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Georgia College History


Dr. Leland became the tenth president of Georgia College on January 1, 2004. She led the university to national distinction among public liberal arts colleges and expanded experiential learning opportunities through undergraduate research, residential learning communities, service-learning activities, internships and study abroad programs. Under her tutelage, the student body grew to around 5,700 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students. Dr. Leland also worked to grow graduate programs and funded research. She established the Center for Graduate and Professional Learning in Macon and also led efforts to enhance the physical facilities of the University by beginning construction on a $28 million dollar Wellness and Recreation Center, adding a new space observatory and telescope and other spaces to the Herty Hall science building, and renovating the local historic Campus Theatre as a “black box” performance theatre, coffee shop, and university bookstore, among several other building initiatives. Before coming to Georgia College, she earned her degrees from Purdue University with a bachelor’s in English in 1971, a master’s in American Studies in 1973, and a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1979. 

Major Accomplishments

  • Leland oversaw the renovations of the Health Sciences Building, Herty Hall, and the purchase and renovation of the Campus Theater
  • Leland began construction on the Georgia College Wellness Center.
  • During Leland's tenure, the university acquired the First Methodist Church (now the Student Activities Center), and the Newell-Watts House (now home to University Communications), moved the bookstore downtown (first into the McComb Building, then into the Campus Theatre building), and completed Phase II of the renovation of Russell Library.
  • Dr Leland also oversaw the establishment of the Coverdell Institute (2005).