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Pillars for the Future — Inaugural fundraising campaign announced by Georgia College

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President Dorothy Leland has announced the first fundraising campaign in the university’s history, with a goal of $10.35 million by the end of 2012.

The public phase is off to a strong start with $7.68 million raised to date.  During the past two years, Georgia College has been quietly building the foundation of philanthropic support in anticipation of this campaign, which will affect lives across the campus, capitalize on our existing strengths, expand upon our mission and lead us to extraordinary accomplishments.

“Pillars for the Future: Campaign to Sustain Excellence” is led by alumnus and Atlanta Attorney Stan Wilson, and a committee of university friends and alumni who, like Wilson, are trustees of the Georgia College Foundation. Their leadership and support through rough economic times has led Georgia College to this announcement, much further along than they originally would have imagined.

“As Georgia College’s most ardent supporters,” said Tad Brown, chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees, “we want to help grow and sustain the university’s academic excellence and the quality of the student experience. Through this campaign, we are focusing our efforts on those areas of highest priority to do just that for the university.”

The campaign is focused on six funding priorities:

• endowed scholarships;

• endowed professorships and chairs;

• endowed undergraduate research;

• endowed lecture series;

• program support, and

• facilities.

“The reductions in state support that we have endured during the past few years make it all the more important that we develop additional revenue sources to maintain our excellence as Georgia’s designated public liberal arts university,” President Leland said.

A recent report prepared by a panel of business, labor, philanthropy and policy leaders issued by the Association of American Colleges and Universities concluded: “In an economy fueled by innovation, the capabilities developed through a liberal arts education have become America’s most valuable economic asset.”

As Georgia’s designated public liberal arts university, Georgia College demonstrates repeatedly that it prepares students well for the challenges of the future and the responsibilities of leadership.

Georgia College ranks third among the state universities, behind only Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, in the average SAT scores of entering freshmen.

“To continue to attract Georgia’s best students, we need to increase our ability to offer scholarships that assist these students in pursuing their degrees,” Leland said. 

Funds also are needed to support undergraduate research projects under faculty guidance, a key element in providing strong undergraduate teaching and learning experiences. Georgia College is known for providing real-world, outside-the-classroom learning environments where students can apply theory to reality. The Pillars for the Future campaign will help to ensure those opportunities exist for Georgia College students well into the future.

Endowed chairs and professorships enhance significantly Georgia College’s ability to compete with other universities for attention of the world’s brightest minds. Attracting top scholars through chairs and professorships adds prestige to the university, opens avenues for collaboration across the campus and community, and helps in attracting exceptional students.

Guest lecturers (scholars, writers and artists) will enrich the intellectual and cultural lives of the students and the community. Each lecture series will engage the university community in deep and sustained reflection. To enhance opportunities for meaningful engagement, the university will sponsor appropriate events throughout the year in the academic area of the guest lecturer.

Donors contributing $10,000 or more will be acknowledged as Georgia College “Pillars for the Future” donors on a campaign marker, according to Wilson. Gifts and pledges to the campaign may be paid over a five-year period.

“Georgia College has established a tremendous record as a top public liberal arts university,” said Wilson. “We are known for providing the educational experiences expected at the best private colleges while offering the affordability and resources of a public university. “To sustain that level of excellence, we have embarked on this fundraising campaign, and we are confident that our alumni and friends will help us to achieve that goal in the very near future.”

“You have the opportunity to be a pillar of support for Georgia College’s future,” said Brown. “Your gift will make a qualitative difference in Georgia College’s ability to sustain excellence in achieving its mission.”

The Pillars for the Future campaign committee consists of: Wilson, chair; Brown, Melba Cooper, E. Max Crook, E. Alex Gregory, Jr., Dr. Paul Jones, President Leland, Hugh Peterson, Dr. Susan Stewart and Jo Slade Wilbanks.

For more information about the campaign, contact Amy Amason, vice president for external relations and university advancement, at (478) 445-1945 or email amy.amason@gcsu.edu. Or, visit the Georgia College Foundation website at www.gcsu.edu/foundation.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.


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