The history of Augusta State University is really two histories—that of our historic physical facilities and that of our academic tradition. Because of our earliest beginnings, several dates are the actual founding date for this institution is sometimes a matter of personal opinion; our official founding is generally accepted as 1925. However, our actual histories begin much earlier.
|1783 - The Georgia Legislature establishes the Academy of Richmond County, parent institution of Augusta State University.
|1785 - Legislation
charters University of Georgia and creates a university system, which includes
public academies already in existence (The Academy).
1700s - The present site of the Walton
Way campus is owned by Francis Willis, who will sell the unimproved tract to
Freeman Walker sometime after 1800.
|1815 - Bellevue (meaning beautiful
vista) is constructed as a summer home for Freeman Walker, a former U.S. Senator
and mayor of Augusta.
|1819 - A United States Arsenal is
established on the banks of the Savannah River.
|1826 - Following a swamp fever epidemic
in 1820, the government moves the arsenal to the healthier property belonging
to Walker. They purchase 72 acres for $6,000, with the Walkers reserving an acre
as a family cemetery. Later, an additional acre will be set aside for a military
|1827 - Construction begins on the
Augusta Arsenal, with $49,900 appropriated. Much of the building material has
been salvaged from the dismantled buildings at the old arsenal site.
|1860 - U.S. Army Capt. Arnold Elzey
(Company E, Second Artillery), arrives at the arsenal with 82 enlisted men to
ensure its security during this period of "nullification troubles".
|1861 - On January 25, Capt. Elsey,
surrounded by 1,000 Confederate militia men, surrenders the arsenal to Gov. Joseph
Brown of Georgia.
|1860s - Commanded by Confederate Col.
George Washington Rains, the arsenal and newly established Confederate Powder
Works supply arms for all the ground troops of the Confederate Army. Richmond
Academy closes, and the building becomes a hospital for Confederate wounded.
|1865 - In May, following the War's
end, the Confederate arsenal is surrendered to U.S. Brig. Gen. Emery Upton. Two
companies of federal troops are stationed here, departing in 1867.
|1868 - The Academy reopens, with
Col. Rains as regent.
|1872 - Between 50-60 students are
enrolled in college-level classes at the Academy.
|1874 - The U.S. War Department recommends
retaining Augusta Arsenal as one of two sites for storage and repair, noting
that it would be the "only arsenal left in the entire south, east of the Mississippi."
|1910 - The Academy of Richmond County,
with Maj. George Phineas Butler as principal, offers a formal course of study
for the first year of college.
|1919 - Col. J. Walker Benet, father
of William Rose Benet and Stephen Vincent Benet, both poets of note, ends his
8-year assignment at the arsenal. At least 13 buildings have been erected between
1917 and 1919.
|1925 - On August 15, the Junior College
of Augusta becomes the first public junior college in Georgia. George Phineas
Butler becomes the first president as well as principal of ARC. A new building
has been constructed on Baker Avenue to house the Academy and junior college.
|1927 - The first class graduates
from the Junior College of Augusta.
|1929 - Programs added include liberal
arts, ROTC, teacher training, and pre- medicine.
|1930 - James Lister Skinner is named
president. Enrollment is at 250 students, tuition remains fixed at $100 per year;
and operating costs are $14,000
College is Born
|1931 - The Board of Regents
is established in a reorganization of the University System.
|1933 - The football team,
the Jaguars, is dropped.
|1938 - President Skinner
resigns, effective Jan. 1. Eric West Hardy becomes president.
|1944 - World War II results
in construction of a number of large brick warehouses. Nursing is added.
|1946 - Evening courses
are offered to take care of returning World War II veterans.
|1949 - College classes
are being taught by JCA at University Hospital, Oliver General Hospital, and
the Lenwood Hospital.
|1954 - Anton Paul Markert
assumes the presidency following President Hardy's retirement.
|1955 - The arsenal is
abandoned by the Department of the Army on March 5, and efforts begin to acquire
the property for the junior college, which is still housed at the Academy.
|1957 - The Junior College
of Augusta spends its first year at the new campus on Walton Way. Gerald Burns
Robins is named the fifth president of JCA.
|1958 - The Board of Regents
assumes control of the junior college on September 1, and the name changes to
|1958 - The Bell Tower
is built to house the bell taken from the last steam locomotive operated by the
|1958 - The Jaguar becomes
the school's mascot.
