Talia Murphy first stepped foot on campus as a freshman in 1980 just in time to experience the University of Georgia’s national championship win later that year. Now she enjoys the pride of yet another national championship victory for the Georgia Bulldogs, as her daughter, Lily, attends classes. Talia states, “being back on campus with this victory buzz in the air has been so fun, and finding our own place on campus through the Parents Leadership Council has strengthened the experience for our whole family.” Along with her husband, John, Talia serves as the chair of the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), an organization of parents who are eager to contribute to the university and support student-serving organizations.
After her graduation, Talia and John spent 30 years overseas with their three daughters. She was relatively removed from the university during this time, but when John was called back to Atlanta for his career at Coca-Cola, UGA was back on the couple’s radar—especially as their youngest daughter, Lily, was getting ready to apply for colleges. All it took for her to be sold on UGA was attending the renowned, annual Georgia-Georgia Tech football game. Through their daughter, John and Talia reconnected with UGA and have remained passionate ever since. Even though John, an Irish citizen who did not go to college in the United States, had no previous connection to UGA, he has become an avid Dawgs fan.
For the past few years, John and Talia have known they wanted to invest in UGA. Together, they have pledged to create a Georgia Commitment Scholarship, a need-based scholarship program built on private donations. In supporting Lily, the Murphys have developed a passion for supporting every UGA student across campus. As Talia states, “Where your kids are, that’s where you put your time, your effort, and your financial support.” This philosophy steered the couple to the Parents Leadership Council.
The Murphys became involved in the PLC during the height of the pandemic. Though they were unable to meet other members in person, they believed in the program and wanted to stay involved. As time went on, they were able to find a community in the PLC and encourage other parents to do the same.
“We love that there’s an organization where we can really make a difference as parents”, said Talia. “It taps parents into what’s happening on campus and allows us to address the needs of students as they come up through the grants program.”
After the Murphys dedicated over a year to the PLC, getting deeply involved with the campus community and student life, the two were presented with the opportunity to serve as chairs. The couple takes great pride in holding this position, and they are striving to make the PLC even more active and engaged with campus organizations. The PLC Grants Program, a longstanding PLC effort and a major focus for John and Talia, awarded $875,000 last year to 100 campus organizations. The Murphys, working with the PLC Grants Committee Chairs, want to raise more money for grant funding than ever before: their goal is to reach $1 million in donations from PLC members this year.
John and Talia encourage any interested parent to consider joining the PLC for the tight-knit community, the service to the university and an opportunity to continue supporting your children throughout their years in college, as well as many other students and student organizations. The PLC offers parents a unique chance to show up in a very tangible way for their children.
“Whether it’s attending meetings or mingling with fellow PLC members, council members have an opportunity to be on campus. But best of all, we have an opportunity to make a difference in a student’s life,” said the Murphys. “Exploring downtown restaurants with Lily and her friends is one thing, but now we are able to feel an extra sense of gratification knowing that we are supporting her journey one step further through the PLC.”