UGA names Department of Economics in honor of alumnus John Munro Godfrey, Sr.

Flavel and John Godfrey

This story, written by Ed Morales, was originally published on the Terry College of Business website on Sept. 29, 2023.

The Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia has named its Economics Department the John Munro Godfrey, Sr. Department of Economics in honor of alumnus John Munro Godfrey, Sr. The naming recognizes Godfrey’s career as a leader in the field of economics and his long-standing support of the university and the Terry College — including a transformational gift from Godfrey and his wife, Flavel, to endow the Department of Economics.

“The University of Georgia is grateful for John Godfrey’s extraordinary generosity and engagement, which he has consistently demonstrated over the span of six decades,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “John and Flavel are wonderful friends of our great institution, and their gift will ensure that John’s alma mater continues to provide outstanding education and produce valuable research in the field of economics.”

The endowment for the John Munro Godfrey, Sr. Department of Economics will establish seed funds and research grants to recruit and retain top faculty; create scholarships to attract premier undergraduate, graduate and PhD students; and provide programmatic funds to elevate the educational experience and career opportunities for students.

UGA’s Department of Economics educates thousands of students each year in its introductory principles of economics, upper-level undergraduate, and graduate courses. More than 700 students majored in economics during the 2022-23 academic year, an increase of more than 40% from five years ago. The Department counts approximately 7,000 alumni. Economics is the 10th most popular undergraduate major at UGA, and the Department enrolls the largest PhD program in the Terry College. Recent graduates include recipients of highly competitive Rhodes, Marshall, Schwarzman, Beinecke and Truman scholarships.

“Flavel and I feel this is the right opportunity,” said Godfrey. “I have always remembered Terry offered me the ability to pursue graduate economic studies with a challenging faculty and a bright professional future. I am grateful. After graduating, I deepened my Terry association. Over the years, Herman and Mary Virginia Terry provided us with a beautiful example of philanthropy.”

Godfrey’s career as a business economist has spanned 40 years. From 1981 until 1995, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for Barnett Banks Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida. Before that, Godfrey was a Research Officer and Senior Financial Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and in the mid-1990s, he started Florida Economic Associates.

“We are grateful for John and Flavel’s support of the future of the Terry College of Business and honored to name our Economics Department for such a respected leader in the field,” said Dean Ben Ayers. “Their generous support has given the Terry College the resources to make significant strides in our mission to produce exemplary economists who will serve as leaders in their businesses and their communities.”

“The Department of Economics has a distinguished history of producing innovative and important research and delivering high-quality educational experiences at the undergraduate and graduate level,” said Josh Kinsler, Department Head and the Nicholas A. Beadles Chair of Economics and Professor. “John and Flavel Godfrey’s generous support will accelerate our growth and global influence by supporting faculty research, programmatic offerings, scholarships and outreach. These efforts will ensure our undergraduate and graduate students are prepared to confront society’s most pressing social and economic issues. We are so thankful for this opportunity.”

Godfrey, raised in Savannah, earned a BBA in economics from the University of Georgia in 1964. He was awarded a National Defense Education Act Fellowship to begin graduate studies at UGA, where he studied under David McCord Wright and Richard H. Timberlake Jr. and completed his PhD in Economics in 1976.

Godfrey served as President of the Terry College Alumni Board and was honored with the UGA Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. He also served in the Building Terry National Campaign Cabinet, a group that was instrumental in raising funds to build the Terry College’s state-of-the-art Business Learning Community, completed in 2019.

A Certified Business Economist, Godfrey has held leadership roles in many professional and civic organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics as an elected fellow.

Flavel McMichael Godfrey, a North Carolina native, is a graduate of Agnes Scott College.

The Godfreys were inducted as members of the Terry College’s prestigious Pinnacle Society in 2019. They reside in Jacksonville, Florida.