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PIEDMONT COLLEGE

President’s Report 2010


President’s Report 2010


CONTENTS 4 Board of Trustees Direct the future of Piedmont College 5 President’s Message Fifteen years of progress 6 School of Arts and Sciences Providing the liberal arts core 8 School of Business Engaging the wider community 10 School of Education Fifteen years of growth 12 School of Nursing New programs in Demorest and Athens 14 Athens Campus Small-college experience in a big-college town 16 Athletics Teaching mental discipline and respect 18 Demorest Campus Aerial View 20 Piedmont Through the Years 1995-2010

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Robin L. Coile, William House, Dennis Cathey, Thomas M. Richard, Martha K. Cantrell, Shirley J. Meeks, Cathy Henson, Jane G. Higdon, Betty L. Siegel, David C. Foster; (back) Bill Mason, Ray Cleere, Thomas Hensley, Eugene Sutherland Sr., Joseph A. Wingate Jr., James E. Cornwell, Mack H. Guest, Stewart Swanson, Brian M. Rickman, Jim Hobbs, Edward D. Ariail, Robert C. Lower, Tommy Irvin, Dock C. Sisk, Jim W. Parham, Stan Roberts, Thomas Arrendale III, Paul C. Rosser, and John C. Foster.

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Trustees direct the future of Piedmont


President’s Message T

his publication marks the 15th time that I have been privileged to address students, parents, faculty, staff, and board members on the status of our college. During each of the past years, we have been able to report substantial growth in all areas, and this year is no exception. I am especially pleased to note that, despite the economic challenges of the past three years, the college remains in solid financial condition and continues the improvements that have helped us attract a strong student body. The changes at Piedmont have not gone unnoticed. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved, the college this year was named in the top tier of colleges and universities in the Southeast in the annual rankings produced by U.S. News and World Report. Although the U.S. News ranking does not tell the whole story, it is an important step, and everyone should be proud of the role that they played in earning that distinction. Perhaps an even better indicator of where Piedmont is heading can be found in an article in Atlanta magazine, which noted that among Georgia’s public and private colleges, Piedmont now has the fifth highest percentage of incoming freshmen eligible for the HOPE scholarship. Some 94 percent of our freshmen are eligible, and only Emory, Berry, UGA and Georgia Tech had a higher percentage. That tells us that Piedmont is attracting students who have demonstrated that they can succeed in high school and are more likely to become successful college graduates. In this annual report, we look at the status of each of Piedmont’s four schools—Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing—as well as the strides that have been made at the Athens Campus and in the area of athletics. The remainder of the report is a look back at the highlights of the past 15 years. I hope that each of you who worked to make Piedmont what it is today will enjoy this brief summary of the many hundreds of improvements that have gone into helping Piedmont meet the goal the trustees set in 1995—to make Piedmont one of the best small colleges in the Southeast. While I will retire as president in June, I look forward to watching as Piedmont continues to grow and add new programs. The future of the college is truly unbounded, and I am reminded of what the Rev. Charles Spence, the first Piedmont president, said of the college 110 years ago: “Here is a good beginning.”

President Ray Cleere, pictured with his wife, the Rev. Ashley Cleere, and two of the fuzzier members of the Cleere family, Rosie and Emma.


School of Arts and Sciences provides Piedmont’s liberal arts core for all majors

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ith 25 major programs, the School of Arts and Sciences offers a broad range of undergraduate disciplines. The school also provides the comprehensive general education foundation for all students at the college and supports the college’s professional programs with content courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Dr. Steven Nimmo, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, joined Piedmont in 2009.

Over the past 15 years, there have been many important changes in curriculum and facilities at the college that have resulted in significant enrollment growth. In 1995, most classes within the School of Arts and Sciences were taught in Daniel Hall. Today, the school has access not only to a renovated Daniel Hall but also to three new buildings that include state-of-the-art classrooms and other facilities. These include Stewart Hall as a center for science and technology; the Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications; and the Martens Center. Stewart Hall, which opened in 1999, provides laboratories for the school’s natural science courses, including biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Classrooms in Stewart are also used for a variety of other Arts and Sciences programs, from the humanities to social sciences. Similarly, the school’s mass communications and theatre programs received a boost with the opening of the Swanson Center in 2007 and the Arrendale Amphitheater in 2009. As a modern facility to teach all aspects of mass media, from traditional print, radio and television to new forms of online content, the Swanson Center is unmatched at small colleges and even larger colleges across the Southeast. The theatre wing of the building includes not only a firstrate venue for the community to enjoy productions by the Piedmont College Theatre, it also provides our students with a real-world classroom to learn every aspect of theatre production.

