GRADUATION IS A BITTERSWEET TIME OF NEW BEGINNINGS

GRAD

The month of May is always an exciting time across every campus of Georgia Military College. It’s when we recognize, honor, and congratulate graduates from the Prep School, Junior College, and Corps of Cadets. How lucky are we to have a hand in the future of so many across the state – and in so many ways?

The GMC Family is sincerely grateful to be able to provide a character-based head start for so many new beginnings for such a variety of students and cadets, and stages in life. Our graduates include high school seniors, junior college sophomores, and Corps cadet scholars.

Graduation can be a bittersweet time for graduates. Soon they will leave behind family, friends, and all that is familiar to venture out into a new world of opportunities and possibilities. Alas, every ending is a new beginning.

My wife, Stephanie, and I are among the many proud parents of GMC graduates this year. Our daughter, Anna, is a member of the Prep School Class of 2019. She will soon leave home – and all that is familiar – to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Other GMC Prep School and Corps of Cadets graduates will also go on to attend a U.S. military service academy. While still others will choose to start classes at a four-year university, enter the military, or begin a rewarding career.

No matter which next step in life our graduates decide to take, we are immensely proud of each and every one. What’s more, everyone in the GMC Family should take great pride in having a hand in helping to prepare them to go forth fearlessly to face new beginnings and build bright futures.

Congratulations to all of our GMC graduates! Your hard work, determination, and dedication have paid off. On behalf of everyone at GMC, I wish each of you nothing but continued success and all the best in your years ahead.

You did it! Hoo-ah!

CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WITH A GIFT OF GRATITUDE

For more than a century, March 8 has been the day when people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day, a time to recognize the achievements and contributions made by women on both a personal and professional level. When Georgia Military College first opened its doors in 1879, women were among the inaugural group of students to attend classes. Nearly one hundred and forty years later, women continue to advance their educations here at GMC, making up 62 percent of our Junior College student population.

We observe International Women’s Day by showing support and fully acknowledging all of the women at GMC – administrators, faculty, staff, cadets, and students – past and present, who have helped make our Prep School, Junior College, and Corps of Cadets what it is today. We applaud their countless contributions and numerous successes here at GMC today – and every day.

One way we can all celebrate International Women’s Day is to show our personal gratitude to the women who have made the greatest differences and had the most impact in our own lives – at home, at school, and at work. The very roots of character development, moral principles, ethics, and values often begin by having women in our lives who serve as ideal role models. It can be a mother, stepmother, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, supervisor, co-worker, or teacher.

Today, I encourage everyone in our GMC Family to find a way to celebrate International Women’s Day in your own unique way. Show your gratitude by acknowledging contributions and saying thank you. Give back with gratitude.

CELEBRATE PRESIDENTS’ DAY WITH THE TIMELESS WISDOM OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

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The third Monday in February – Presidents’ Day, also observed as Washington’s Birthday – has become a day to honor and celebrate not only the first president, but all of the presidents of our great nation, past and present. Holidays have a way of inspiring long-lasting traditions. In 1896, the U.S. Senate began observing George Washington’s birthday by reading the first president’s farewell address.

The document was written in September 1796, but was never delivered by Washington. Instead it was sent to newspapers across the country to be read by citizens of the then-fledgling nation. Among the nuggets of wisdom expressed in his famed farewell address, Washington states: “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”

In February 1862, the sixteenth U.S. president, President Abraham Lincoln, issued a proclamation encouraging every citizen of the United States to gather in earnest on February 22 to celebrate Washington’s birthday by listening to or reading aloud the words of the first president’s “immortal Farewell Address.” The document was read in the U.S. Senate on February 22, 1862 and again in 1888. The reading of Washington’s farewell address in the Senate became an annual tradition in 1896.

Every year during a legislative session in late February, a member of the Senate is appointed to read the historic document, written as an open letter addressed to the “people of the United States.” The political parties alternate years to share the honor of reading the rather lengthy document. After reading the farewell address out loud, the appointed senator participates in another 100-plus-year-old tradition, using a leather-bound journal to write a note of the occasion and to sign their name.

