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Georgia College History: Dr. J. Luther Beeson

Dr. Beeson

1927-1934

Biography

In 1927, Dr. Jasper Luther Beeson was appointed as Dr. Parks’ successor.  Dr. Beeson held a PhD from John Hopkins University and had been a professor of chemistry at GN & IC-GSCW since 1897.  During Beeson's presidency, Ina Dillard Russell Library and Terrell Hall would be added to main campus; and the college would be accepted into organizations such as the Association of American Colleges, the American Association of Teachers' Colleges and the Southern Association of Colleges for Women. Another important event occurred without incident on January 1, 1932, when GSCW became a unit of the University System of Georgia. During the early 1930s, in terms of size and prestige, only the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech outranked the woman’s college.  In a time when state supported colleges that admitted only women were becoming increasingly rare, GSCW was holding its own.

During President Beeson’s tenure, the college offered what was probably the least expensive education of any accredited college in the nation to young women who came from lower income families across the state. Due to failing health, Dr. Beeson stepped down as president at the end of the 1934 academic year. As the end of his presidential tenure approached, five simple words could be read in the Colonnade, “We love you, Dr. Beeson.” Beeson was awarded "president emeritus" status by the Board of Regents and continued teaching chemistry at the college. He died of a heart attack after serving GSCW for nearly fifty years in 1943.

Major Accomplishments

  • Beeson oversaw the construction of several campus buildings, including Ina Dillard Russell Library and Terrell Hall.
  • GSCW became a member of the University System of Georgia.