As we look back on the phenomenal 2018-2019 academic year at Georgia Military College, we also reflect upon the past 140 years of our history providing character-based education for generations of students. Since 1879, GMC has written an overarching student-centric story of hope, opportunity, leadership, and excellence in everything we do.
The successes we celebrate today are a reflection of the work of those who came before us. For more than a century, dedicated and determined members of our GMC Family have committed their time, talent, and treasure to make a difference in the lives of our students. Today we stand on the shoulders of all those who have worked tirelessly over the past 140 years to make GMC a premier educational institution.
Providing students with the best facilities is an important priority. We continue to invest in the future of our students through newly built and renovated structures. In 2018, we began construction on our new Prep School Annex, along with the renovation and restoration of historic Jenkins Hall, as well as building the second phase of our GMC-Fayetteville campus. Each project was completed and ready for students in the fall of 2019.
We were excited to welcome back fourth and fifth grades at our Prep School in the fall of 2018 and third grade in the fall of 2019. The additional elementary school grades were enthusiastically received by our community and classes filled quickly. We started our own traditions with our youngest students, including “High-Five Friday” held every week during morning drop-off at the Prep School Annex, where our high school students welcome the third- through fifth-graders to school; the “Bulldog Buddies Program,” where seniors are selected and partnered as “buddies” for our third-graders and have monthly programs; and our “West Gate Entrance Walk” for our new third-graders as they walk onto the GMC campus for the very first time.
GMC Junior College and our redesignated Global Online Campus continue to excel in terms of student enrollment and graduation numbers. Our Dual Enrollment program and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree programs enrolled both a higher number of students and produced more graduates than in any previous year in our history. Our Global Online Campus also had our 50th BAS graduate in the fall of 2019, with many more in the program.
A key mission at GMC is to develop military leaders. We are thrilled to report the leadership and staff of our Corps of Cadets worked exceedingly hard to recruit and retain a greater number of cadets and to expand existing programs at GMC. And in the fall of 2019, we expanded our Corps of Cadets Service
Academy Preparatory Program to now serve as a preparatory school for four prestigious U.S. service academies with over 40 “scholars” in our Corps.
As GMC moves toward our sesquicentennial year in 2029 and beyond, we will continue to invest in the success of our students with a master plan that includes adding additional GMC Junior College campuses and expanding our existing campuses throughout Georgia. Additional athletic facilities and improvements are also included in the master plan.
Strategic plans for the Prep School continue to place an emphasis on the fine arts as a powerful means to advance the character-based education it has provided students for more than a century. A proposed Fine Arts Center for Education would provide our Prep School and Junior College students a state-of-the-art educational, exhibition, and performance venue to further explore and expand on their creative endeavors.
We are extremely grateful to every GMC stakeholder and friend. Each of you is a vital part of the success of GMC. You, too, have selflessly given of your time, talent, and treasure. I am honored to be part of the GMC Family as we move forward into an exciting future working together to accomplish even more for our students and the College.