The School of Arts and Sciences includes a wide range of degrees, from mass communications, to music, to chemistry.


In addition to these facilities, the renovation and addition to the Center for Worship and Music offer music students a stunning location to perform. On the first floor, the practice facilities, including a music computer lab, enhance their overall experience at Piedmont. Two recent curriculum changes were made to help our students succeed in the critical first years of college. PC Explore creates a friendly environment for students who have not yet decided on a major. Through a variety of activities and guidance, students can confidently find their niche. Another initiative, Smarthinking, is an online tutoring service that provides tutoring, writing assistance, and homework assistance for our students. One key feature of this service is availability. Student tutors are standing by late at night when the students are actually writing papers and doing homework. This year the School of Arts and Sciences also modified the first-year seminar class, PC 101, which is an introduction to college life and the liberal arts tradition. This class aids students as they transition from high school to college and becomes more academic as the semester progresses. Discussions of reading material foster critical thinking, while written assignments promote the development of each student’s writing skills.

The Swanson Center houses not only two state-of-the-art theatres but also classrooms and studios for radio, television, print and online productions.

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Walker School of Business engages the northeast Georgia community “I

nstitutions of higher learning have an obligation to add value to the communities around them,” says Dr. John Misner, Dean of the Walker School of Business. “Schools of business by their very nature have the ability to engage with and provide tangible value to the community and region. Faculty members have expertise they can share, and the community is a living laboratory for experiential learning opportunities for our students.” That is why the Walker School during the past year has sponsored a series of financial literacy workshops and has been involved in various projects with the Northeast Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. “We have also created a faculty ‘Speaker’s Bureau’, and faculty on a rotating basis will be writing a monthly column for local newspapers, ” he said.

Dr. John Misner is the second Dean of the Piedmont College Walker School of Business. Misner joined the college in 2009, taking over for retiring Dean Dr. Bill Piper, who helped create the business school in 2000.

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Business students prepare a computer presentation in the Camp-Younts meeting room of the Arrendale Library. Area business leaders lend their experience to critique classroom projects that are based on real-world applications.

“Going forward, we will look for opportunities to bring service learning directly into the business classroom. For example, teams of students are partnered with social service agencies and engage in activities such as conducting economic impact studies, constructing cash flow analyses,


Business professors Dr. Ed Taylor and Dr. Pat Sherrer are just two of the Walker School faculty who bring their experience in the business world to the classrooms at both the Demorest and Athens campuses.

conducting market research, and writing business/strategic plans. Students develop a deep understanding of the agency’s mission and then have the opportunity to provide business advice as consultants. Not only does this type of service-learning provide an avenue for the application of theory and technique, but also more importantly, it opens up students’ eyes to the importance of corporate social responsibilityand giving back to the communities around them,” Misner said. Piedmont’s Walker School of Business was organized in 2000 and named for longtime member of the Board of Trustees and former chairman, Harry W. Walker III. While initially offering undergraduate degrees, the school began a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in 2001. The MBA program has since grown to include three tracks for students concentrating in managerial leadership, accounting and financial management, and health care management. In addition to the college’s regional accreditation, the Walker School of Business is also accredited by the national Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) since 2007.

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School of Education sees hundred-fold enrollment growth A

s the largest of Piedmont College’s four schools, the School of Education has experienced phenomenal growth in the past 15 years. In the late 1980s, the college graduated about a dozen undergraduate education majors each year. That number began to take off in 1995 after the college was granted Level III status by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and began offering its first master’s program in early childhood education. The School of Education now offers undergraduate programs in the areas of early childhood, middle grades, and drama education, as well as five areas of secondary education. At the graduate levels, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs in early childhood, middle grades, special education, art and music education, and secondary education lead to initial certification at the master’s level for those candidates holding a bachelor’s degree in a field other than education. These same areas are offered as a Master of Arts (MA) program for advanced certification. In 2001, the college added Education Specialist (EdS) programs, and in 2010, SACS approved Piedmont as a Level V institution

Graduates in Piedmont’s Early Childhood Eduction program learn a variety of classroom management techniques, including the use of computer-controlled SmartBoards that allow them to move quickly from one lesson to the next.

to offer its first doctoral program. There are currently 30 doctoral candidates enrolled on each campus. The total enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students in the SOE is approximately 1,500 per year, with the majority being graduate students. There are currently 39 full-time faculty in the School of Education divided among the Demorest and Athens campuses as well as cohort locations. Three cohort coordinators provide oversight for the management of the cohort program. Collaborative programs with the School of Arts and Sciences include art, music, and drama education, as well as five content areas in undergraduate secondary education. The School of Education also partners with the Foxfire Foundation to provide training in the Foxfire teaching methods. Collaborations include teaching graduate courses concerning Foxfire’s teaching philosophy, conducting weeklong workshops for students and faculty at the Foxfire Center, and exploring ways of working with Rabun County High School on The Foxfire Magazine.

