President’s message

Students and General posed with a birthday cake
Clockwise from top: Jackson Fleuranvil, ’16; General; Erin Lucier, ’17, and Esteban Gonzalez, ’16, celebrate GGC’s 10th anniversary. All three students are business majors.

We are grateful to those who have made GGC possible.

There was a time when Georgia Gwinnett College wasn’t part of this thriving community. For more than 20 years, local leaders advocated for a college in Gwinnett County. Their determined efforts resulted in the 2005 founding of Georgia’s first four-year, public college in more than 100 years.

Over the last decade, we shoveled dirt, leased cranes, cut ribbons, welcomed new students, started traditions, cheered graduates and enhanced our community with more than $1 billion in economic impact.

With the support of the Gwinnett community, the University System of Georgia and our state legislators, we built a modern, full-service campus. More importantly, we created a unique learning environment that welcomes all students regardless of academic preparation, work schedule, learning style or financial barrier. We made college possible for students who need just a little extra guidance to succeed, providing tools allowing them to reach their full potential.

Today, GGC serves nearly 12,000 students – almost half the first generation of their families to go to college. Retention rates of nearly 70 percent make GGC a strong contributor to Governor Nathan Deal’s Complete College Georgia initiative and a stand-out among access institutions. Our Advising Center proactively targets students at the highest risk of dropping out, and has retained them at an astounding 87 percent.

Why is retention important? Because going to college does very little for the student or for the community. Graduating from college is what makes the difference – in income, employability and raising the standard of living. Student support, mentorship and engagement are critical to retention and that is why they are core to our mission and vision, and why we do college differently here. And it works.

Gwinnett County is not your typical community, and GGC is not your typical college. It was designed to be different. To be a game-changer. To challenge the conventions of higher education. In only 10 years, we’ve done it – successfully – and it’s all because of those community and state visionaries who continue to make what we do at GGC possible.

However, we cannot rest on our laurels. And though there may be challenges ahead, we pledge to ensure the GGC model is recognized as “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 – the community’s amazing dream – that is Georgia Gwinnett College.

Dr. Stas Preczewski
Dr. Stas Preczewski

Article written by