Faculty, staff, students and visitors gathered for the cutting of a cake Wednesday at the Oconee Campus of the University of North Georgia to celebrate the fifth anniversary of a decision that consolidated two colleges.
The merging of North Georgia & State University in Dahlonega and Gainesville State College to become UNG was later expanded to include campuses in Watkinsville, Blue Ridge and Cumming with a combined enrollment of more than 18,000 students.
“I’m proud to be a UNG Nighthawk,” Oconee Campus Administrator Cyndee Perdue Moore told the gathering.
The school will soon get its own Nighthawk mascot symbol that it can use at events.
”We don’t stand in anybody’s shadow,” Moore said.
The Oconee campus, a top feeder school for the University of Georgia, was once a satellite campus for Gainesville State College.
Those attending the celebration also watched a short video in which University President Bonita Jacobs described accomplishments over the past five years.
“The goals of consolidation were to increase educational opportunities and access while streamlining administrative services and avoiding duplication. We have achieved that and so much more,” Jacobs said in a news release.
The university noted these highlights since consolidation:
• Enrollment grew from 14,221 in 2013 to 18,782 in fall 2017.
• More than 13,400 degrees and certificates were awarded.
• 414 UNG cadets were commissioned as Army officers.
• The school was named to the U.S. News Top 25 public universities in the South.
• New campuses in Blue Ridge and Cumming expanded access to the university.
• Twelve Fullbright Awards have been awarded to UNG students since 2013.
• The softball team won a national championship in 2015.
• The baseball team competed in the national championship tournament in 2017.