The School of Education’s highly successful cohort program offers working teachers the opportunity to earn an advanced degree within the school systems where they teach.


Dr. Jane McFerrin shares a laugh with fellow deans Dr. John Misner (left) of the School of Business and Dr. Steven Nimmo of the School of Arts and Sciences as they walk to Baccalaureate services during McFerrin’s final semester at Piedmont. The longtime dean of the School of Education retired in June 2010 after a 39-year career in education, including 29 years at Piedmont and 12 years as dean.

Cohort Program Much of the growth in the School of Eduction can be attributed to the cohort model that Piedmont developed in 1995. Designed to offer graduate education courses to working teachers at school systems across much of north Georgia, the program began with one class in Rabun County and today is offered at school systems across north Georgia. Currently some 18 different systems participate, and the program serves about 900 students each semester. To date, just under 4,000 teachers have earned master’s degrees through the cohort program, and another 2,800 have earned EdS degrees. Cohort classes are taught in the evenings over a 15-month period at the schools where the participants work. At each location, the classes are conducted by scholarly practitioners with real-world experience in teaching. Also unique at each location, the classes focus on educational problems that are specific to that school system.

Dr. Bob Cummings, currently serving as interim Dean of the School of Education, formerly chaired the new Department of Teaching Learning within the school, which oversees the education specialist and new doctoral programs.

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Daniel School of Nursing enters 13th year with new RN and LPN programs

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ormation of the R.H. Daniel School of Nursing was approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing in 1997, and the first nine graduates received their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees in 2001. To date, some 186 nurses have graduated from the program, but before they can practice, new graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Daniel School of Nursing graduates have had a 100-percent pass rate on the NCLEX over the past three years. In addition to state certification, the School of Nursing in 2003 earned accreditation from the National League of Nursing (NLN), a step that aids student nurses who seek to serve in the military or continue their education in graduate school. The nursing program includes five semesters beginning in the summer after a student’s sophomore year. This approach helps promote student success and reduces the workload during the fall of the junior year. Students take eight credit hours during the summer and begin their

first clinical rotations at a wide variety of area hospitals, health departments, hospices, home health, schools, clinics, nursing homes and other clinical venues. Each student has the opportunity to work in multiple clinical settings and experience everything from small rural facilities to large, tertiary hospitals. The School of Nursing classrooms, laboratories, computer lab, and faculty offices are located on the fourth floor of Daniel Hall, which underwent a major renovation in 1999. In 2006, thanks to a grant from Ethicon and the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, the school added a Human Patient Simulator Laboratory, which employs a lifelike, computer-controlled “SIMMan” simulated patient to train

nurses for a variety of tests and procedures. Also, in keeping with the school’s goal of promoting technological training, all student nurses use handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) that keep multiple reference and textbooks handy in a lab coat pocket for access at any time. Another unique aspect of the program is that the Daniel School is the only nursing school in the state to hold a communitywide disaster drill each year. The drill gives the students an excellent opportunity to practice skills before they graduate and also builds rapport with local emergency service agencies.

Student nurses rush a ‘victim’ to a waiting ambulance during a countywide disaster drill held each year by the Daniel School of Nursing.


Student nurses participate in a variety of activities outside the classroom, including conducting health checkup clinics for faculty and staff.

In addition to its pre-licensure program for new nurses, the School of Nursing created programs for current registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to earn BSN degrees by transferring some of their credit hours. In 2011, these nursing programs will also be offered at the Athens Campus. The School of Nursing is pleased that its graduates are in a growing field of employment and can find work even in this uncertain economy. Piedmont College nursing graduates are actively sought after for jobs, and the future for this school is bright and growing.

Dr. Linda Scott is Dean of the R.H. Daniel School of Nursing and also an active nurse practitioner.

Students in the Daniel School of Nursing BSN program have had a 100-percent pass rate on the Georgia NCLEX exam over the past three years.

