Georgia Southern University

Hwy 301 South 
Statesboro GA 30460 

(912) 478-5391

Georgia Southern University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern Seal.svg
Former names
First District Agricultural and Mechanical School
Georgia Normal School
South Georgia Teacher's College
Georgia Southern College
Established December 1, 1906 (1906-12-01)
Type Public
Endowment $46.2 (2013)
President Brooks Keel
Provost Jean Bartels
Academic staff
Administrative staff
1,535 (full-time)
303 (part-time)
Students 20,517 (Fall 2014)
Undergraduates 18,004
Location Statesboro, Georgia, U.S.
32°25'10?N 81°46'36?W? / ?32.419448°N 81.776698°W? / 32.419448; -81.776698Coordinates: 32°25'10?N 81°46'36?W? / ?32.419448°N 81.776698°W? / 32.419448; -81.776698
Campus 920 acres[1]
Colors Blue and white
Athletics NCAA Division I FBS
Sun Belt
Nickname Eagles
Mascot GUS the Eagle
Freedom (live bald eagle)
Affiliations University System of Georgia
Georgia Southern.png

Georgia Southern University is a public university located on a 900-acre (3.6 km2) campus in Statesboro, Georgia, United States.[2] Founded in 1906, it is part of the University System of Georgia and is the largest center of higher education in the southern half of Georgia offering 117 academic majors in a comprehensive array of baccalaureate degrees and master's and doctoral programs.[3][4] The university is the fifth largest university in the University System of Georgia, with a fall 2012 enrollment of 20,574 students[5] Georgia Southern is classified as a Doctoral and Research University (2006) by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,[6] and as a comprehensive university by the University System of Georgia.[7]

Georgia Southern University's intercollegiate sports teams, known as the "Georgia Southern Eagles," compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Sun Belt Conference.


Presidents of Georgia Southern University[8]
J. Walter Hendricks 1908-1909
E.C.J. Dickens 1909-1914
F.M. Rowan 1915-1920
Ernest V. Hollis 1920-1926
Guy H. Wells 1926-1934
Marvin S. Pittman 1934-1941
Albert M. Gates 1941-1943
Marvin S. Pittman 1943-1947
Judson (Jake) C. Ward, Jr. 1947-1948
Zach S. Henderson 1948-1968
John O. Eidson 1968-1971
Pope A. Duncan 1971-1976
Nicholas W. Quick (Acting) 1977-1978
Dale W. Lick 1978-1986
Harrison (Harry) S. Carter (Acting) 1986-1987
Nicholas L. Henry 1987-1998
Bruce F. Grube 1999-2009
Brooks A. Keel 2010–Present
Note: During the time that the university
was known as First District A&M,
the President held the title of "Principal".
The Builders of the University Terrace.

Georgia Southern University began as First District Agricultural & Mechanical School;[9] its inaugural academic year began in 1908 with four faculty members and 15 students.

Founded as a school for teaching modern agricultural production techniques and homemaking skills to rural school children, First District A&M began within two decades to shift its emphasis to meet the growing need for teachers within the state. Its name and mission were changed in 1924 to Georgia Normal School as a training ground for educators. Five years later in 1929, full-fledged senior college status was granted and the school was renamed South Georgia Teachers College.

Coca Cola Plaza behind the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

Ensuing decades found more name and mission changes: to Georgia Teachers College in 1939 and Georgia Southern College in 1959. The university continued program and physical expansion. The institution would experience probably its biggest change in identity in 1990 when it became known as Georgia Southern University.[10]

Since then, the University has embarked on a massive upgrade of facilities, adding more than $300 million in new construction. Georgia Southern was named a Doctoral/Research University by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2006. The University is recognized in publications including U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" and "Best Graduate Schools", Forbes' "America’s Best Colleges" and most recently by Kiplinger for being one of the Top 100 Best Values among Public Colleges and Universities. Additionally, Georgia Southern’s MBA program was named one of the Best 301 in the country by The Princeton Review.