|1959 - Fifteen additional
acres are acquired from the federal government which include six warehouses that
are to become the principal academic units. The Alumni Association is formed.
|1960 - Three converted
warehouses are opened, housing a student center, library, and science labs.
|1963 - The Board of Regents
authorizes (four-year) status for Augusta College, approving programs leading
to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration
degrees. The Augusta College Foundation is chartered on May 24, 1963.
|1966 - Groundbreaking
ceremonies are held March 10 for construction of the $1.6 million Fine Arts Center
and Performing Arts Theatre. Regents authorize new physical education building.
|1967 - The first baccalaureate
degrees (181) are conferred. The institution is accredited by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools as a senior college. The college is authorized to offer
the Associate of Arts degree with a major in nursing. The college adds a new
indoor pool, and plans are drawn to convert the former arsenal optical shop into
a student center.
|1968 - The Board of Regents
authorizes programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Education degree. The
Cullum Lecture Series begins in January; the Lyceum Series begins in fall quarter.
Former Gov. Carl E. Sanders inaugurates a dedicatory ceremony for the new Fine
Arts Center and Performing Arts Theatre. The Fuller E. Callaway Chair is established
by the Callaway Foundation.
|1969 - The men's basketball
team wins the district championship and participates in the national NAIA tournament
. (The record is 27-3, the best won-lost record in the college's history).
|1970 - George Andrew
Christenberry is named the sixth president. The Boykin Wright home is given to
the college by Marguerite Wright Hillman in memory of her father. WACG-FM goes
on the air - the first noncommercial educational radion station operated by a
University system institution.
Acquires Forest Hills Golf Course
Board of Regents authorizes the college to grant Master of Business Administration
and Master of Education degrees. Associate of Arts in criminal justice degree
is authorized. The first African American Student Government Association president
is elected. The Jefferson Maxwell home is given to the college (now the Maxwell
Alumni House). Work begins on a new athletic field.
|1972 - Augusta
College is authorized to grant Bachelor of Music, Associate of Applied Science,
and Associate of Arts degrees.
|1973 - The
alumni association is incorporated Jan. 10. The Benet House is designated a National
Historic Landmark. It was the boyhood home of Poet Laureate Stephen Vincent Benet
whose father was arsenal commander during the early 1900s. The Administration
Building is renamed Payne Hall, Alumni Hall is renamed Rains Hall, and the Business
Operations Building is renamed Fanning Hall. Renovation of Rains Hall begins.
The Board of Regents authorizes the Master of Education degree.
|1974 - A
Master of Science degree in psychology and a Master of Education is authorized.
ROTC is reestablished. Construction begins on a new college library. Academic
I Building is renamed Markert Hall, Academic II Building is renamed Butler Hall,
and Building 6 is named Skinner Hall.
|1976 - A
History of Augusta College is written by Drs. Edward J. Cashin and Helen
|1977 - Reese
Library opens on Jan. 7; named in honor of the parents of college alumna Katherine
Reese Pamplin. The U.S. Army Reserve Training Center property on Walton Way --
the last part of the original Augusta Arsenal, is acquired. The college applies
to the Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare for surplus property known as
the Armed Forces Golf Course.
|1978 - The
Armed Forces Golf Course (formerly the Forrest Hills Golf Course) is acquired
by the college (240 acres). The Augusta Golf Association manages the course,
which is again called Forest Hills. The former library building is named after
the late president, Dr. Eric W. Hardy. Computer science is approved as a major
under the existing Bachelor of Science degree program.
|1980 - The Small Business Development Center is opened. J. B. Fuqua's gift establishes
a television studio in Hardy Hall and provides TV support for the learning center.
The first computer science degree program at a senior college in the university
system is offered.
|1981 - The
Board of Regents approves the Specialist in Education degree. ROTC is upgraded
from an extension of UGa to full host status.
|1982 - The
college awards its first Education Specialist degrees. A cooperative program
in graduate vocational education is established between AC and UGa. The 300,000
volume is received at Reese Library. Majors in communications and health and
physical education are approved.
|1983 - The
Continuing Education/ROTC Building is named Galloway Hall. The Performing Arts
Theatre is named the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. Friends of Reese
Library is created.
|1984 - The
acquisition of the Veterans Administration's Forest Hills Medical Complex property
by the college's Foundation is completed. The Research Center and the Center
for the Creative Arts are established. A cooperative doctoral program in administration
and supervision is begun between AC and Georgia State. A cooperative EdS program
in adult education between AC and UGa is approved.
|1986 - George A. Christenberry retires as president,
and F. William Monge becomes interim president. The first female president of
SGA takes office Patti Peabody.