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Athens Campus provides smallcollege experience in a P

iedmont’s Athens presence was established in 1996 with an initial enrollment of 20 students who met for classes at Oconee County High School. As enrollment increased, a variety of locations in the Athens area were utilized until the purchase of the Heritage Building (now Lane Hall) on Milledge Avenue in 2000. Initially, the mission of the Athens Campus was to provide primarily evening classes for students who already had two years of college credits and wanted to complete their undergraduate degrees. The campus also offered Piedmont’s new graduate programs in education. In 2006, the College purchased the former Prince Avenue Baptist Church property, which included a K-12 education facility of approximately 90,000 square feet within walking distance of downtown Athens. At the same time, the college began offering a full four-year undergraduate program in Athens, and the first freshman class enrolled in the fall of 2007. Currently a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered during the day and the evening in education, business, and the arts and sciences. Enrollment at the Athens Campus has increased from the initial 20 students in 1996 to more than 800 students today. Some 430 students are enrolled in undergraduate programs, with about 70 percent attending day classes. Just under 370 students are currently enrolled in master’s and specialist programs, and 30 students are included in the college’s new doctoral program in education. The Athens campus’ excellent faculty engages with students both in and out of the classroom and provides personal attention and individual assistance as needed. Many of the staff in Athens have been with Piedmont College for a number of years, and several have spent their entire career at the Athens campus. The shared knowledge and team effort of the faculty and staff creates an excellent learning environment for students. As the Athens student population has increased, so have the numerous cross-campus events, including theater productions, concerts, and other entertainment. The student life events, organized by the newly formed Athens Campus Activities Board (ACAB), promote the campus to its students as well as their families. Students are also involved in many clubs that are unique to the Athens campus. In addition, Athens students are active in a variety of honor societies. Athens students are increasingly community-minded and participate in charitable events and other worthy causes.

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Dr. Mel Palmer is vice president for the Athens Campus.


Athletics teaches discipline and respect

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ith nearly half of all resident students classified as studentathletes, the athletic department continues to be an integral component in the growth of Piedmont,” says Athletic Director John Dzik. “Moreover, the retention rate for freshman student athletes runs about 90 percent. Athletics is the biggest extracurricular activity at the college and is responsible for the greatest level of activity programming outside the classroom.” That is not surprising given the success of Piedmont athletic programs in recent years. No longer the David in a field of Goliaths, Piedmont teams are now the squads that other colleges look to beat to cap their own seasons. Last year, the Piedmont men tied for the Great South Athletic Conference President’s Cup, the award given annually to the team with the best overall athletic program. In the past decade, Piedmont men and women have combined to win the award six times. The teams have won 29 GSAC championships and made nine appearances in NCAA D-III post season tournaments. The men’s athletic program also received special recognition this year, winning the inaugural GSAC Institutional Sportsmanship of the Year Award. The honor is based on the votes of all male student-athletes within the GSAC and is the first of its kind in the conference.

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Athletic Director John Dzik joined the college in 2005.

The athletic programs expanded this year with the addition of an active men’s JV baseball team that played an 18-game schedule. The team is coached by assistant head coach Richard Dombrowsky. Also announced this year is the formation of a men’s lacrosse team that will take the field in 2012. Peter Manderano, a veteran of seven seasons as a Georgia high school lacrosse coach, has been named the inaugural head coach. The addition of lacrosse required an upgrade to the existing soccer pitch at Walker Fields, and this summer the field was converted to artificial turf to withstand the wear of both sports. The field was also fenced for safer fan participation. The college also added about 26 acres on the Demorest-Mt. Airy Highway for the addition of practice fields and future athletic expansion.


Johnny Mize Center

Burgen Tennis Courts

Soccer/Lacrosse Field

Mize Center

Softball Field Purcell Hall Loudermilk Stadium New Bedford Hall

Swanson Hall Johnson Hall Wallace Hall The Grill

Wetlands

Arrendale Amphitheater Swanson Center


Mayflower Hall

Art Gallery Bookstore Chapel

Martens Center

Camp Hall President’s Home

Admissions Daniel Hall

Nielsen Dining Hall

Stewart Hall Arrendale Library

Lane Student Center Boardwalk Getman-Babcock Hall


Piedmont through the years

1995-2010

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1995

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ncreased enrollment, growing financial support, expanded academic choices, and extensive campus improvements— that is how Piedmont College measures its progress from 1995 to 2010, as the past decade and a half have seen unprecedented growth in all areas. The following year-byyear synopsis touches on just the highlights of the annual improvements Piedmont has made.

