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College of Environment and Design

Bob Hughes and Sarah Ross Named Recipients of 2019 Dean's Award of Honor

Bob Hugheslandscape architect, planner, and founding principal of HGOR, and Sarah Ross—Executive Director of the UGA Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe, have been named recipients of the College of Environment and Design Dean's Award of Honor for 2019.

Bob Hughes


With over forty years of experience as a landscape architect, planner and founding principal of HGOR, Bob Hughes has been recognized for his professional and personal contributions to the growth and expansion of Atlanta’s community. His experience working on significant projects, from civic and educational institutions to workplace and community-oriented developments, has allowed HGOR to be recognized with over 100 design awards in over twenty-three states and six countries. He possesses deep experience to speak the language of his clients, which heightens his ability to build consensus around a comprehensive vision, while providing innovative design solutions that are responsive to context, climate, culture and address critical issues.

Bob’s commitment to the community has garnered awards, recognizing his contributions throughout the years. He has served on The Piedmont Park Conservancy for over thirteen years in various roles, including Board Chair, overseeing the 45-million-dollar expansion of the park. Bob also served on the George West Mental Health Foundation’s advisory board for more than nineteen years, providing pro-bono services that established an ethos of respect through therapeutic gardens and environmental stewardship best practices. Additionally, he peruses an interest in transit-oriented design as a member of ULI-Atlanta Livable Communities Council, and a passion for viable urban green space as board member with Livable Buckhead.

As a UGA graduate in 1977 and passionate proponent of fostering the future generation of landscape architects and planners, he has been a visiting lecturer and instructor at the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Clemson University. He is former president of the UGA School of Environmental Design Alumni Association (prior to the SED becoming the CED) and President of the Dean’s Advisory Council for UGA’s College of Environment and Design. In addition, he created the “HGOR/Richard Davis Lecture Fund” in 2001 and he and his wife Mary recently established a new Professorship at the College of Environment and Design to retain and recruit top professional landscape architects to train tomorrow’s generation of designers. In 2016, Bob received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his professional achievement to the reputation and well-being of the University of Georgia.

Throughout his career, Bob’s thoughtful design approach has called attention to the most distinctive natural attributes of a given place, while his collaborations and community outreach strategies have extended the boundaries of traditional landscape architecture. His dedication to investing in professional and personal growth, as well as understanding that communication is community-driven, is that to which he attributes his success and happiness.

sarah ross


Sarah Ross is the Executive Director of the University of Georgia Center for Research and Education at Wormsloe, in Savannah GA. UGACREW supports interdisciplinary research in ecology, environmental engineering, geography, hydrogeology, forestry, landscape design, historic preservation, and archaeology.

Ross is founder of Social Roots, an heirloom seed company specializing in open-pollinated vegetable varieties selected for the southeast US. She is President of The Wormsloe Foundation and Executive Director of the Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History. These foundations conduct and coordinate agricultural and environmental history research focused on Georgia’s coastal landscapes.