Published on 04/20/17

Henry County's Broder family endows global citizenship award to foster global outlook among agriculture students

By Merritt Melancon

In 1952, the Broders of St. Gallen, Switzerland, officially became the Broders of Stockbridge, Georgia.

Hans and Margrit Broder raised their eight children with one foot in the deep South of 1960s Stockbridge and the other foot in the Swiss Alps. Growing up in two cultures gave their children an appreciation of the vast diversity of the world around them.

“We actually lived in two worlds,” said Joe Broder, associate dean for academic affairs for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and third-oldest child of the Broder eight. “We lived in Switzerland when we came home and in America when we went to school … It was interesting because we lived in two cultures and, in the South, a lot of kids didn’t have that opportunity.”

Seven of the eight Broder children graduated from CAES, where Joe Broder now serves as associate dean. The children brought their global worldview with them when they came to the university’s campus in Athens, Georgia. Today, they’re still working to encourage global citizenship in CAES students.

This year the Broder children endowed the Broder-Ackermann Global Citizenship Award in honor of their parents. Hans Broder was an agriculture teacher who was hired to run a Swiss-owned dairy in Stockbridge with his wife Margrit Ackermann. Together they raised eight children who have maintained their family’s Swiss heritage.

The award will be given each year to a CAES student who demonstrates dedication to global citizenship by working and studying abroad or being engaged with the international community in Athens.

“They worked for us. They did everything for us,” said Joe Broder. “We wanted to recognize them not only for everything they did for us, but for being globally minded. Coming here opened doors for all of us, and we wanted to pay them back for the gift they gave to us.”

The Broder-Ackermann award is supported by gifts from Joe Broder, who received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1971; Hans Broder Jr., who received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1969; Charles Broder, who received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1975; Michael Broder, who received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering in 1976; Patrick Broder, who received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1977; Peter Broder, who received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering in 1982; Angela Broder Nemeth, who received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1983; and in memory of Margrit Broder Scruggs.

Broder Scruggs was the only Broder child who did not attend CAES, opting instead to attend St. Joseph’s Nursing School in Atlanta and spend her life as a psychiatric nurse.

Patrick Broder, Hans Broder Jr. and Josef Broder were on hand April 18 at CAES’s seventh annual International Agriculture Day reception to recognize the inaugural winner of the Broder-Ackermann Global Citizen Award, Samaria Aluko. Aluko will receive a $1,000 scholarship to support her work.

Aluko is a third-year CAES student from Acworth, Georgia, who is studying biological science. Aluko is interested in public health and improving the health of marginalized communities. She has studied abroad, speaks multiple languages and works with public health organizations in Georgia to provide health care to refugee communities.

She has worked with the student group MobileHealth@UGA to develop an app that will be used in communities in Uganda to equip women with the information they need to have healthier pregnancies. 

For more information about the Broder-Ackermann Global Citizen Award, visit

Merritt Melancon is a public relations manager with UGA's Terry College of Business and previously served as a public relations coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UGA Extension.

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