia’s first settlement drawn in 1734. Additionally, the Wormsloe Foundation has partnered with UGA Press since 1954 to publish over 100 books on the history, culture and natural environment of Georgia and the South.

“The Wormsloe Center for Research and Education provides the university with a remarkable opportunity to recruit talented graduate students, seek out real-world challenges and provide unique, hands-on learning experiences,” said Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost. “We are extremely grateful to the Wormsloe Foundation for their support and for their dedication to preserving this land and its history.”