First Graduate Programs

The college saw a new type of student on campus in 1995—graduate students enrolled in Piedmont’s first master’s level education programs. Building on the success of its first graduate-level program, a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in early childhood education, the college later in the year added a Master of Arts (MA) degree in secondary education. The program was accredited after meeting all 33 Georgia Professional Standards Commission checks on its first review.

Cohort Program

The MAT program was also offered off-campus in Rabun County, where students, primarily teachers with the Rabun County School System, could attend classes at the local high school and earn an MA degree in early childhood education or secondary education. Because students in each location take all classes together, the program was dubbed the “Cohort Program” and today cohort classes are taught in some 18 school systems across north Georgia. Nielsen Hall (above), which houses the main student dining hall, was renovated in 1995, including the addition of a special events dining room (below).

Travel Study

Piedmont began its first formal travel study program in 1995 with a summer class trip to the Arkaim archeological site in Siberia. Led by history professor Dr. Al Pleysier, students spent two weeks assisting in the uncovering of this Bronze-Age fortified city.

Financial Aid and Gifts

Historically one of the most affordable private colleges in Georgia and the Southeast, Piedmont dramatically increased institutional financial aid to more than $824,000 in 1995, up from $206,000 in 1990. Much of this aid has been made possible by donations from alumni and friends who support the college with small gifts, although Piedmont also received what at the time was its largest single gift, $450,000, to establish the Nickerson Congregational scholarships. Earlier in the year, the college also received $250,000 from an anonymous donor, the largest unrestricted donation to date.


Campus

In Demorest, construction began on Alumni Park and Congregational Circle, which would soon become the centerpiece for the campus. Nielsen Dining Hall underwent major renovations, which included the downstairs addition of a much-needed special events dining area. Also in Nielsen, the college opened a new campus bookstore, the first to be operated by an outside vendor. The change brought an expanded level of choices in books and merchandise for students and the community. Piedmont Public Radio, WPPR, went on the air in December 1995 following approval by the Federal Communications Commission. Initially, WPPR transmitted only Georgia Public Radio and National Public Radio programming. With the later addition of radio production studios, the station now includes several hours of local programming developed by the College.

The Art Annex, below, which was originally renovated in 1995 for chemistry labs and a wellness center, is now home to the Art Department. Plans are under way for a new art building incorporating the Martens Center. (Above) Art Department chair Chris Kelly with students in a ceramics class.

Piedmont purchased the historic Flor Saddletree Company building on Central Avenue for use by the maintenance department. The previous maintenance building located near downtown Demorest was converted to laboratory space for the natural sciences department and a wellness center operated in conjunction with the Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Georgia Public Broadcasting radio station WPPR went on the air in 1995. Pictured is director Candice Felice in the station’s new studio in the Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Mass Communications, which opened in 2007.

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1995

Congregational Circle in Alumni Park became the centerpiece of the College in 1995 and is used for outdoor gatherings, classes, and music events.


1996 Academics Early Athens Campus classes were held in an antebellum home, known as the Hunnicutt House, on North Milledge Avenue. After expanding three times, the campus is now located on Prince Avenue.

In 1996, the Worldwide Web was just taking off, with only about 16 million users worldwide. After more than a year of rewiring buildings, adding computer hardware and configuring systems, Piedmont was among the first private colleges in the state to offer Internet service to students and faculty through two Internet labs with 24 connected computers in the Arrendale Library and Patten Hall. One of the first classes to make use of the new information service was a math class taught by Dr. Shahryar Heydari. “Students researching fractals found in three days what would have taken three weeks,” he said. “And they would not have found nearly as much material.” Today Piedmont continues to upgrade its on-campus network to ensure that student and faculty have access to the rapidly growing world of online information.

Campuses

Piedmont opened its first satellite campus in Athens, Ga., during the summer of 1996, setting up shop in a former home on North Milledge Avenue. The Athens Campus opened the fall semester with about 250 students and would soon expand three times before settling into its current location on Prince Avenue. Initially, the Athens Campus offered upper-level (junior and senior) courses for students wishing to complete a degree in teacher education, business administration or sociology; and it offered an MAT program for teachers seeking initial certification. “This is a unique opportunity for the college to expand its ties with businesses and other educational institutions in the Athens area,” said President Cleere. “After looking at several possible areas we chose Athens for this first venture because we believe a small, personalized college can supplement the efforts of the University of Georgia and Athens Technical Institute.”