In one such note written by Senator Paula Hawkins in 1985, she observes that more than a century later, Washington’s “message remains the same – Duty – Honor – Country.” Those three powerful words used to describe the first U.S. president’s overall message in his farewell speech – Duty. Honor. Country. – also make up Georgia Military College’s core values.

GMC core values established to uphold and instill in students personal and professional qualities such as responsibility, honesty, integrity – as well as loyalty to country – just as Washington stresses in his farewell address written more than 200 years ago. Core values grounded in character and placed at the center of GMC’s mission and purpose.

Isn’t it remarkable that the character-driven values and ideal qualities Washington thought were vital to build our great nation upon more than two centuries ago are still valued and taught today – including here at GMC? Our country’s first president knew that what’s good for our country is also good for the community, for the character – and for the classroom.

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S EFFORTS IN AMERICA ARE NOT FORGOTTEN

On Friday, January 18, 2019, it was a very special day for us at GMC. Our first African American graduate from the Corps of Cadets, Al Jackson, returned to GMC to speak at our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony!

When Al started his journey at Georgia Military College in 1965, he wasn’t welcomed. He was discouraged for coming to GMC, and he’ll tell you, he doesn’t have many fond memories from his time as a Cadet here. But in the last few years, Al and I have gotten to know each other and I know that the challenges he faced during his time at GMC are experiences that need to be shared.

Most of our current students can’t imagine a world that was segregated, but sadly it wasn’t that long ago. It was important for Al to share his stories about his time here at GMC, to show our students that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed America for the better, and because of his efforts, people like Al Jackson had the courage to persevere as the first African American Cadet at Georgia Military College.

We are so grateful to Al for coming back to GMC to share his story. On Friday, some of his old high school classmates and close family and friends surprised him at our Martin Luther King Jr. Ceremony, and before he even took the stage – just as I was introducing him – he got a standing ovation.

Al Jackson is a special man and he is part of GMC’s history, and for that, we are so grateful. We couldn’t have asked for a better day!

Click here to watch GMC’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ceremony

TAKE THE LEAD ON LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY

When Alex Maddox watched the final bodycam footage of her husband, Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox, rushing into a situation that would prove fatal, she told a WSB-TV reporter, “To watch that be displayed, and to know that without him more people would be dead … it made me proud. It made me very proud to be his wife. It made me very proud to even know Chase Maddox.”

Four days after Officer Maddox was killed in the line of duty, Alex gave birth to their second child.

Every day, law enforcement officials like Officer Maddox stand on the front line against crime to keep the rest of us safe. They provide us with the peace of mind that comes from knowing our children, our spouses, our loved ones can move safely through our own neighborhoods. They risk their own lives to protect ours. They risk everything to stand tall as part of that “thin blue line” which stands between order and chaos, safety and tragedy.

And Officer Maddox was not the only one to pay the ultimate price last year. Five other Georgia law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2018: Officer Anthony Christie, Chief Frank McClelland, Officer Antwan Toney, Officer Edgar Flores. Officer Michael Smith was killed just over a week ago. A few days after Christmas.

It’s easy to take for granted the miracle that you can pick up a phone any time of the day or night and one of America’s bravest will be ready to serve and protect you at any cost. When others rush away from danger, they’re the ones who rush toward it. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these exceptional men and women.

Unfortunately, we fail them far too often. When anti-police sentiment is perpetuated by the media and glorified by pop culture, it makes the men and women who protect and serve our neighborhoods less safe. It would be a tremendous failure of our national character if these men and women who put their lives at risk for strangers every single day couldn’t count on us to protect them. That’s why it’s important on this Law Enforcement Appreciation Day that we come together to fight back against anti-police sentiment by putting our support for our men and women in blue on full display. An act as simple as changing the profile picture on your social media page can go a long way toward spreading our thanks wide enough that it reaches every law enforcement official in the United States. Today, let’s sound a national cheer that to tell them, “we see the work you’re doing, we know what you’re risking, and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

(As seen in the Union Recorder 01/09/19)

PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2017 – 2018

I couldn’t be more proud of our first elementary school classes in 80 years, and I’m excited for the opportunity to share with our young people the treasured values of Georgia Military College.

