October 14th, Georgia Military College (GMC) celebrates 140 years of providing hope and opportunity to students across the state of Georgia! The date marks a true milestone in the history of our institution and in Milledgeville where it all began. We are grateful to the Milledgeville community for a partnership that has made it possible to provide a place where students can learn, grow, thrive, and become leaders of character within their communities.
In 1879- the same year Thomas Edison first introduced the light bulb- GMC was established as Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College. With nothing more than a handful of faculty members, 219 students, and the Old Capitol Building classes began in 1880. Our Mission was simple, to provide a character-based education to young men and women across the state of Georgia and especially Baldwin County. Today, we continue in that tradition serving almost 17,000 students at 14 campuses across the state of Georgia, including a Global Online Campus, in addition to over 730 students in our Preparatory School, grades 3 through 12.
We have so much to be thankful for as we reflect on the past 140 years. Our Prep School has continued to be where young minds are inspired and challenged, character is developed and an attitude of serving our community is instilled in our students. This year our Prep School reopened its doors to third graders, we moved into our brand-new Prep School Annex and will shortly bring life back to the newly renovated and restored City Elementary School known as Jenkins Hall.
GMC’s #1 Strategic Initiative is Contribute to Student Success. The Junior College’s primary measure of student success is the annual number of students who graduate. This past year (2018-2019) the Junior College had our largest number of college graduates in our history with 1899 students receiving their degree. This represented a 32% increase over the number of graduates from just four years ago (2014-2015). Of the graduates who went on to four-year colleges and universities, 71% went to a University System of Georgia college.
GMC has never wavered from our military focus and proudly serves as The Military Junior College of Georgia. It is here that we educate and develop young men and women of character to serve in uniform in the ranks of the Army and Air Force. Today, as one of only four military junior colleges in the nation, we pride ourselves on striving for excellence and developing leadership within our Corps of Cadets. We take great pride in being a key commissioning source for our Georgia National Guard. Additionally, our Junior College Corps of Cadets now also has a thriving U.S. Service Academy Preparatory Program. This program prepares young men and women to enter into the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
After 140 years, we remain more committed than ever to our core institutional values of Duty, Honor, and Country and our motto of Character Above All. That’s why our graduates have distinguished themselves in government, the arts, education, as well as charitable and commercial industries throughout the United States. Since World War I, 86 GMC heroes have laid down their lives to defend American freedom throughout the world.
Our 140th birthday celebration is a celebration among our entire Georgia Military College family because everyone has been important in assisting GMC in fulfilling its mission to develop educated citizens who are contributing members of society. Thanks for all that each of you have done to help make this possible. Without the overwhelming support we’ve received from our GMC family, our community and throughout the state and beyond, we would not be able to provide the innumerable opportunities, the hope and the character-based education that have led so many thousands of our graduates to become leaders and tireless contributors to their communities and our nation from 1879 to 2019. We are even more excited for the years ahead and know that together, we will continue to fulfill our mission and provide the hope, opportunity, excellence and leadership that is so important in our nation.