Grady County community members and UGA Archway Partnership faculty gathered in Cairo recently to celebrate more than a decade of accomplishments together as Grady County graduates from the University of Georgia’s Archway program. Through Archway, the community has fostered a collaborative approach to addressing some of its most pressing issues.

Grady County will now put all this experience to work by continuing to build resiliency in preparation for future community and economic development opportunities through participation in the UGA Connected Resilient Community (CRC) program.

Steering committee meeting in Grady County to determine goals for the three PROPEL community identified areas of emphasis: workforce, tourism and downtown development.

“Working with UGA through Archway, and now CRC, has shown us the power of collaboration locally but also how UGA can bring resources to help customize solutions for our community,” said Mesha Wind, longtime chair of the Grady County Archway Partnership executive committee. “I know we are all looking forward to continuing the relationship with the University of Georgia and are grateful to the students and faculty who have worked on so many projects in Grady County over the years.”

Since joining the Archway Partnership program in 2011, Grady County

UGA students have visited Grady County for a wide range of projects over the years.

has engaged with 211 students and 34 faculty partnerships and completed 149 projects with a value worth more than $2 million. Community members have worked with nearly every school and college at UGA, from Lamar Dodd School of Art student design projects to site plans for an industrial park with the College of Engineering. With the assistance of UGA students and faculty, Grady County has completed projects that will improve economic development, quality of life and opportunity for its residents.

UGA’s innovative approach to rural engagement through the Archway Partnership earned the 2022 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The CRC program helps to broaden that legacy across the academic departments and further bring the resources of the University of Georgia into rural areas.

Grady County has had three Archway faculty members based in the community over the years who all reunited for the graduation celebration: (L-R) Betsy McGriff, Sharon Liggett and Whitney Brannen.

Writer: Baker Owens,, 706-510-9622

Contact: Sharon Liggett,, 229-507-6869