GHC Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Gala
Announces gift and building name
Georgia Highlands College hosted a gala at Barnsley Gardens on Friday evening, Nov. 12 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Renowned attorney Bobby Lee Cook of Summerville gave the keynote address to a crowd of 140 guests, telling them not to take our freedoms for granted. He said the founders were a group of exceptionally intelligent people who exercised the art of compromise to craft the brilliant document we call our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Following Cook’s address, President Randy Pierce announced that Heritage Hall, the downtown facility in Rome that houses the college’s health sciences programs, would be renamed James D. Maddox Heritage Hall.
Maddox was instrumental in bringing the college to Rome in 1970. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes to solicit community support in Rome/Floyd County, to convince the Board of Regents of the need for the college and to negotiate the acquisition of the 233-acre tract of land on Cedartown Highway, six miles south of Rome, where the college was built. “If not for Jimmy Dick Maddox,” said Pierce, “This institution might very well not have materialized – at least in Floyd County.” Pierce also announced that GHC is establishing the James D. Maddox Memorial Scholarship to help worthy students in their pursuit of their higher education goals.
Rebecca Maddox, interim director of the GHC nursing program and Maddox’s daughter, thanked the gathering on behalf of her family. “I know my father would have been both touched and pleased by this great honor,” she said. She added that the moment was made even more special by the knowledge that several generations of the Maddox family had once owned and lived on the property at Third Avenue and Glen Milner Boulevard where Heritage Hall sits.
Before the event began, Cook privately presented Pierce with a contribution of $100,000, which will be used to create the Bobby Lee Cook scholarship for students in need. Eighty percent of Georgia Highlands students receive some form of financial aid. “These funds will support scholarship money for countless students who might not be able to attend college otherwise,” said Pierce. “There could be no greater gift than that.”
Georgia Highlands College began classes in the fall of 1970 with 19 faculty members and 545 students who labored at cardboard desks in the old Harbin Clinic building at the corner of Third Avenue and East First Street. It soon moved to permanent quarters on Cedartown Highway. In the 1980s the college opened an instructional site in Cartersville. In 2005, GHC cut the ribbon on a 100,000 square-foot facility there. It now runs six sites, including the two in Rome, and one in Cartersville, Marietta, Douglasville and Dallas.
40th Anniversary Feature