University for Augusta
|1987 - Richard
S. Wallace is appointed president. Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. and his father
announce an endowment for scholarships in honor of Mary Katherine Reese Pamplin,
1936 alumnus. The Richard S. Wallace Carillon is donated by Charles and Dory
Freeman of Augusta. The Cree-Walker Chairs are established through the estate
of Mrs. J. Miller Walker in memory of her parents and husband.
|1988 - AC
becomes the first senior institution in the University System to have an Eminent Scholar chair. Ground
is broken Nov. 29 for the new Physical Education/Athletic Complex. Students from
the South Carolina counties of Aiken and Edgefield are allowed to pay instate
tuition. The first international student/faculty exchange agreement is signed
with the People's Republic of China.
|1989 - The
school receives approval to establish a Department of Teacher Education. AC table
tennis team wins the Intercollegiate National Table Tennis Championship
a feat they will repeat five times in the next 7 years. Library becomes the first
in Georgia to offer ATLAS - A Total Library Automation System. AC withdraws from
NCAA Division I and leaves the Big South Conference, becoming a part of the Division
II Peach Belt Conference in 1991. The School of Business reorganizes into two
|1990 - The
Physical Education/Athletic Complex opens. A Master of Education degree with
a major in health and physical education is approved. A Specialist in Education
degree with a major in health and physical education is approved.
|1991 - Following
the death of President Richard S. Wallace, Martha K. Farmer becomes interim president.
The college becomes a member of the Peach Belt Athletic Conference.
|1993 - William
A. Bloodworth, Jr., is named the eighth president.
|1994 - The
first A Day for Augusta State University is held.
|1995 - Funding
for a new science building at Augusta College is approved by the legislature.
|1996 - The
institution assumes full responsibility for the Master of Public Administration
degree program, after years of jointly offering it with Georgia Southern University.
Augusta College becomes Augusta State University. The School of Education reorganizes
into three departments. The largest gift ever given to ASU - $2 million - from
Robert and Katherine Pamplin.
|1997 - U.S.
President William J. Clinton visits Augusta State University on Feb. 5 . On May
28, Washington Hall becomes the first building on the ASU campus to be named
for living persons (May 28). The building is named in honor of Drs. I.E. and
Justine Washington. The water tower, long a landmark on the ASU campus, is taken
down to make room for a new science building. The Regents approve $20 million
for Phase I of a new classroom building for 1998, and $18.3 million for Phase
II respectively. In May, the College of Arts and Sciences is renamed the Katherine
Reese Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences. On Dec. 11, ground is broken for
the $19.4 science building.
|1998 - Major
campus renovations establish a central facilities plant on the Walton way campus
and new parking spaces and roads at the Physical Education/Athletic Complex.
The Department of Health and Physical Education is renamed the Department of
Kinesiology and Health Science. A conversion from a quarter to the semester academic
calendar takes place for all System institutions in the fall. University College
|1999 - Ground
breaking is held November 1 for Phase I classroom complex, a $12 million project. A historical marker recognizing golfing legend Bobby Jones and the Beginning of the Grand Slam Year was installed at ASU’s Forest Hills Golf Club.
First Student Convocation is held for new students. (Fall semester)
First Student Research Conference is held by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Groundbreaking is held Nov. 1 for the 122,000 Phase I Classroom Building, which
is being constructed by Two States Construction. Gov. Roy E. Barnes, Senator Charles Walker, Mayor Bob Young, Regent Thomas Allgood, and university administrators participate.
A $850,000 grant is received from the Department of Transportation that will realign the entrance to campus and provide a History Walk along Walton Way.
A new logo is introduced to commemorate the 75th anniversary, which will kick off next year.
2000 - The tradition of ringing the tower’s bell was re-instituted by the basketball team, following team wins. Although the new science building held summer science labs, the building is formally dedicated on August 15 when the university kicks off its 75th birthday celebration. Former Gov. Carl Sanders, is keynote speaker. The university’s first online newsletter, ASU Reports, is begun. Shannon Hanson becomes first women’s golf coach and spends the first year establishing a women’s Division I golf program. Gov. Roy Barnes visits Augusta State to talk about HOPE Scholarship.
