CCGA dedicates gates to past presidents, alumni

From the The Brunswick News

In one of her last official acts as president of College of Coastal Georgia, Valerie Hepburn addressed a gathering Wednesday for the dedication of the Presidents and Alumni gates at entrances to the Brunswick campus.

The Presidents Gate, at Mariner's Way and Altama Avenue, honors the college's four presidents - Earl Hargett, from 1964 to 1968, John Teel, 1968 to 1990, Dorothy Lord, 1991 to 2008, and Hepburn, who became president in 2008 and will leave Sunday to joint the staff of the University System of Georgia.

The Alumni Gate, at Fourth Street and Mariner Way, is a tribute to students, past and present. Hepburn is recognized on that gate, too.

Sparing guests from the summer heat, she and others who played roles in the college's expansion from a junior college to a baccalaureate college addressed people who gathered for the dedication in the Mariner's Galley in the Campus Center.

"The gates 'class us up' and make us look like a place you want to be," Hepburn said lightheartedly.

Glenn Carson, president of the college alumni association, spoke on what the Alumni Gate at Fourth Street and Mariner's Way meant to the campus and why Hepburn received the dedication.

"This (college) was once a springboard - you came here to go somewhere else," Carson said, referring to when the school was a junior college prior to 2009.

"Now it's not a stepping stone, but a gateway. It's no exaggeration that there would be no gate, no alumni association, if it weren't for (Hepburn)," Carson said.

Speaking for College of Coastal Georgia Foundation, a fundraising group, chairman-elect Mike Hodges acknowledged Hepburn and the three previous presidents of the college.

"This (Presidents) gate recognizes the leadership and vision of those who've nurtured the college," Hodges said. "Thousands of transfer students benefitted from (former president) Teel's vision. (Former president) Lord fostered open access and nurtured life-long learning across the community."

Hodges was especially complimentary of Hepburn, who he said restructured the institution from the inside out.

"I've been here a long time, and I've never seen anyone have the impact in this community she has had in the short time she's been here," Hodges said,

Teel and Lord were present during the dedication and spoke, expressing thanks to the community and the college. The son and grandchildren of the late Earl Haggert also attended.

Gregory Aloia, former president of Concord University in Athens, W.Va., will become the college's fifth president Monday.

The college dedicated larger Founders Gate and Regent James A. Bishop Arch at its main entrance on Altama Avenue in May.

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Release Date: 6/27/2013
Source: The Brunswick News

By SARAH LUNDGREN