The founding marker at Georgia Southern University

Since 1999, two new colleges have been established: the College of Information Technology in 2001, and the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health in 2004. Additional undergraduate and graduate programs were formed including doctorate degrees in psychology, public health and nursing. In 2011, the University established the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology, which combines the previous College of IT with its engineering programs. In addition, it at the same time created the College of Science and Mathematics which was previously known as the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology.

Online bachelor’s degrees are available in nursing, general studies, and information technology. Master’s programs are offered in kinesiology, instructional technology, accomplished teaching, instructional improvement, higher education administration, reading education, middle grades education, secondary education, special education, and educational leadership. Additionally, the University offers master's degrees in business administration, applied economics, accounting, computer science and sport management. Georgia Southern also offers online endorsements in online teaching and learning, K-5 math, and reading.

The past 13 years have represented the most significant period of growth in the University’s more than 100-year history. Not only has the University grown in enrollment, but it has also grown in physical size. With a Campus Master Plan in place, the University has continued to expand most recently with the addition of the 1,001-bed residence hall–Centennial Place. In addition, the University completely renovated and significantly expanded the Zach S. Henderson Library.[11] The institution also recently completed the construction of the Eugene M. Bishop Alumni Center that will serve as a gathering place for alumni and friends of the University.[12] The Center for Wildlife Education and the Botanical Garden have also been expanded. Today Georgia Southern has more than 20,000 students, more than 2,000 faculty and staff, and 117 programs of study at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.


A panorama of Georgia Southern's rotunda.
Sunset at Lake Wells and Ruby (left hand side) and the College of Information Technology (rooftop visible behind the trees).
Lake Wells and Ruby.
Pedestrium looking towards College of Business Administration and the College of Education.

Georgia Southern is located in the city of Statesboro, Georgia and is accessible by Interstate 16 from the cities of Macon and Savannah. By car Statesboro is approximately one hour from Savannah, two hours from Macon and three hours from Atlanta.

Center for Wildlife Education and Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center

The Center for Wildlife Education and The Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center is an educational and research facility located on 18 acres (73,000 m2) on the campus of Georgia Southern University. In addition to undergraduate and graduate research, the center hosts over 165,500 annual visitors through general admission and off-site outreach programs. The center is home to “Freedom”, Georgia Southern's free-flighted American bald eagle mascot, as well as 85 other birds, 67 reptiles, 70 amphibians, and 8 mammals. The diverse habitat displays are home to several species of bird of prey including hawks, owls, falcons, kestrels, vultures. The center also contains an amphitheater and an indoor classroom.[13] Inside the center, exhibitions of reptiles and amphibians such as alligators, painted turtles, box turtles, and gopher tortoises, rattlesnakes, corn snakes, king snakes, boa constrictors, pythons, are held. The staff perform flighted raptor demonstrations. In 2009, the center added an 12-acre (49,000 m2) expansion known as the Wetland Preserve. This preserve features various examples of water fowl in their native habitats. The center is the only one of its kind to be located in the center of a major university campus.[14]

Recreation Activity Center (RAC)

The Recreation Activity Center (the RAC) is a 220,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) complex that includes areas for weight lifting, cardio, and basketball. It also includes an indoor track, two dance studios, a studio for yoga and pilates, five racquetball courts, and a 45-foot (14 m) indoor climbing wall.[15]

In 2006, the RAC was expanded, adding additional basketball and multi-purpose courts, weight and fitness rooms, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a rehabilitation pool, and more space for CRI (Campus Recreation and Intramural) personnel.[16] The expansion also brought a bandshell area that has hosted several national touring artists.

Botanical Garden

The Georgia Southern Botanical Garden is centered on an early 20th-century farmstead and offers visitors a view of the cultural and natural heritage of the southeastern coastal plain, an area rich in endangered plants. The garden's nearly 11-acre (45,000 m2) site includes woodland trails, the Bland Cottage Visitor Center and Gift Shop, Heritage Garden, Rose Arbor, Children's Vegetable Garden, Camellia Garden, Native Plant Landscape Garden, Native Azalea Collection and Bog Garden. The Botanical Garden's mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the native plants and animals of the southeastern