GPC cel­e­brates 50 years

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Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege cel­e­brates its 50th an­niver­sary with events be­gin­ning this week.

On Fri­day, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m., GPC fac­ulty, staff and re­tirees will kick off the col­lege’s 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion at Fall Con­vo­ca­tion in the Clark­ston Cam­pus gym­na­sium. Spe­cial guest speaker will be Dr. Hous­ton Davis, USG ex­ec­u­tive vice chan­cel­lor. In­terim Pres­i­dent Rob Watts will give the an­nual state-ofthe-col­lege ad­dress, and Aca­demic Af­fairs Vice Pres­i­dent Ron Stark will pro­vide a col­lege up­date.

1964 was a big year. Pres­i­dent Lyn­don B. John­son signed the Civil Rights Act and the Vot­ing Rights Act into law. The Bea­tles landed in New York City for their first U.S. tour. And the DeKalb Board of Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cially opened DeKalb Col­lege, the first and only pub­lic two-year col­lege in the state con­trolled by a lo­cal school dis­trict.

Twenty-two years later, DeKalb Col­lege joined the Univer­sity Sys­tem of Ge­or­gia; and in 1997, the USG Board of Re­gents changed the name of the col­lege to Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege to re­flect its ex­pand­ing mis­sion and its ser­vice through­out the metro At­lanta area. The GPC moniker be­came of­fi­cial in the fall of 1998.

Dur­ing spring 1993, Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege, in co­op­er­a­tion with Clayton State Col­lege, DeKalb Tech­ni­cal Col­lege and Rock­dale County Pub­lic Schools, formed the Rock­dale Cen­ter for Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, which of­fered credit and non-credit cour­ses.

As part of the chang­ing of the col­lege’s name in No- vem­ber 1997, the names of the cam­puses were changed to iden­tify the ci­ties in which they are lo­cated.

In De­cem­ber 2001, Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege’s Lawrenceville Cam­pus, along with its part­ners at the Gwin­nett Univer­sity Cen­ter, re­lo­cated from the MacCleod In­dus­trial Park on Su­gar­loaf Park­way to a 177-acre cam­pus at 1000 Univer­sity Cen­ter Lane. In 2007, Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege discontinued of­fer­ing cour­ses at the Lawrenceville Cam­pus in or­der for the site to be­come Ge­or­gia Gwin­nett Col­lege, a new four-year USG in­sti­tu­tion. In sum­mer 2007, the Rock­dale Cam­pus was re­lo­cated to a larger new cam­pus in New­ton County and re­named the New­ton Cam­pus.

GPC be­gan of­fer­ing classes in Al­pharetta in a build­ing owned by Ge­or­gia State Univer­sity. Through the years, the col­lege has ex­panded its class and ser­vice of­fer­ings to cit­i­zens in north Ful­ton County. Ge­or­gia Perime­ter Col­lege gained full own­er­ship of the orig­i­nal build­ing in fall 2010.

To­day, Ge­or­gia Perime­ter has five cam­puses-Al­pharetta, Clark­ston, De­catur, Dun­woody and New­ton County-plus the state univer­sity sys­tem’s largest on­line pro­gram. GPC cur­rently serves more than 21,000 stu­dents and dur­ing its his­tory has helped more than 350,000 stu­dents to­ward their dream of earn­ing a col­lege de­gree.

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