Message from the President

It’s officially fall! The leaves are starting to change as the crisp fall air rolls in and the excitement can be felt around campus as our Wolves football season is in full swing - the University of West Georgia is buzzing with energy and momentum! Across campus, you’ll hear the hum of intellectual exploration, the laughter of camaraderie, and – of course – the howl of the Wolves. And once again, I have an abundance of great news to share with you.

I’m proud to announce we have achieved an eighth-straight year of record enrollment. 13,733 students are transforming their lives at UWG this academic year, an increase of 213 students over last year. Since fall 2013, enrollment has grown just more than 15 percent.

We held an unprecedented week of excitement on our campus in mid-October as we celebrated Homecoming with our alumni, friends, supporters, and community members, and we hosted “A Day to Give West,” UWG’s annual giving campaign. Our University Advancement division worked to raise more than $624,000 to support student scholarships, enhance our learning and research facilities, and create a legacy of opportunity for current and future students.

We hosted an “enchanted evening” after the game with the Presidential Scholarship Gala. Donations of more than $122,000 will support need-based scholarships that allow all of our students to create their “happily ever after.” Thank you to everyone who contributed to help our students write their stories of spellbinding success! This event and A-Day fundraising are part of our current $38M in gifts and pledges raised to date in the “New West” capital campaign.

We are proud to announce that the new Richards College of Business building will be known as Roy Richards Sr. Hall. The late Roy Richards Sr. and his wife, Alice Huffard Richards, were intrinsically tied to the economic and workforce development of the West Georgia region, and our historic partnership with the company Mr. Richards founded – Southwire LLC –demonstrates their continual commitment to the transformational power of education. We’re now beginning the design process for Richards Hall, with an expected completion date in the year 2021.

We were proud to gather last month to celebrate the official grand opening of our Biology Building expansion and renovation. The effort began in 2017, adding nearly 18,000 square feet to the facility originally built in 1972. The updated 90,000-square-foot building is now home to a state-of-the-art, technology-enhanced learning environment. The project represents a multi-year culmination of teamwork in the planning, design and construction phases, and we couldn’t be more excited for our students to take advantage of the opportunities this state-of-the-art facility provides!

Additionally, you may have seen our new Student Health Center building under construction just off of Maple Street in the Tyus Hall parking lot. The facility will be ready for patients in January 2019. In collaboration with Tanner Health System, this project represents a true commitment to public-private and community partnerships and is designed to provide quality and affordable healthcare services to our students.

The Carroll County Education Collaborative continues to work together with leaders throughout the community to focus on key performance outcomes, including third-grade reading levels, high school graduation and college and career readiness. Early learning is a particular focus for the Education Collaborative this fall as quarterly meetings convene this month in several counties in West Georgia. Highlights of initiatives currently taking place will be featured in the first volume of Network News, so stay tuned for updates!

We’re honored to have been recognized by INSIGHT into Diversity magazine for our efforts to show a commitment to diversity and inclusion by receiving the 2018 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. Receipt of the award is a product of the vast time and energy invested by our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to ensure a positive and welcoming environment for all students at UWG. We are excited to continue reaching new milestones as we remain focused on student success.

Another initiative we’ve shown commitment to is sustainability, and we’re making great strides in that area, as well. We recently received a silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) program, up from the bronze rating we received in 2015. We look forward to continuing our commitment to sustainability through the development of practices and programming that uphold this standard.

All of these amazing achievements have contributed to several significant recognitions so far this academic year. The 2018 U.S. News & World Report recognized UWG among the nation's top colleges and universities, and the Princeton Review ranked UWG as a Best Regional College for 2018. Also, Colleges of Distinction recognized our College of Education, Richards College of Business and Tanner Health System School of Nursing in the category of meeting students’ needs, and named UWG the fourth-best online college in the state.

In closing, be sure to join us for our fall Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 15, as our next group of Wolves who have transformed their lives through educational attainment and completion turn the tassel. It will be a great day of celebration! Go Wolves!

Dr. Kyle Marrero