GGC library to be named for its founding president
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has approved the naming of Georgia Gwinnett College’s library in honor of the outstanding and distinguished service of the college’s founding president, Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman. The Daniel J. Kaufman Library & Learning Center will be dedicated in a formal ceremony later this year.
“We are delighted that the Board of Regents approved our request to honor Dr. Kaufman,” said Dr. Staś Preczewski, GGC president. “While the college itself and its innovative approach to higher education are his permanent legacy, naming the library for him emphasizes his enthusiastic, heartfelt dedication to learning. This recognition has been desired both by the campus community and our extended community.”
Kaufman was named president of the then-unnamed college in 2005, and quickly organized a leadership team charged with opening the institution one year later. In August of 2006, GGC welcomed 118 students. Over the next several years, the college experienced dramatic growth, and today enrolls nearly 12,000.
More importantly, Kaufman and his team established the college as a new model for higher education. It was literally built from the ground up to support student success, regardless of the level of academic preparation, learning style, work schedule or financial barrier.
With a commitment to student engagement and mentorship, GGC has achieved student retention rates on par with state universities. About half of its graduates are the first members of their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. GGC has been twice noted as the most ethnically diverse Southern regional college by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
In its recommendation to approve the naming of the GGC library, the USG Committee on Real Estate and Facilities said, “His commitment and leadership during his eight-year tenure helped establish a firm foundation for GGC that will positively impact students and the community for many generations.” The recommendation cited several of Kaufman’s specific accomplishments, including:
- Obtained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in less than three years – believed to be the fastest in SACSCOC history and less than half of the normal time to initial accreditation
- Expanded enrollment to well over 9,000 students in seven years (today enrolls nearly 12,000)
- Maintained the lowest tuition of all baccalaureate-only four-year colleges in the University System of Georgia
- Rated as friendly to the military by two rating agencies
- Achieved a peak rating of 5th best public college in the Southern Region by US News & World Report magazine
“It is fitting the library is in the heart of campus. The LEED Gold certified building provides critical resources to enhance our students’ successes, thus reaffirming our mission on a daily basis,” said Dr. Lois C. Richardson, interim senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and provost. “To attach Dr. Kaufman’s name to this building is a perfect choice. It houses 37 study rooms for group and project work, the Academic Enhancement Center, which offers a robust tutoring program and the Center for Teaching Excellence where faculty hone their innovative teaching practices.”
“I am deeply honored that the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia would approve naming the GGC Library and Learning Center after me,” said Kaufman. “We designed the building to be the intellectual center of campus for both students and faculty. I can think of no greater honor than to have such a critical facility for the support of student success bear my name.”
Kaufman departed the college in 2013 to serve the community as president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.