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Georgia Southern University Celebrates Centennial Place with Ribbon Cutting

Centennial Ribbon CuttingGeorgia Southern University dedicated its newest residence hall, Centennial Place, with a ribbon cutting this afternoon.

Teresa Thompson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, described Centennial Place as ‘another milestone in the continuing success of Georgia Southern. It is the kind of structure that will help us continue to attract the best and brightest students to Georgia Southern.”

Centennial Place opened in August for the 2009 Fall Semester. A $46 million project, the complex of 375,000 square feet in four different buildings houses 1,001 first-year and upper-class students. Different apartment-style units are offered with state-of-the-art amenities.

‘This complex has absolutely transformed this part of the campus,” said Georgia Southern President Bruce Grube. Centennial Place replaced Olliff, Winburn and Johnson Halls in the Georgia Avenue/Forest Drive corridor, near the Landrum Center and the University Store.

‘Most importantly,” Grube said, ‘when we can get students to live on-campus, we know we are going to improve their grade-point averages, their retention rates and ultimately their graduation rates.”

Director of University Housing Vickie Hawkins said that students have been giving very positive feedback about Centennial Place. She described conversations she had this week with Centennial Place residents.

‘I asked some students what they thought of it,” she said. ‘Here’s what I heard: “Wow!” “Wonderful.” “A special place.””I love it!’ As Director of University Housing, I don’t think I can ask for anything more than those four sentiments.”

Hawkins was honored in a special presentation to close the ceremony. Greg Blais, President of Ambling University Development Group, announced that the subcontractors, builders and design group had raised $50,000 for scholarships at Georgia Southern.

Ambling is endowing two scholarships: the Centennial Place Scholarship to be awarded to a deserving resident assistant, and the Vickie Hawkins Leadership Scholarship to be given to an incoming freshman who meets certain leadership criteria.

‘I’m stunned and honored,” said Hawkins, who came to Georgia Southern in 1979. ‘Georgia Southern has given me so many opportunities. To see what has gone on at this university in the last 30 years has been very special.”

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