Skip to main content

Georgia College History: Timeline And Major Events

Georgia College Events

Aerial View of Terrell Hall

Throughout our history Georgia College has gone through many changes. In our earliest days, we slowly built upon the what use to be called Penitentiary Square. We added dormitories, classroom buildings, and public spaces for the students and faculty. This is just a small list of some of the major events to occur on campus.

Georgia College Timeline

The History of Georgia College & State University

  • 1889 - The new college is named Georgia Normal & Industrial College (GN&IC). Its early mission is to educate women in Georgia so that they may earn their own living.
  • 1890 - All of Georgia celebrates the groundbreaking of the Main Building on the Georgia Normal & Industrial College campus.
  • 1891 - The first president of the college, Dr. J. Harris Chappell, takes office. He serves as college president until 1905.
  • 1891 - (September 30th) The first classes begin. There are 88 students representing 52 Georgia counties.
  • 1891 - Peabody Model School opens as a training school for student teachers.
  • 19 June 1892 - The first commencement is held.
  • 1894 - A dormitory annex is added to the Governor's Mansion.
  • 1896 -  Atkinson Hall is built.
  • 1905 - Dr. Marvin McTyeire Parks becomes president and serves as president of the college until 1926.
  • 1907 - Chappell Hall is dedicated.
  • 1908 - Terrell Hall Dormitory (formerly Lamar Hall) is constructed.
  • 1911 - Parks Hall is completed.
  • 1921 - The first Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are conferred.
  • 1922 - The college is renamed Georgia State College for Women (GSCW).
  • December 1924 -  Main Building burns. All of the official records housed in the Main Building are destroyed in the fire.
  • 1926 - Lanier Hall is completed.
  • December 1926 - College President Marvin Parks is struck by a car while walking downtown in Tampa, Florida. He later died on January 2, 1927.
  • 1927 - Dr. J. Luther Beeson becomes president and serves until 1934.
  • 1932 - Georgia State College for Women becomes part of the University System of Georgia as did the other 26 state-supported colleges and universities.
  • 1932 - Russell Library is built.
  • 1934 - Mr. Guy Herbert Wells begins his tenure as college president. He is president until 1953.
  • 1934 - Wearing uniforms becomes optional.
  • 1935 - The first Golden Slipper pageant is held to help freshmen who are homesick.
  • 1938 - Beeson Hall is dedicated to former president Dr. Beeson.
  • 1938 - Sanford Hall is built and dedicated in December.
  • 1939 - Efforts begin toward writing an Honor Code and electing an Honor Council.
  • 1942 - Mary Flannery O'Connor is a student at Georgia State College for Women.
  • 1943 - WAVES training facility is located on campus in support of the war effort.
  • 1953 - Dr. Henry King Stanford is named president and is at the college until 1956.
  • 1954 - Herty Hall is built.
  • 1956 - Dr. Robert E. ("Buzz") Lee is the college president. He remains at the college until 1967.
  • Summer 1958 - The Master of Education degree program becomes the first graduate degree program offered.
  • 1961 - The college gets a new name: The Woman's College of Georgia (WCG).
  • 1963 - New Chappell Hall is opened.
  • 1964 - The first African-American student enters WCG.
  • 1965 - Wells Hall is built.
  • 1966 - Adams Hall is completed.
  • Spring 1967 - The college becomes co-educational.
  • 1967 - The college is renamed: Georgia College at Milledgeville (GCM).
  • 1968 - Dr. J. Whitney Bunting becomes president of the college and serves in the office until 1981.
  • 1971 - The college is named Georgia College (GC).
  • 1972 - Napier Hall is built.
  • November 1972 - Last performance of Golden Slipper.
  • 1972 - November. Last performance of Golden Slipper
  • 1972 - Maxwell Student Union is dedicated.
  • 1981 - Dr. Edwin G. Speir, Jr. becomes president and serves for fifteen years, 1981-1996.
  • 1989 - Centennial Center is opened.
  • 1996 - The university is renamed Georgia College & State University (GCSU) and receives a mission change to become Georgia's public liberal arts university.
  • 1996 - The new Arts & Sciences Building is dedicated.
  • January-July 1997 - Dr. Ralph W. Hemphill serves as acting president.
  • August 1997 - Dr. Rosemary DePaolo becomes the first woman president of the university.
  • October 1999 - Hall House is purchased by the University. Will eventually become the home of the office of Human Resources.
  • June 2001 - Georgia College & State University becomes 18th member of Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges(COPLAC).
  • 2001 - Georgia College is one of the founding members of the Georgia WebMBA program.
  • February 14, 2003 - The newly built Foundational Hall and newly rebuilt Parkhust Hall open to residents. 550 students are moved from temporary housing and existing buildings into the new facilities.
  • August 2003 - Three buildings of the apartment complex at West Campus opens. Originally dubbed Bobcat Village, This six building complex is now known as the Village. 
  • January 2004 Dr. Dorothy Leland becomes president of the university.
  • August 2004 - A renovated Sanford Hall opens as the first Honors Residential Community. Also a rebuilt Napier, Wells, and Adams hall open.
  • 2004 - With help from the Georgia General Assembly and the Woodruff Foundation, a painstaking restoration of the Old Governor's Mansion is completed as a historic house museum, interpreted in the years 1851-1853.
  • October 2005 The newly expanded and renovated Library & Instructional Technology Building is dedicated.
  • 2005 - Renovation of the former First Methodist Church as the new Student Activities Center is completed. The Magnolia Room centerpiece provides an elegant space for events and gatherings.
  • Fall 2006- During renovations, Bell Hall is named future home to the Honors Resident Learning Community. Bell Hall is reopened at the end of September 2006. 
  • 2006- The USG Board of Regents approves the Macon Center for Graduate and Professional Learning for operation in downtown Macon by Georgia College.
  • May 2009 - University Foundation purchase the Newell-Watts House and Carl Vinson House. The Newell-Watts House wil become home to Georgia College Admissions and the Vinson House will become home to the Office of University Advancement.
  • July 2009 - Dr. Sandra Jordan becomes the first Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Georgia College.
  • November 2009 - The renovated Health Sciences Building and Parks Memorial Hall reopen.
  • 2010 - The Campus Theatre reopens after extensive restoration and renovation to become the home for the Georgia College Department of Theatre Arts and a "black box theatre" as well as the University Bookstore.
  • July 2011Dr. Stas Preczewski becomes the interim president for Georgia College. 
  • November 2011 - Wellness and Recreation Center opens at West Campus
  • May 2012 - Doctorate of Nurse Practitioner program begins on campus. First doctorate program at Georgia College.
  • September 2012 - Dr. Steve Dorman become president of the university
  • October 15, 2012 - Herty Hall addition formal opened. The addition included that addition of a roof level green house, an observatory, and expanded space for offices/classrooms.
  • August 2013 - Dr. Kelli Brown becomes second provost
  • October 2017 - The HUB opens in Blackbridge Hall. 
  • October 2017 - Mayfair Hall reopens as the home to GC Admissions.
  • October 2017 - McIntosh House reopens as the home of several academic offices.
  • November 2017 - Beeson Hall reopens as the home for instructional labs and faculty offices.