Georgia Highlands College (GHC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary year this fall after opening in 1970 as Floyd Junior College.
In fall 1970, Floyd Junior College opened in temporary offices in downtown Rome with the first college president David B. McCorkle leading 19 faculty members who taught 545 students.
Soon after, in 1971, students were welcomed back from winter break to a new 233-acre campus in Rome on U.S. Highway 27.
Decades later, GHC holds the second highest enrollment among state colleges in Georgia with hundreds of faculty members teaching thousands of students across Northwest Georgia at sites in Rome, Cartersville, Dallas, Douglasville and Marietta.
GHC is celebrating the long history and golden anniversary in several ways.
A dedicated website details the complete history of the college, campus events and more at 50years.highlands.edu
“Georgia Highlands College is an exceptional institution with a bright future and a continuous dedication to our students, the value of their study, and the elimination of any cost barrier to higher education,” President Don Green said in an opening letter on the website. “If I’ve learned anything in my time at GHC, it’s a community of people who take charge and who help others take charge, too. Please take time to review our 50th site for details on GHC’s history, upcoming events, and news surrounding this milestone year.”
As a part of the ongoing anniversary celebration, GHC will hold “50th Anniversary Celebration Stations” at each location for students, faculty and staff the week of Sept. 21 through Sept. 24. Each station is organized to be “grab and go” and will include a “celebration in a bag” so students, faculty and staff can commemorate the 50th virtually, remotely and while continuing to follow campus guidelines.
Through a special section of the 50years.highlands.edu website, GHC is also inviting members of the community to join everyone at GHC in submitting memorabilia to the virtual GHC Archives. Currently, the college has several items on virtual display that span the history of the college from Floyd Junior College to Floyd College to Georgia Highlands College.
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and members of the community are also invited to submit a personal video to be included in the “GHC 50th Celebration Video Memory Book.”
More details about that project and an example video can be found by visiting 50years.highlands.edu and clicking the link at the very top of the page that says “Share a memory.”