Dec. 18, 2009
Andrea Jones, 404-413-1351
It’s been a banner 2009 for Georgia State University, with new leadership, a first ever freshman residence hall and record enrollment topping the long list of accomplishments.
Georgia State held the investiture of Mark P. Becker in October, inducting him as the seventh president of the 96-year-old institution.
Becker, previously the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina, began his tenure at Georgia State in January.
Along with President Becker, GSU also welcomed a new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost this year, with Risa Palm, formerly Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York, arriving on campus earlier in the fall.
“We are moving in the right direction, focusing on strategic planning and bringing this dynamic university to the next level,” Becker said. “It’s an exciting time to be at Georgia State.”
For the first time ever, fall enrollment topped 30,000 students, with a record number of undergraduate and graduate students choosing GSU. The numbers place Georgia State “securely as the second largest institution in the university system,” said Timothy Renick, GSU associate provost and chief enrollment officer.
“To be both large and still rapidly growing is a rare combination,” Renick said. “At the same time we’re growing, we’ve made marked strides in the academic quality of our students.”
Those students are finding a wealth of new opportunities at GSU. In August, Georgia State opened the $15.7 million Freshman Hall, adding 325 beds to the university’s housing base, which now totals approximately 3,000 beds. Students eat at GSU’s first ever on campus dining hall, located on the ground floor of the building.
Director of Athletics Cheryl L. Levick, who took over her position in March, said the athletics department is also sharing the buzz. Georgia State teams captured a school-record three Colonial Athletic Association team titles in 2009 with the baseball, women’s golf and women’s tennis teams capturing championships and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
Football season tickets went on sale earlier this month, and this year saw 71 members of the Georgia State Panther football team arrive on campus. They spent their fall holding practice under the watchful eye of legendary coach Bill Curry, gearing up for the inaugural season.
“Georgia State athletics enjoyed unprecedented success in 2009 on the field and in the classroom, and we look for even better things in 2010,” said Levick. “As thrilled as we are with our three conference titles, we are even more proud that our student-athlete population achieved a grade point average of better than 3.0.”