Who was Steadman Sanford?
All Georgia fans know that Sanford Stadium is the home of the Georgia Bulldogs and has been since 1929. But you know who the man is that the stadium was named for? Steadman Vincent Sanford is one of the best known educators in Georgia history. He was born in Covington in 1871 and completed his Bachelor’s degree in English from Mercer University in 1890. For the next 13 years, he would become a predominant educator in Marietta, serving as the principal of Marietta High School and as the superintendent of Marietta Public Schools. In 1903, he came to the University where he would teach English and journalism.
In 1921, Sanford founded the Grady School of Journalism, serving as the department head until 1926. He then became President of the Franklin College and the dean of students. And in 1932, he was eventually named President of the University of Georgia. During this time, he was also very active in the develop of the university’s athletics department. He became faculty chairman of athletics in 1907 and held that position until he became President. He was the founding president of the Southern Conference in 1921. His most memorable contribution was to move athletic completion from Herty Field to the valley between North and South Campus. He helped lead the fundraising effort which lead to the completion of the new football stadium, which was named in his honor.
In 1935, he was promoted to the position of chancellor of the University System of Georgia. He remained active in education over the next decade, securing support from President Franklin Roosevelt for building programs as part of the New Deal. Sanford passed away in 1945 and is buried in Marietta, Georgia.