T he history of Augusta State University is really two historiesthat 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.
Tracing Our Roots
1700sThe present site of the Walton Way campus is owned by Francis Willis, who will later sell the unimproved tract to Freeman Walker.
1783The Georgia Legislature establishes the Academy of Richmond County, parent institution of Augusta State University.
1785Legislation charters University of Georgia and creates a university system, which includes public academies already in existence.
1815Bellevue (meaning beautiful vista) is constructed as a summer home for Freeman Walker, a former U.S. Senator and mayor of Augusta.
1819A United States Arsenal is established on the banks of the Savannah River.
1826Following 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 cemetery.
1827Construction 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.
1860U.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".
1861On January 25, Capt. Elsey, surrounded by 1,000 Confederate militia men, surrenders the arsenal to Gov. Joseph Brown of Georgia.
1860sCommanded 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.
1865In 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.
1868The Academy reopens, with Col. Rains as regent.
1872Between 50-60 students are enrolled in college-level classes at the Academy.
1874The 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."
1910The Academy of Richmond County, with Maj. George Phineas Butler as principal, offers a formal course of study for the first year of college.
1919Col. 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.
1925On 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.
1927The first class graduates from the Junior College of Augusta.
1929Programs added include liberal arts, ROTC, teacher training, and pre- medicine.
1930James Lister Skinner is named president. Enrollment is at 250 students, tuition remains fixed at $100 per year; and operating costs are $14,000
A College is Born
1931The Board of Regents is established in a reorganization of the University System.
1933The football team, the Jaguars, is dropped.
1938President Skinner resigns, effective Jan. 1. Eric West Hardy becomes president.
1944World War II results in construction of a number of large brick warehouses. Nursing is added.
1946Evening courses are offered to take care of returning World War II veterans.
1949College classes are being taught by JCA at University Hospital, Oliver General Hospital, and the Lenwood Hospital.
1954Anton Paul Markert assumes the presidency following President Hardy's retirement.
1955The 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.
1957The 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.
1958The Board of Regents assumes control of the junior college on September 1, and the name changes to Augusta College.
1958The Bell Tower is built to house the bell taken from the last steam locomotive operated by the Georgia Railroad.
1958The Jaguar becomes the school's mascot.
1959Fifteen 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.
1960Three converted warehouses are opened, housing a student center, library, and science labs.
1963The 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.
1966Groundbreaking 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.
1967The 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.
1968The 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.
1969The 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).
1970George 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 airthe first noncommercial educational radion station operated by a University system institution.
AC Acquires Forest Hills Golf Course1971 The 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.
1972Augusta College is authorized to grant Bachelor of Music, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of Arts degrees.
1973The 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.
1974A 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.
1976A History of Augusta College is written by Drs. Edward J. Cashin and Helen Callahan.
1977Reese 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.
1978The 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.
1980The 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.
1981The Board of Regents approves the Specialist in Education degree. ROTC is upgraded from an extension of UGa to full host status.
1982The 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.
1983The 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.
1984The 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.
1986George A. Christenberry retires as president, and F. William Monge becomes interim president. The first female president of SGA takes office Patti Peabody.
The University for Augusta
1987Richard 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.
1988AC 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.
1989The 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 ATLASA 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 departments.
1990The 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.
1991Following the death of President Richard S. Wallace, Martha K. Farmer becomes interim president. The college becomes a member of the Peach Belt Athletic Conference.
1993William A. Bloodworth, Jr., is named the eighth president.
1994The first A Day for Augusta State University is held.
1995Funding for a new science building at Augusta College is approved by the legislature.
1996The 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 millionfrom Robert and Katherine Pamplin.
1997U.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.
1998Major 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 is initiated.
1999Ground 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 ASUs 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.
2000The tradition of ringing the
towers 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 universitys first online
newsletter, ASU Reports, is begun. Shannon Hanson becomes first
womens golf coach and spends the first year establishing a womens
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
2001ASU 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.
2002ASU 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.
2003Sizemore 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.
2004The 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 ASUs 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.
