Office of the President
Georgia Southern University

February 2014


Don’t miss CLASS’ “Evening of the Arts” and live broadcast of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert on February 16.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Now in its fourth year, the “Evening of the Arts” is an exclusive event that highlights fine arts programming in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) through student artwork exhibitions and theatre and musical performances.

Proceeds from “Evening of the Arts” ticket sales benefit arts scholarships at Georgia Southern. These scholarships help attract talented students to the University’s art, music, and theatre programs, and enable Georgia Southern to provide an enriched culture for the state and the region through theatre performances, concerts and operas, art exhibitions and other events.

The 2014 “Evening of the Arts” and a formal dessert reception will be held February 28 at the Center for Art and Theatre on our campus.

Georgia Southern’s Day at the Capitol

State lawmakers got a formal introduction to Georgia Southern University at the first-ever Georgia Southern Day at the Capitol held on February 6th.

Day at the Capitol Photo: Georgia Southern Alumnus and Deputy Director for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget Trip Addison, Georgia Southern President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D., Gov. Nathan Deal and Georgia Southern Alumnus and Chief of Staff for Gov. Deal Chris Riley pose for a photo while Freedom spreads his wings during Georgia Southern Day at the Capitol Feb. 6.

The day included appearances by Freedom, our University bald eagle and our mascot GUS. Eagle Dining Services provided breakfast to legislators and visitors who strolled up to information tables set up by our colleges and departments including the ROTC, nursing, STEM education programs and the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center. Representatives from the University’s academic, research, athletics and student organizations had the opportunity to speak with our state representatives about the specific achievements of their areas within Georgia Southern. Georgia Southern was also presented with two Invite Resolutions in both the House of Representatives and Senate and I was provided the opportunity to address both legislative bodies. It was a proud day for the University and everyone who helped make the day a success.

Georgia General Assembly Legislative Session Begins

As many of you may know, the Georgia General Assembly 2014 legislative session began on Monday, January 13th. There are several budget requests for the University System of Georgia that may impact Georgia Southern University. If approved, the requests would:

  • Provide $1,014,809 to restore funds for a retired payback project at Georgia Southern University.
  • Include $11.4 million to fund merit pay and employee recruitment and retention salary adjustments. The increase would provide the basis for a salary increase pool with awards based on merit. The proposed funding represents the first salary increase since fiscal year (FY) 2009.
  • Provide $60 million for Major Repair and Renovation (MRR) projects.
  • Provide $9.5 million to fund the construction of a Military Science Building at Georgia Southern. Please click here for more information on this project.

Governor Deal and his staff have been extremely supportive of the University System of Georgia and our University. When you have the opportunity, please remember to thank Governor Deal and his staff for their support.

Evening with the President

Alumni are such an important part of the Georgia Southern family. I always enjoy meeting and talking with them every chance I get. The Development division and Alumni Relations have organized opportunities for me to meet alumni in their own areas. We recently went to Savannah and Atlanta to share good food, conversation and to reflect on the successes at Georgia Southern and where we are headed in the future. The events were a success with a great turnout from alumni in these areas. “Evening with the President” will continue in the following cities:

  • Augusta – March 12
  • Jacksonville, Florida – April 8
  • Macon – June 24

Evening with the President

Evening with the President

Georgia Southern Alumni gather in Atlanta for “Evening with the President” on February 5, ’14.

Eight Staff Members Earn Awards of Merit

Staff Merit AwardsOn January 28, I had the honor of recognizing 185 staff members for their more than 2,050 years of service to Georgia Southern. During the ceremony, eight employees were announced as Award of Merit recipients. They are:

  • Jeff Blythe, Athletics
  • Sara Bailey, Resident Life
  • Jesse Hopkins, Residential Facilities
  • Valerie Kasay, Student Technology
  • Jaynie Gaskin, Geology and Geography
  • America Minc, Campus Recreation and Intramurals
  • Lynn Reaves, Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Joshua Williams, Engineer and IT Student Services

Award of Merit nominees are employees who have improved the work environment, exhibited excellent customer service and shown true character and dedication to Georgia Southern’s mission. A total of 43 employees were nominated for the award. Award of Merit recipients are nominated by co-workers or supervisors and are chosen by The Staff Council. Winners each receive $1,000, a Georgia Southern Eagle Medallion or plaque and a certificate of appreciation.

Years of Service Award recipients each receive a certificate of appreciation and a gift from The University Store. Please join me in thanking these dedicated employees.

Athletic Achievements

Athletic AchievementsGeorgia Southern Athletics honored more than 211 student-athletes as Scholar Athletes recently during a weather-delayed basketball game against The University of North Carolina at Greensboro at Hanner Fieldhouse. Each of these student-athletes had a grade point average of 3.0 or better in the fall semester.
The teams represented include the following:

  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball
  • Golf
  • Men’s and Women’s Soccer
  • Men’s and Women’s Tennis
  • Rifle
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Track and Field

Athletic AchievementsI am pleased to announce that for the first time in our football program’s history, two Georgia Southern Eagles have been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Quarterback Jerick McKinnon and cornerback Lavelle Westbrooks will head to Indianapolis, Ind., for the prestigious event scheduled from Feb. 22-25. This annual event is an opportunity for individual players to prove themselves to coaches, scouts and executives from all 32 teams in advance of the NFL Draft in May. I want to commend Jerick and Lavelle for their hard work.

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Georgia Southern University

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Last updated: 3/20/2014

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