It’s amazing to look back at the last five years and see how much GMC has grown in a short amount of time. Since 2013, we’ve opened five new college campuses in Fayetteville, Dublin, Eastman, Albany, and Zebulon as well as adding three bachelor’s degree programs which have already produced 15 four-year college graduates. We are creating educational opportunity across the state of Georgia, and students are seizing that opportunity. Today, students from 92 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties attend classes at one of our GMC campuses.

To create more educational opportunities in our Prep School, we’ve broken ground on an Annex to the Prep School. This Annex will provide students with computer labs, reading and testing rooms, a multipurpose room, a combined cafeteria and auditorium, and a 1,428-square-foot visual arts studio. The Annex will be an invaluable resource where students will discover their own creativity and fall in love with the arts. They’ll discover the endless potential of their own intellect and that hard work and dedication pay great dividends.

Your support for GMC has been invaluable! So much of the success of the last few years was made possible by the generosity of our outstanding GMC Family, our wonderful alumni and friends. We’re in the business of creating opportunities and expanding possibilities, and without your support, we could never have achieved so much success in so short a time. We can’t thank you enough for helping to brighten the future and unlock the potential of so many young people.

Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV
President of Georgia Military College

Click To Read The Full Report

INDEPENDENCE DAY!

During America’s war for Independence, John Adams sent a message to all future generations of Americans. It read, “Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

On this 4th of July, let us remember all of the pains that have been to taken by so many to preserve those rights that, 242 years ago, the Declaration of Independence asserted were the God-given rights of all people: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every generation of Americans has lost heroes on foreign soil or here at home to safeguard these cherished rights. They are the rights that were invoked by Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia in 1776, by Abraham Lincoln on the battlefield in Gettysburg in 1863, and by Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington D.C. in 1963. They are the greatest of American ideals- the ideals we celebrate today and every July 4th, and the ideals we must never stop striving to preserve!

Happy Independence Day!
President Caldwell

“A PART OF AMERICA DIED”

In the 1980’s a police officer working his beat in a small town was killed in the line of duty. Members of his department found, tacked to his bulletin board, an anonymous poem.  They were so moved by the poem, they submitted it to the local paper to be included in the story of the officer’s death.  The poem began, “Somebody killed a policeman today, and a part of America died.”

As we celebrate National Police Week (May 13-19) and National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, we celebrate those individuals who join together to form society’s shield—selflessly guarding order against the ever-creeping chaos which threatens it and our safety against the agents of danger.  These men and women of law enforcement are modern day Knights committed to service and driven by their outstanding courage.

Courage— the type possessed by our men and women in blue— is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity.  Without it, who would volunteer to stare danger in the eye and provide us that precious peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone is standing between our children, our spouses, our loved ones and the harm that could befall them.

Who would stand between us and harm knowing that the ultimate sacrifice is always lurking in the shadows.  Knowing they are always one irrational act, one evil deed away from losing everything.  We are robbed of so much on the days when that evil wins.  We are robbed of all the good an officer had left to do in the world.  Children are robbed of mothers and fathers.  Men and women are robbed of their spouses.  And every member of the human race is robbed of one of our courageous few.

But their resolve remains iron and their commitment steadfast.  They rush in.  Knowing all that could be lost, they rush in for us.  What a Blessing from God that we have these heroes.

Today and every day, we are tremendously proud of those in our Georgia Military College family who possess that courage and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve.

In 1985, GBI officer and GMC graduate SAC John T. “Sonny” King was killed in the line of duty while serving an arrest warrant.  In honor of his service and sacrifice, there is now a Sonny King Endowed Scholarship.

In 1995, Deputy Sheriff William Robinson, IV was shot and killed by a paroled felon while serving as a member of the Baldwin County Sherriff’s Office.  In honor of his service and sacrifice there is now a Will Robinson Endowed Scholarship.

In 2017, GA DOC Sergeant Christopher Monica, the father of a GMC student, was shot and killed while transporting prisoners in Putnam County.

These three members of the GMC family had much left to give.  Their families, their friends, and those whose lives they touched are forever torn.  These three great men were taken from us, and a part of America died.  But their courage, their service, and their sacrifice live on.

This week and always, we remember our fallen heroes, and the service of all who form the shield to protect and serve.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2016 – 2017

I am excited to share with you great news about Georgia Military College and the positive impact we are having across the state of Georgia, both in our College program and in our Preparatory School (grades 6-12).

