In 1894, several members of the graduating classes of 1892 and 1893 came together for the sole purpose of forming an Alumnae Association for the alumnae of Georgia Normal & Industrial College (GN&IC). According to Dr. Robin O. Harris' book on the history of the Alumni Association, entitled The First Hundred Years, only two names appear to be listed on record at the initial meeting: Mattie B. Hines and Mattie Lee Moore.
Both of these women served as President and Secretary over the course of the early years. The group of women set up a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws. In 1896, the alumnae voted and accepted the constitution and bylaws. The constitution stated the purpose of the Association was to "extend the influence of the Institution and to bring successive classes into closer sympathy with each other and their Alma Mater." The motto selected was "freely ye have received, freely give." The Association promoted the interest of the college through planning and implementing programs and activities designed to support the college and its goals and objectives. The Association, also, promoted programs and activities designed to benefit the college alumni.
Throughout the college's history the Alumni Association contributed to its growth and development. These contributions included the support of the following projects: the preservation and renovation of Atkinson Hall, the acquisition and renovation of Blackbridge Hall (home of the Art Department), the Flannery O'Connor Room in Ina Dillard Russell Library, the reconstruction of Parks Memorial Hall, and the School of Nursing. Other projects include the Museum & Archives of Georgia Education (MAGE), faculty development and research grants, and Insight (a program for prospective students). The Association sponsors over sixty scholarships and prizes that have benefited hundred of students over the years. Truett Cathy endowed the Association with a generous gift, in 1980, that enabled the Association to purchase a house that became the Cathy Alumni-Faculty House, in honor of Esther Cathy '27.
The Alumni Association has clubs throughout Georgia and the United States. Most every county in Georgia, including the city of Atlanta, has local clubs. These local Clubs began forming in 1920 and can be found in Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Florida; New York City; Washington DC; Cincinnati, Ohio; Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina; and Columbia, South Carolina. The local clubs form the backbone of the Alumni Association.
For more information on the history of the Alumni Association, please read:
Harris, Robin O. The First Hundred Years: Georgia College Alumni Association. Milledgeville: Georgia College Printing Services, 1995.