GGC celebrates 10th anniversary with series of special events
While Georgia Gwinnett College is marking its 10th anniversary year throughout 2015, it held several GGC10-themed events yesterday to commemorate this important milestone in the college’s short but significant history.
The day began with GGC’s annual Convocation ceremony, during which students, faculty and staff receive awards. Yesterday’s ceremony also included the unveiling of GGC Charter President Daniel J. Kaufman’s official portrait. Kaufman, who was named the college’s first president in 2005, presented the ceremony’s keynote address. He departed the college in 2013 for the presidency of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
The ceremony also featured the introduction of the college’s ceremonial mace. Ceremonial maces are highly ornamented staffs derived from ancient weaponry. They became adorned and adapted for ceremonial use during the Middle Ages, and are usually carried by a designated official during processions for parliamentary occasions or for formal academic ceremonies like convocations and commencements. Ceremonial maces are usually all metal or wood, or some combination of the two.
Georgia Gwinnett’s mace contains a unique combination of materials selected to represent the many parts of the college community. Some of its materials reflect traditional meanings while others represent the modern, high-tech era in which GGC was founded. It is topped with an acrylic, art glass-style flame that is illuminated with an L.E.D.
Dr. Spero Peppas, professor of marketing and international business and GGC’s first faculty member, was the first GGC faculty member to bear the mace.
Following the ceremony, the entire campus community enjoyed a GGC10 outdoor cookout. Afternoon games on the library lawn included rock wall climbing, yoga, slacklining, bubble soccer and classic games like corn hole and ultimate Frisbee.
Later in the evening, students participated in a Highlighter Party and Fun Run/Walk, which raised funds for scholarships. This was followed by an ice cream social and flag football games on the intramural sports field.
In keeping with the college’s pattern of dramatic growth from zero to almost 12,000 students in only 10 years, the day’s events also included a groundbreaking ceremony for an expansion of Building C. The construction project will double the size of this academic building and will include classrooms and offices. The project will be complete next fall, enabling GGC to serve an estimated 13,000 students.
Last night, more than 300 community members and local and state officials gathered on campus for a dinner celebration honoring their advocacy and support, which resulted in the creation and growth of the college. The event included comments by Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia; Charlotte Nash, chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners; former Georgia Senator Don Balfour; Glenn White, Charter Chair of the GGC Foundation Glenn White and Tommy Hughes, current chair of the GGC Foundation. These individuals discussed the Gwinnett community’s team efforts to establish the college, as well as GGC’s success and its importance to Gwinnett, Georgia and the nation.
The event was capped by a presentation by Candice Coulter, Class of ’15, who discussed how GGC made a difference in her life, inspiring six other members of her family to go to college and to choose GGC. Several other students, whose achievements had been highlighted during the evening, held up signs spelling, “We thank you!” to end the program, greeted by rousing applause.
“By their very nature, anniversaries are times of celebration,” said GGC President Stas Preczewski. “They also are times for reflection – for remembering notable events, outstanding accomplishments and special people. There are many special people – community and business leaders, elected officials and donors – who began advocating for a bachelor’s degree-granting college in Gwinnett County decades ago, and who have since provided significant support for GGC. We would not be where we are today without them. This event honored everything they have done and continue to do for Georgia Gwinnett College.”