Ex-PRIZE to support experiential learning and travel for Grady College students

Headshot of Carolyn Tieger and a copy of the Ex-PRIZE logo.
Carolyn Tieger, chair of the Grady College Board of Trust, created the Ex-PRIZE to support students when they study away and participate in other experiential learning opportunities. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman; Logo: Sophia Steed)

Ex-PRIZE to support experiential learning and travel for Grady College students

September 27, 2023
Sarah Freemanfreemans@uga.edu

There is no doubt that UGA students receive rich benefits from international and study-away travel experiences, but many times financial constraints prevent these opportunities from taking place.

Carolyn Tieger (ABJ ‘69), chair of the Grady College Board of Trust, has established, along with the Board of Trust, the Ex-PRIZE  as a commitment to making sure that financial needs do not become an obstacle for some students to take advantage of learning experiences outside of the classroom.

Tieger worked with Charles Davis, dean of Grady College, to pledge $50,000 to endow a fund that will help match contributions from other alumni. Financial support of study away opportunities are the main focus of this new fund.

“I told Dean Davis I want to help make something significant and permanent happen during my tenure as board chair,” Tieger explained. “I asked him his biggest concern, and he immediately responded with, ‘We just don’t have the dollars to support students who desperately want to participate in programs outside the classroom but don’t have the resources to do so.’”

Davis is grateful for support from alumni like Tieger.

“Carolyn shares my passion for helping students gain real-world experience, and she’s once again leading by example,” Davis said. “Her commitment to this college, and to our students, makes me so proud to team with her and our Board of Trust in this important initiative.”

Tieger believes that experiential learning is just as important as learning in the classroom.

“I so wish I had had the opportunity to be an intern, study overseas or participate in a domestic field study when I was at Grady,” Tieger continued. “To have an opportunity to experience real world work environments and see how classroom learning is actually applied on the job expands the lives and minds of our students immeasurably.”

Tieger’s idea for the Ex-PRIZE fund was inspired from the global XPRIZE Foundation that works to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges and provides funding for projects that make the world a better place.

Tieger is one of the top public affairs strategists in the country. She served in executive  roles in the Washington, D.C. offices of Burson Marsteller and Porter Novelli, as well as worked in the White House, on Capitol Hill and owned her own firm. Now retired in Naples, Florida, she still is involved in local politics and issues through her firm Tieger Public Affairs

The creation of the Ex-Prize is the most recent gift of impact that Tieger has made at Grady College. She has also supported Talking Dog, the student-led advertising and public relations agency, and in 2013, she envisioned and endowed the Carolyn Caudell Tieger Professorship in Public Affairs Communications (PAC), leading way to the creation of the Public Affairs Communications certificate program.

Grady College offers nearly a dozen study away opportunities, including domestic programs in cities like New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago; and international programs in locations including Cannes, Prague and Croatia, among others.

Tieger concluded: “We are hoping we will receive an outpouring of financial support from our alumni and donors for the Grady Ex-PRIZE endowment so that Dean Davis leaves no student behind when it comes to priceless opportunities to see the real world in action through experiential learning.”

To contribute to the Ex-PRIZE and have your gift matched, please visit our Ex-PRIZE giving webpage.