Andre Mackey (BSPH ’88) is giving back to the university that provided him with an education, career opportunities and priceless experiences.
At a glance
Andre Mackey is committed to giving back to the university that provided him with an education, career opportunities and priceless experiences.
Working while in school provided Andre with a well-rounded experience. He hopes to help provide similar experiences for the recipients of his endowed scholarship.
Andre is not only helping current students, but has also committed to helping future pharmacy students pursue their career dreams through his bequest.
“UGA is a great school and the pharmacy program in particular is really strong; I wanted to do my part to help.”
Andre Mackey only had eyes for UGA when it came to applying for college. Once he received his early acceptance letter, the Bainbridge, Georgia, native didn’t apply anywhere else.
Andre thoroughly enjoyed his experience at UGA in the 1980s. “Everyone was welcoming and accepting,” he said. He joined two fraternities – one in undergrad and another while in pharmacy school. He made lifelong friends through his activities on and off campus.
“I love Athens. It’s a great college town – even outside of the school,” said Andre. “I joined a church and made great friends there, too. Athens just started to feel like home.” He enjoyed life in the Classic City so much that, after his freshman year, Andre stayed in Athens year-round to take classes and work.
Andre likes to say he had “the good fortune” of needing a job while in school. He worked in Bolton and Snelling dining halls and in an off-campus department store. He worked to afford school, but also to afford to participate in extracurricular activities.
“Looking back, I would not have done it any other way,” said Andre. “It helped shape who I am.” Now, when he meets alumni who did more than just study while in school, he finds them to be most well-rounded individuals and employees. He sees great value in college students participating in extracurricular opportunities outside the classroom.
Andre has connected with students through his role as president of the UGA Pharmacy Alumni Council. When he speaks during the pharmacy school’s white coat and pinning ceremonies, he shares his experiences and challenges students to seek out opportunities to learn outside the classroom.
He credits his experience on the Pharmacy Alumni Council for enlightening him about the financial burdens facing some students. “It gave me a whole new outlook on giving back,” said Andre. “It drove me to think about what I can do to help. UGA is a great school and the pharmacy program in particular is really strong; I wanted to do my part to help.”
Andre elected to help remove financial barriers for some students by establishing the Andre Mackey Scholarship Fund. The fund provides a scholarship for a pharmacy student who is also involved in extracurricular activities.
Learning to balance work and school was a defining experience for Andre, making it an important qualification for his scholarship. “Every time I received even a little help through a scholarship, I appreciated it. Every little penny helped,” he explained.
Andre not only created an endowed scholarship to help current UGA students, he’s also committed to helping future students. By making a bequest in his will through UGA’s Office of Gift & Estate Planning, Andre will leave a legacy at UGA. That legacy will help students like him pursue their career dreams, thus helping establish the next generation of pharmacists.
Andre reinforces the importance of giving back through personal conversations and speaking engagements at alumni events. Following his remarks during a recent commencement ceremony, he ran into the brother of the recipient of his scholarship.
“It really hit home when the recipient’s brother recognized me,” Andre recalled. “You tend to think the beneficiary of the scholarship will be impacted, but you don’t always consider the impact it could have on the family as well. It was encouraging to get to see firsthand the impact you’re making. It’s truly an honor to be able to give.”