University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries
University of Georgia Libraries

S.V. Sanford

S. V. Sanford portrait

Born in Covington Georgia, August 24, 1871, Steadman Vincent Sanford would follow in his grandfather's footsteps as an important educator and also as an inspired administrator. Educated at Mercer University, his father's alma mater and where his grandfather taught for over 50 years, S.V. Sanford began his career in education in Marietta. Before leaving the city, Sanford had acted as principal of Marietta High School and as superintendent for the Marietta schools.

In 1903, Sanford took a post at the University of Georgia as an adjunct professor of English. By 1913, after studying at Oxford and the University of Berlin, he had become a full professor. Sanford was instrumental in the founding of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism and acted as its dean from 1921-1927. During his tenure as dean, Sanford worked to create the Georgia Press Institute, the Scholastic Press Association for high school students, and the George Foster Peabody Awards Advisory Board for broadcasting excellence. In 1927 he became president of Franklin College and from 1932 to 1935 served as president of the University.

S. V. Sanford and Charles E. Martin in Sanford Stadium

Sanford's interests did not lie solely in academics--he became a leader in collegiate athletics in Georgia, the Southeast and throughout the country. From 1904-1927, Sanford was the faculty athletic director at the university and while dean orchestrated the funding and building of Sanford Stadium which was inaugurated in October of 1929. Regionally, Sanford helped found the Southern Athletic Conference and its smaller offshoot, the Southeastern Conference. Sanford also served as president of the NCAA.

Sanford also proved himself to be an extremely able administrator. He is credited with the creation of the University System of Georgia and the reorganization of the university. As the first chancellor of the System, Sanford secured federal funds to build over seventy campus buildings and lobbied for increased state funding. Sanford died in Atlanta on September 15, 1945. Like his grandfather, Shelton Palmer Sanford, he had served the educational needs of the residents of Georgia for over fifty years.

See: Finding Aid for Steadman Vincent Sanford Papers