While Georgia Gwinnett College is marking its 10th anniversary year throughout 2015, it held several GGC10-themed events in mid-September, highlighted by GGC10 Day on Sept. 17. The day culminated in a formal Founders Celebration reception and dinner, held in the Student Center.
The event’s more than 300 guests included Gwinnett community members and local and state officials, who were honored for their contributions in establishing and supporting the college.
“Our 10th year was an appropriate time to gather all of these individuals together to celebrate what they have achieved in the creation of the college,” said Dr. Stas Preczewski, president. “GGC has been in existence long enough to prove that its unique model for higher education works and that these individuals can be very proud of the impact their efforts will make for generations.”
The event included remarks by Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia; Charlotte Nash, chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners; Don Balfour, Georgia Senator; Glenn White, charter chair of the GGC Foundation and Tommy Hughes, current chair of the GGC Foundation. These individuals discussed the Gwinnett community’s efforts to establish the college, as well as GGC’s success and its importance to Gwinnett, Georgia and the nation.
The event concluded with a moving presentation by Candice Coulter, class of ’15, who discussed how GGC made a difference in her life, inspiring six other members of her family to go to college and to choose GGC. Several other students highlighted during the evening held up signs spelling, “We thank you!” to end the program in rousing applause.
“Many special people began advocating for a bachelor’s degree-granting college in Gwinnett County decades ago and have since provided significant support for GGC,” Preczewski said. “We would not be where we are today without them. This event honored everything they have done and continue to do for Georgia Gwinnett College.”
“Gwinnett County is not your typical community. And GGC is not your typical college. We were designed to be different. To be a game-changer. To challenge the conventions of higher education. And in only 10 years, we’ve done it – successfully – and it’s all because of you. But our work is not done and we cannot rest on our laurels. And though there may be challenges ahead, we pledge … to ensure the GGC model becomes recognized as the best in class and as a truly transformative model for American higher education … to fully realize the opportunity GGC holds for the future of higher education in Gwinnett, in Georgia and beyond … and to fulfill the amazing dream – your amazing dream – that is Georgia Gwinnett College.”
– Dr. Stas Preczewski, President
Watch the presentation that brought the audience to tears:
In less than 12 minutes, D. Westry, known as the world’s fastest speed-painter, created two GGC10 commemorative works during the Founder’s Celebration dinner – a grizzly and celebrating graduates. These pieces will be displayed permanently on campus. The video below is in real-time. To skip ahead to see the first finished painting, go to 5:30, after which he begins the second painting. You can see the finished second painting at 11:49.
Enjoy the celebration through photos of the event: