Education officials, community leaders and students came together Thursday to salute a man who has made it part of his mission to ensure the successful growth of College of Coastal Georgia and create a sustained economic understanding within the community.
In recognition of what he’s done, they officially put his name as the lead force on the Coastal Georgia Center for Economic Analysis and Student Research.
Now named the Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies, the ceremony celebrated the legacy of Reg Murphy, the school’s executive-in-residence. Murphy has been an avid supporter of the college and student body since the transition of the campus to a four-year college.
The evening ceremony featured a host of influential community members remarking on Murphy’s enduring commitment to the community, his giving and kind spirit and his mass achievements.
Murphy, a resident of Sea Island, is the inaugural holder of the college’s endowed chair of the Brown Family Executive-in-Residence, and his list of contributions to the college is long. They include heading a campus-community Athletic Futures Committee, being a two-time College of Coastal Georgia Foundation Volunteer of the Year award winner and taking on the role as a moderator of the Coastal Conversations series on campus.
Established in 2011, the now Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies has made a significant difference in the college’s school of business and public management. Led by Don Mathews, professor of economics and center director, the institution serves as a link between the school, its students and the greater community.
Through the center, reports are produced on the local and regional economy and on public policy issues which impact the region. It also serves as a storehouse of data on the local and regional economy.
Murphy said he was honored. The glowing celebration of appreciation wasn’t anything he expected, and offering his support to the institution was something he never questioned, he said.
“I have to say, I am beyond honored to have this institution named after me,” Murphy said to the large crowd gathered in Stembler Theatre on the college’s Brunswick campus. “For me, this institution focuses on two things that are very important to me: economics and local policy.
“Communities require lots of things, but two things it must have are an analysis of where it is, and a road map policy of where it is going. With this center, that is what these scholars and students will be examining. That is what will create a better community.”
Linking Murphy’s name with the research center will honor the well-known private citizen, who is an educational advocate, dedicated volunteer and willing financial supporter of the public institution, said Skip Mounts, dean of the business school and host of the evening ceremony.
Murphy has a storied career as a journalist and sound business leader. He is vice chairman of the National Geographic Society and its former president and CEO. He is the former publisher and CEO of The Baltimore Sun, former editor of The Atlanta Constitution, former president of the U.S. Golf Association and former editor and publisher of The San Francisco Examiner. He also produces a weekly column for The Brunswick News editorial page.
Mounts noted that during the ceremony of esteemed guest speakers, there was no ribbon cutting. There were no tours of a new center.
That, he said, is because the center does not actually exist. It is instead a well thought- out package tied to the college’s overall website.
Through the website, the community is invited to subscribe to scholarly research being published by Mathews and his economically focused team.
“This is not just a website,” Mounts said. “This is a showing of a depth of commitment to our community.”
The institution can be found online at www.ccga.edu/MurphyCenter.