2005A 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 mens 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. ASUs 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 opensat East Augusta Middle School. In December, the three-tier fountain at the entrance to campus is named in honor of 28 alumnus Russell Blanchard.
2006A new Customer Service Initiative is begun for state agencies, and Joseph Greene is named as ASUs 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.
2007 ASU receives a USG Real Estate award for the unique design of the JSAC. ASU Receives $100,000 donation from PGA for Vaughn Taylors 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.
2008 ASU student newspaper, the Bell Ringer, celebrates 50 years. Men�s basketball makes it to the Elite 8, and the final rounds; comes in second in the nation. ASU professors ranked 7th in nation by RateMyProfessor.com; two are in nation�s top 50. Knox Foundation contributes $2 million in support of accountancy program. James Hull contributes another million for scholarships in the program. ASU hosts first Community Covenant signing ceremony for Ft. Gordon and local mayors. Regents approve new Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program�to begin 2010. ASU and Ga Tech-Savannah sign pre-engineering articulation agreement. Master of Public Administration degree program gets accreditation from National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
2009 Knox School of Accountancy is dedicated in ceremony. Women�s Studies celebrate 10 years. Men�s basketball makes it to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive year. Graduation ceremony has its first student speaker (Chris Goss). ASU hosts the National Science Olympiad for middle and high school students. New leadership team named to head College of Education. Dr. Gordon Eisenman, dean; Dr. Paula Dohoney, associate dean; Dr. Judi Wilson, teacher education; Dr. Wayne Lord, educational leadership, counseling, and special education; and Dr. Karen Wish, kinesiology and health science. Georgia Legislative Black Caucus visits ASU. ASU launches new campus shuttle service. Regents approve eight percent budget reduction plan for USG. Center for the Study of Georgia History receives Pilgrim Life Insurance Company papers
2010 ASU men�s basketball goes to Elite Eight for third time. Also ranked first in nation. New efforts begin in Master planning and in Strategic Planning. Ethics Officer (Kathy Boyd) named. ASU�s May graduation sees final ASN graduates; fall 2010 begins new BSN degree program. Candidates for May commencement number 1,228. University to embark on fourth phase of History Walk with Georgia Department of Transportation funding. Men�s Golf wins National NCAA Division I title, defeating Oklahoma State University in finals. Coca-Cola produces a commemorative Coke in honor of the men�s golf championship. National Science Foundation awards a $400,000-plus grant for a Savannah River Scholars Program. (July) A second NSF grant, $1.1 million, is received in August. (Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship) PRESTIGE grant provides for a five-year integrated BS and master�s degree in education program. Board of Regents approves appointment of design firm for new academic building at ASU West. The city gifts 9.5 acres on Damascus Road to the university. A delayed celebration (August) of the men�s golf championship includes recognition in the Augusta Commission chambers, golf car parade to a reception at the Augusta History Museum, and a permanent display at the museum. Later recognition will include a Birdie Club banquet with over 1,000 guests, a trip to the White House, and recognition in both chambers of the Georgia Legislature. A Master of Education in Teacher Leadership is approved by the Board of Regents; will admit students spring 2011. Mary S. Bryd Art Gallery is dedicated. (Sept. 15) A Day for ASU exceeds goal by raising $546,865. Therese Rosier is named VP for Business Operations. Hull College is named one of the top business schools in the nation by the Princeton Review for the second consecutive year. The College of Education is named recipient of Georgia Teacher Quality Grant. Hull College receives grant award from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (with Paine College and Wounded Warriors) for study abroad scholarships.
2011 First BSN students graduate. President Obama recognizes alumna Linda Fountain with President�s Award for Excellence in Teaching Math and Science. Men�s Golf captures Division I golf championship for the second consecutive year. The Social Work program receives accreditation from the Council of Social Work Education Historic 110-year-old flagpole is dismantled following storm damage. The BS degree in nursing receives accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission. President Bloodworth announces his intention to retire at the end of academic year. (Aug. 9)
2012 The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia voted on Jan. 10, 2012 to consolidate Augusta State University with Georgia Health Sciences University. The move draws on the strengths of two historic universities to create an even greater, new comprehensive research university.