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Frank McGill, '51

BSA '51, MS, Agriculture '62
Frank McGill

Frank McGill has deep and abiding connections to the University of Georgia. His story of how he came to the university and the motivation for his generosity to the College of Engineering – rooted in family ties and perseverance through hardship – is both touching and inspiring. Recently, he endowed the Arnton Clegg Agricultural Engineering Award for Academic Excellence in honor of his uncle, who aided him and his two brothers in their dreams to attend UGA, even amidst the throes of the Great Depression.

Mr. McGill served for 31 years on the University of Georgia Extension’s Faculty as an expert on peanut farming. In his book, From the Mule to the Moon, he writes, “Our whole family was and still is eternally grateful to the University of Georgia for its outreach to a student from a small, rural community who wanted nothing more than a chance to learn.”

“I said to myself, ‘I guarantee, I’ll be a Dawg.’ And I did it.”

Why he chose UGA for his education:

“My brother was here in 1930; my uncle had helped him get started through his first three years at UGA. Before his 4th year, in the middle of the Depression, he decided that times were too tough financially to finish his education here, and he made the decision to come back and work on the family farm. About the time he was to come home, we got a letter from him saying that UGA had offered to accept farm produce as tuition payment. Production on the farm really picked up after that! I remember taking out the backseat of the car and putting two hogs, already slaughtered, in the back of the car and taking them to Athens to sell. On those two trips to Athens, as an 8 year old boy, I gained my inspiration. UGA made quite an impression on me by reaching out to my brother to help him make a way to further his education. I said to myself, ‘I guarantee, I’ll be a Dawg.’ And I did it.”

His fondest memories of UGA:

“My favorite memory of my time at UGA is the professors I had in the College of Agriculture.”

Why he endowed the Arnton Clegg Agricultural Engineering Award:

“My uncle, Arnton Clegg, helped my two brothers and me attend UGA. He taught Agricultural Engineering at UGA for seven years before he went to work for Caterpillar. He said that all three of us should attend UGA, and he was part of my inspiration for wanting to go to UGA. For years, I have wanted to do something to honor him, to thank him for his help in getting my brothers and me to UGA.”


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