Spotlight On: University of Georgia & Miss Sandra


Today, I am a changed Yak. And it all started with 1 hug.  

I’m here to talk about something real good. There’s a lot happening in our world that makes me want to put my head in my hairy hands. But last week I heard about something incredible, and I had to find out more. 

86 miles down the road from our Atlanta HQ is the Snelling Dining Commons on University of Georgia’s campus. Students come to Snelling to meet with friends, grab food before class, or sneak in a couple more minutes of studying. But they also come to Snelling for a very special woman named Miss Sandra Patterson. 

Miss Sandra is a beloved dining hall employee and a Snelling staple – and students flock from all over campus to say hi, get advice, or just be enveloped in one of her cure-everything hugs. “Even if I’m only stopping by to grab a banana between classes, her selfless heart and words of encouragement never fail to remind me that I’m genuinely cared for,” says Casey, a Junior at UGA. 

Peeking into UGA’s feed frequently turns up an outpouring of love for Miss Sandra. These are some of my favorites:

Then, I read an article about an amazing UGA student, Katie, who – inspired by all the wonderful posts on Yik Yak – decided to make a GoFundMe campaign for a holiday gift for Miss Sandra. Using Yik Yak as a campaign ground, Katie and her fellow students raised over $200. Go Dawgs! 

I had to meet Miss Sandra. I got in touch with Katie, and we joined forces with 2 fellow students, Anna and Casey. Together, we embarked on Operation Hug Miss Sandra to further show her how much UGA students love and appreciate her. We headed to Snelling to surprise her with a card filled with yak after yak of love for Miss Sandra. It was truly incredible to see her reaction to the fabulous yaks about how much she means to the community. Success!  

“Miss Sandra is a loving woman. She radiates joy. Her constant happiness and endless hugs offer comfort to hundreds of college students who are stressed out over projects, tests, and finals. She really makes UGA feel like a second home!” explains Katie. And I certainly agree. I can personally attest that her hugs are in fact outstanding. I feel like a different Yak today. Like I can do anything I put my mind to.

Anna explains further: “Miss Sandra has such a loving and caring presence on campus. She truly loves each and every one of us kids. If you walk through Snelling at any point in your time at UGA, you automatically become one of her “babies” and that’s probably the best feeling in the world.” 

As it is easy to see, and for good reason, your Dawgs love you Miss Sandra! Happy holidays – you deserve it! 

Photos by the talented Casey Sykes

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