Dr. DePaolo earned a PhD from Rutgers University in 1979 and came to Georgia College in 1997. Despite the thriving atmosphere of the 1980's, commuting students and lower entrance standards were a dramatic change from the GC’s former years In 1996, the Board of Regent's offered Georgia College the chance to return to its former mission and the standards it once claimed for its students. The Board of Regents gave the college the statewide mission of becoming a liberal arts university providing a high standard of education for its students. The new mission required a new president and a new name. Throughout her tenure, President DePaolo worked systematically to turn the newly named Georgia College & State University into Georgia's premier public liberal arts university.