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Georgia Southern University celebrates first 100 years

Founders Day, Dec. 1, marks the public kickoff of Georgia Southern University’s Centennial celebration. A gala dinner on campus that evening will celebrate both the beginning of the Centennial and the successful conclusion of the University’s recent Campaign for National Distinction fundraising campaign.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has also proclaimed Dec. 1 to be Georgia Southern University Day throughout Georgia. In his proclamation, Perdue writes that the University ‘has served as a positive social and economic force, bettering the lives of the citizens of our state. This university has committed itself to a future of innovative and energetic public service in the greatest tradition of higher education.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, faculty, staff, and students attended a reception where the Centennial logo was displayed. The Centennial theme, ‘A Century of Progress, Pride and Promise,” and the Centennial logo will be used to identify Centennial events throughout the coming year. A full range of campus and community events will continue through the Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 26-27, 2007.

Credit for the birth of Georgia Southern, which began as the First District A&M School, goes to the citizens of Bulloch County. Recognizing the value of having a school in their community, community leaders placed a bid and competed successfully against other counties to achieve their goal.

One of the first public events celebrating the century is ‘Alma Mater, Dear,” an exhibit of the institution’s history in photographs, artifacts, scrapbooks and period clothing that opens at the Georgia Southern Museum Jan. 22. On March 24 the annual Alumni Awards Banquet will focus on the Centennial and on March 30 a campus and community Centennial celebration will take place on Sweetheart Circle.

Another Centennial event on the calendar is ‘Scholar under Siege,” an original opera composed by music professor Michael Braz. The opera, to be presented April 19-22, depicts the very public struggle between Georgia Southern’s president, Marvin Pittman, and Gov. Eugene Talmadge. On Sunday, April 29, the Southern Georgia Symphony’s outdoor pops concert on Sweetheart Circle will feature Johnny Mercer favorites and selections from best-loved musicals.

Recognizing the growing Georgia Southern alumni community in Atlanta, the University will take the Centennial celebration north on May 19 for an event in Atlanta’s Centennial Park. On July 4, the Statesboro/Bulloch County community will partner with local businesses to celebrate Georgia Southern’s Centennial locally with activities at Mill Creek Park.

In August, the University’s fall 2007 Convocation will present a Centennial program, and later in the fall, Henderson Library and the Office of Academic Affairs will co-host a forum on the future of books as information sources.

December 2006 graduates will be the first to receive diplomas with a Centennial logo, and beginning this fall with the basketball teams, athletic uniforms will bear special Centennial logos. Banners bearing the Centennial logo will be placed across campus and throughout Statesboro.

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