East Georgia State College
Located on a wooded 227-acre campus in Swainsboro, East Georgia State College is a unit of the University System of Georgia. Situated approximately seventy miles from Augusta, ninety miles from Savannah, and ninety miles from Macon, the college serves a predominantly rural area of eighteen counties in Georgia's coastal plain. The college enrolled 3,435 students in fall 2011.
In September 1971 the citizens of Emanuel County voted for a bond issue of $2.1 million to underwrite the cost of a new college. The Emanuel County Board of Education, representing the citizens of the county and working with the local college committee, also provided a wooded site of 207 acres (190 acres of which were donated by Luck Flanders Gambrell) within the city limits of Swainsboro. Having met the Regents' requirements, the project rapidly moved ahead. In December 1971 the Board of Regents gave final approval for the campus site and named the new college Emanuel County Junior College. George L. Smith II, the speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, played a significant role in the inception of the college.
Since 1974 the original campus has expanded to include the Luck Flanders Gambrell Center, which contains the college library, additional classrooms, a 480-seat auditorium, and administrative offices; a student activity center featuring a gymnasium, an art classroom and studio, and
In 1987 the University System of Georgia mandated that the term "junior" be deleted from the names of its two-year institutions, and in 1988 Emanuel County Junior College became East Georgia College. In 2012 the name changed to East Georgia State College, reflecting the school's transition from a two-year to a four-year institution.
President Walker retired in 1976, and he has been followed by Willie D. Gunn (1976-93), Jeremiah J. Ashcroft (1993-2002), interim president J. Foster Watkins (2002-4), John B. Black (2004-2011), and interim president Robert G. Boehmer (2012- ).
Scope and Mission
The Division of Continuing Education/Lifelong Education offers a wide range of community-interest noncredit courses. Long recognized for its proactive involvement in regional economic development activities, the college was selected as the first University System–funded Georgia Rural Economic Development Center. The college also houses the Magnolia Midlands office of the Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center, a science education resource for area school systems.
John K. Derden, East Georgia College
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.