SGSC Officially Opens the Newly-Renovated Alumni House
South Georgia State College recently completed renovations to one of its many historic buildings on its Douglas Campus. Now known as the Alumni House, what once served at the living quarters for past College presidents and their families now houses office space, multi-purpose meeting spaces, a catering kitchen, and a VIP guest bedroom suite to house visitors while they are here conducting College business.
|SGSC President Dr. Virginia Carson (center) cuts the ribbon on the newly-renovated Alumni House|
Originally built in 1953 for former College President William S. Smith, for whom the library is named, the Alumni House was where his daughter, Diana Smith Highsmith grew up. At the ribbon cutting, she regaled guests with stories of what it was like to grow up on the campus of then-South Georgia College. She shared stories of sitting in on humanities classes at eight years old, and stories of her first date with her now husband, Bob Highsmith, where they would sit and talk on the couch in the living room of the President’s House under the watchful eye of her mother.
Mrs. Highsmith also presented the College with a painting of her home done by a student from many years ago when the Smith family first moved into the residence. Dubbed “Will’s Mansion” and painted by James Whitley, the painting currently hangs in a place of honor above the mantle in the Alumni House.
Dr. Jim Cottingham, who retired from SGSC a few years ago, also spoke at the gathering, giving insight on the history of the building, as he also grew up on campus: he and his family lived in Davis Hall for a number of years.
The goal of every restoration and renovation at SGSC is to keep the historical integrity of the College while updating it to meet the technological needs of today’s students and community. The Alumni House project has done just that. The building has been brought into the modern era, but it still feels like the home Mrs. Highsmith grew up in.
SGSC President Dr. Virginia Carson is pleased with how the renovations turned out. She feels that the Alumni House is going to serve the College well in the future. “The Alumni House is part of SGSC. Many presidents were housed here, and our alumni hold it fondly in their hearts. Many were invited to meals at the home of the president over the years, and they have come to see it as part of SGSC’s heritage. There were several alumni at the ribbon cutting to show their encouragement for the progress SGSC is making, and we appreciate their support.”
For pictures of the ribbon cutting, please find us on Facebook at facebook.com/southgeorgiastatecollege.