Georgia announces massive donation from Kirby, Mary Beth Smart for student-athletes affected by virus
Georgia coach Kirby Smart and his wife Mary Beth have made another huge donation to the school, this time to benefit student athletes affected by COVID-19.
The Smarts have given $1 million to help UGA Athletics’ new social justice program, create scholarships for senior student-athletes whose final seasons were impacted by COVID-19, and contribute to the expansion of the UGA football program.
“Mary Beth and I are where we are because of the University of Georgia, so we feel a duty to give back to the university that opened so many doors for us, brought us together and brought us home,” said Kirby Smart. “The current moment presents unique challenges for all of us, whether that’s dealing with the ramifications of this pandemic or acknowledging and addressing racial inequality. We hope this gift can fuel positive change in both areas.”
Last month, they joined former Georgia QB Matthew Stafford to give $500,000 to the school in order to help the university implement strategic initiatives in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility and lifted team financial aid limits so that athletes could return and complete their final seasons of eligibility at Georgia and other schools.
However, Georgia, like other schools, faced a financial shortfall that impacted the Athletic Association’s budgets.