The University of Georgia Senatus Academicus, was created by an act of the House of Assembly of Georgia in 1784 to establish and oversee
"a plat of land where agricultural experiments might be made and observations in Botany and Natural History be taken".
- Abraham Baldwin.
Under the supervision of the Senatus Academicus, UGA was born in Mr. Thomas Stone's Bay Street "Coffee House" in Savannah, Georgia on January 28, 1785. Later that same day the House of Assembly of Georgia along with the Senatus Academicus appointed Yale graduate, Abraham Baldwin as first president of the proposed institution.
Unlike the European universities of the day, early American university design placed an emphasis on aesthetic design and landscape architecture. Early educators believed that a rural setting would promote classical learning as well as serve to insulate scholars from disease and vices like alcohol and gambling. The Senatus Academicus was tasked with locating just such an ideal setting to establish a proposed university in Georgia.
UGA and Athens, GA