The Bright Future Of Georgia Military College

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Perry's Blog | 0 comments

By Perry Smith

One of my joys in recent years is highlighting leaders and organizations in our area which are doing outstanding work.

Some examples of these are Jim Lorraine, Kim Elle and the entire staff of the Augusta Warrior Project and the wondrous work they are doing. Especially impressive is the success the AWP has had with finding good jobs for vets and getting permanent housing for homeless vets. Questions? Call 706 951 7506 or visit the AWP web site:

George Muir, the rector of Saint Paul’s church in downtown Augusta, has brought energy and creativity to this historic church on Reynolds Street. Especially recommended is the new Celtic Service which is held each Sunday at 5:30PM. This brief 45 minute service provides a program that is easy to follow. The music is in the quiet, Celtic tradition. People of all faiths and religious backgrounds are most welcome. Questions? 706 7242485 or email at

Nancy Glaser, the director of the Augusta Museum of History is amazing. Thanks to her leadership and the hard work of her fine staff, attendance, bookings of the rotunda, and fund raising are all on the increase. A reminder, there is a first rate exhibit at the museum highlighting the life of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. With the release of the movie, Get on Up, many folks will want to view the videos, costumes and memorabilia which trace his life story. During the entire month of August, the entry fee for the museum is just one dollar. Questions ? 706 7228454 or visit

Now let us focus on a local community college, Georgia Military College. Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to have three sessions (workshops on leadership and ethics plus a commencement address)with the students, staff, and faculty of Georgia Military College. I have gained great respect for this historic institution. It is on quite a roll.

Georgia Military College is a multidimensional institution. There is a military prep school which in Milledgeville. There are more than five hundred uniformed cadets from grade six through twelve. The second major element of Georgia Military College is a junior college which provides an associate degree to those who complete a vigorous two year curriculum. There are more than eight thousand students in nine separate locations throughout Georgia. The GMC-Augusta campus located on Davis Road provides education to more than twelve hundred of these scholars.

There is lots of good news about GMC.
1.Tuition costs are quite modest and for those who are not official Georgia residents there is no extra charge.
2. Non-traditional students can take courses in the evenings and on weekends.
3. Course offering are designed so that class sizes remain small—from twenty to twenty eight students. This insures lots of interaction between students and professors.
4. A recent decision by Governor Deal will allow GMC to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science degree. This four-year program kicks off in 2015. 5 The new president of GMC, recently retired Army Lieutenant General Bill Caldwell, has brought new energy and ideas to GMC. His background as former commander of the premier military educational institution at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is serving him well as he charts the future for GMC.

It is important to point out that one of the great strengths of the American higher education system is its more than sixteen hundred community colleges. Often designated as junior colleges or technical colleges, the most common label in recent years is “community college”. More than seven million students are enrolled in these colleges.

George Military College has an enviable record, It has been ranked as one of the top twenty five community colleges in America by CNN Money, Washington Monthly, and Best Schools. Also, GMC was the champion in the 2014 National Junior College Ethics Bowl. In short, it is a great place to learn and to grow.

Tomorrow, July 21st, the president of Georgia Military College, General Caldwell, will be speaking at the luncheon meeting of Augusta Kiwanis Club. He tells me that he would be pleased to meet with anyone immediately after his talk. Those who are interested in visiting with him or some of the top leaders of the Augusta Campus of GMC are welcome to come to the Berlin Room (located on the second floor at Saint Paul’s Church) at 1:45 PM. The church is located at the corner of 6th and Reynolds Street.

Those interested in learning more about GMC are encouraged to explore its website.

Perry M Smith is the co-author (with Jeff Foley) of Rules and Tools for Leaders. The 4th edition of this book was published in August, 2013. His email address is; web site:
[This column appeared in the Augusta Chronicle on July 20th.]

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