Regents approve naming Phase I classroom building, now under construction, in honor of the Allgoods.
ASU receives second TEA grant ($500,000) for the History Walk. ASU receives award from Historic Augusta for renovation of the Maxwell House. ASU becomes among the first USG institutions to offer European Union Studies Certificate.
ASU is recognized by national magazine, Washington Monthly, for community service, ranking the university 20th in the nation. Groundbreaking is held June 7th for Phase II Classroom (now University Hall).August Convocation includes a ceremonial on-stage groundbreaking for History Walk with James Lester and Kathy Hamrick. Construction actually began in July. Allgood Hall is dedicated on Aug. 7 with Chancellor Tom Meredith, Regent (and governor) Joe Frank Harris, Rep. Jack Connell, and Regent Tim Shelnut participating. The building is named for Thomas and Thelma (T) Allgood. Gov. Roy Barnes visits ASU to talk about the success of the HOPE Scholarship.
Art program gains accreditation.
|2003 - Sizemore Group begins a new university master planning effort.The Physical Education/Athletic Complex is renamed in honor of former president George Christenberry. A Dedication is held on April 24 for the History Walk and History Museum. The first satellite location of the Literacy Center opens in McDuffie County. In November, the street leading to the Christenberry Field House is named in honor of former athletic director Marvin Vanover.
|2004 - The College of Education is reaccredited by NCATE.
ASU Report On-air begins broadcast on three Radio One stations. On April 12, a new golf practice facility is dedicated. ASU Reports ON Air is begun. The Lady Jags basketball team makes it to the Division II Elite 8 tournament in Missouri.A new university logo that incorporates the old Augusta College symbol is adopted. The Department of History and Anthropology adds Philosophy to its name. The 250-year old Arsenal Oak, basis of ASU’s logo, succumbs to disease and wood bores and is removed, following a ceremony. On Aug. 24, University Hall is dedicated, inside the auditorium, with 23 officials cutting the ribbon. The new front entrance on Walton Way, with arch and three-tier fountain, opens. A new Bachelor of Social Work degree is offered.
A February groundbreaking is held for a new student activities center that will be funded with student activities fees and a limited liability corporation of the ASU Foundation. The men’s golf team wins NCAA Central Regional Tournament – Ranked 2 in nation. Outgrowing the Christenberry Field House with two commencements a year, ASU moves to one commencement ceremony at the Civic Center. ASU’s student housing, funded through ASU Foundation LLC, is dedicated in a ceremony on Aug. 19. ASU is announced to host 2009 National High School & Middle School Science Olympiad. In September, a golf pavilion is dedicated at Forest Hills. It incorporates many historical elements from main campus and is made possible by Charles Freeman. Another satellite literacy center opens—at East Augusta Middle School. In December, the three-tier fountain at the entrance to campus is named in honor of ’28 alumnus Russell Blanchard.
A new Customer Service Initiative is begun for state agencies, and Joseph Greene is named as ASU’s first Customer Service champion. A June groundbreaking is held for a new golf house for the Division I golf teams. In July, ASU receives a million dollar gift from the estate of retired biology teacher Marie Hulbert. Counselor Education program earns accreditation. Two departments separate, becoming four: Communications & Professional Writing and English & Foreign Languages; Department of Music and Dept of Art. In September, a dedication is held for the new Jaguar Student Activities Center inside the ballroom. Local businessman and philanthropist Jame M. Hull makes a $2 million gift to the College of Business Administration, prompting faculty to recommend renaming the college in his honor. In November, a ceremony is held inside Allgood Hall to formally dedicate the James M. Hull College of Business. A Bachelor of Social Work degree is begun. A new Master of Arts in Teaching degree is offered, which is expected to double the number of teachers produced by ASU. The Department of Art moves into Washington Hall.
ASU receives a USG Real Estate award for the unique design of the JSAC. ASU Receives $100,000 donation from PGA for Vaughn Taylor’s participation in Ryder Cup. In March, a dedication ceremony is held for the J. Fleming Norvell Golf House. A physics lab is named for Washington Savannah River Company in the Science Building.
Construction gets underway on the amphitheatre. The first ASU sponsored YouTube contest draws 43 student entries. Two Fulbright teaching assistants come to ASU from Senegal, Africa.The Board of Regents approve naming the amphitheatre in honor of D. Douglas Barnard.