As you know, GMC is an open admissions institution – we accept anyone into our college with a high school diploma or a GED. Striving to keep tuition affordable, our focus is on student success, making education more accessible and keeping operating costs as low as possible. We are fully accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and were reaffirmed for another ten years, in June 2017, without a single finding, recommendation, or observation; a rare, positive achievement.

We offer 24 Associate degree programs, as well as three Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree programs in Business Management, Supervision and Management, and Supply Chain Management and Logistics. GMC developed these three BAS degree programs to provide a pathway for technical college graduates who have an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree to obtain their four-year degree. We are excited that our first two students from the Technical College System of Georgia received their four-year degrees this fall!

We offer non-traditional alternatives to facilitate a diverse student body, which is an important objective in the continued execution of GMC’s mission. We are also proud to be one of only four Military Junior Colleges in the nation, with select graduates being commissioned as U.S. Army officers in a federally approved two-year early commissioning program.

In addition to the success of our College, our Preparatory School continues to excel in meeting the mission of “developing the intellect and elevating the character” of the students we serve. We are a public, independent school serving not only our home of Baldwin County, but also nine other surrounding counties. For over 90 continuous years, our Prep School has been accredited by AdvancEd/SACS/CASI with our faculty and administration all holding valid certificates issued by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

The unique combination of our college-preparatory academic program, our leadership development through JROTC, our emphasis on “Character Above All” for every student, and our side range of extra-curricular activities from athletics to military to fine arts to community service enables us to continue a 138-year tradition of graduating educated, contributing citizens who are prepared to make a difference in our world.

We are extremely grateful for your support of Georgia Military College as we continue to make a difference in the lives of our students.

Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV
President of Georgia Military College

Click here to read the full report

PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2015 – 2016

One opportunity can be the difference between a life that changes the world and a life unused. Undiscovered talent, unrealized potential, and unchallenged minds are all tragedies that can be averted by one opportunity. At GMC, we strive to create opportunities. Within the walls of our Junior College and Prep School, talents are discovered, potential is unlocked, and minds are challenged.

We inspire students to expand their worlds and we set them on a path to become contributing members of society.

We’ve dedicated every institutional gear and cog to students’ success, and we’re seeing the results. Over the last year, we’ve been able to raise our 3 year graduation rate, our fall-to-fall retention rate, and we’ve raised the number of degrees awarded to our students by 18 percent!

On top of that, enrollment in our online campus has grown by 48 percent. That means we’re providing educational opportunities to students in rural areas, non-traditional students, and home bound students that 20 years ago nobody would have dreamed possible.

I’m so proud of what our faculty, staff, and leadership have accomplished in such a short time because I know what’s at stake. Young people have big dreams, and a strong education is key to realizing those dreams. “That’s why we’ve signed 43 articulation agreements with top-notch colleges and universities, 39 of them with guaranteed admission, to make sure that students who start here at GMC are able to go anywhere. Start Here… Go Anywhere!”

Our dual enrollment program has grown by 300 percent, creating countless opportunities for high school students to earn college credit. This year alone, we have over 1,350 high school students who have taken on the academic challenge of our college classrooms and are doing so with great success.

GMC also enrolled 38 students in our brand new B.A.S. program. Our first ever bachelor’s degree program.

And there are moments here at GMC that can’t be measured by statistics. On Patriot Day, our prep school students chalked the campus walkways with the names of 10,000 men and women who died in the September 11 attacks and the War on Terror. Days like that don’t change the numbers on a balance sheet, but they make me proud to be part of a school that still teaches lessons about sacrifice and love of country – a school where values like duty, honor, and country will never be replaced with weaker, more convenient values that ask less of our students.

Of course, we could not have done any of this without you – we are so thankful for your generosity! From the classroom to the athletic field to our cadet corps, you’re providing opportunities that couldn’t have existed without you, and there’s no limit to how far our students might run with those opportunities. After all, curing a disease begins with a chemistry class and winning a medal of honor begins with a profound love of country, both of which can be found on our campus alongside countless other paths for the future.

And even as we celebrate the opportunities we created yesterday and today, we keep clear eyes on the ones, which together, we’ll create tomorrow.

Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV
President of Georgia Military College

Click here to read the full report