Enrollment

Fall enrollment jumped to 1,128 students in 1996. The growth represented a 22 percent increase over the previous fall semester record of 922 students. Students continue to come to Piedmont from all over the world, and each year some 10 different countries are represented in the student body.

Meanwhile the Demorest campus doubled in size with the addition of 56 acres of adjoining property at the northeast end of the campus. The property was a gift from Rose and Lewis Brannon of Atlanta.

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The gift of 56 acres on the east side of the Demorest campus in 1996 almost doubled the size of the college and allowed for later expansion such as the Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications in the foreground.

The first Piedmont students to receive master’s degrees graduated during the May Commencement of 1996.

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1996


Centennial

1997

The 100th anniversary of the founding of Piedmont was celebrated all year long with a series of special events, including the college’s hosting of the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. The relationship between the Congregationalists and Piedmont dates back to 1901, when the National Congregational Council, based in Boston, Mass., took over the struggling J.S. Green Institute and renamed it Piedmont College. In 1948, when Piedmont became an independent college, it continued its affiliation with the Congregational churches, which in 1955 formed the NACCC. In 2002, Piedmont renewed its affiliation with the historically related United Church of Christ (UCC). As part of its Annual Meeting, the NACCC convened at the Demorest campus for the dedication of Congregational Circle in the quad, which was also renamed Alumni Park.

School of Nursing

With the northeast Georgia area facing a shortage of registered nurses, the college received approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing in February 1997 to begin a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. The first freshmen students to major in nursing enrolled the same year, with actual nursing classes scheduled to begin in 1999. Dr. Frances Brown, formerly dean of the School of Nursing at Valdosta State University, was named the first dean of the new R.H. Daniel School of Nursing.

Campus

Wallace Hall, a 100-bed residence hall, received a complete renovation in 1997, as enrollment rose to 1,608 students, up 42 percent from the previous fall. At the centennial commencement, some 140 students received undergraduate and graduate degrees, including the first four students to graduate from the Athens Campus. Melodie Attipoe was one of the early graduates of the R.H. Daniel School of Nursing, which was organized in 1997.


1997 Butman Chair

In recognition of Piedmont’s long affiliation with Congregational Churches, the college in 1997 established its first endowed chair, the Harry R. Butman Chair of Religion and Philosophy, named for one of the founders of the NACCC. During ceremonies at the NACCC meeting in Atlanta, President Cleere noted that Congregationalist churches “led the way in planting the seeds that would grow to be American’s finest colleges and universities.” The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor of Clarkesville, an internationally recognized preacher and author, was selected to become the first Butman Professor of Religion and Philosophy. “We conducted a nationwide search, and the committee reviewed more than 40 applications,” President Cleere said in announcing the selection. “Their unanimous first choice was right in our backyard.”

Wallace Hall, one of the older dormitories on campus, received a complete renovation in 1997.

The late Dr. Harry Butman, a founder of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, was on hand in 1997 to celebrate Piedmont’s 100th birthday and dedicate Congregational Circle in the newly landscaped Alumni Park.


(Above) Piedmont’s centennial year in 1997 was marked by the construction of Congregational Circle on the quadrangle, which was renamed Alumni Park. Congregational Circle serves as a focal point for the main campus and is used for a variety of outdoor classes and events.

(Left) President Cleere and SGA president Dionne Rosser prepare to lower a Centennial Time Capsule that was buried on the quad during the college’s 100th year homecoming.

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Daniel Hall

1998 Enrollment

Enrollment in 1998 reached a new record of 1,564 students. During the annual commencement ceremony, the college conferred 169 bachelor of arts degrees and 197 master of arts in teaching degrees.

Swanson Hall

In May 1998, construction began on a new residence hall, named Swanson Hall in honor of the longtime support of the college by Trustee Kay Swanson and her family. In June, the Martens Botanical Center opened with new laboratories, faculty offices and a greenhouse. The building was named for former professor Dr. J. Louis Martens, thanks to a gift from the Martens family and the Georgia Power Company. The Department of Music added classes in opera in 1998, each year performing selections and short works, including the recent production of ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors.’

A major gift from the Daniel Foundation of Birmingham, Ala., was the highlight of 1998. The gift, at the time one of the largest single gifts in the school’s history, was used to prepare the fourth floor of Daniel Hall for use by the new school of nursing. The school was named after Piedmont alumnus R. Hugh Daniel, who had made the initial gift for the construction of the building in 1964. The work included not only the renovation of the fourth floor but also the replacement of the heating and air system for the entire building and the addition of an elevator for access to all four floors.


The unused fourth floor of Daniel Hall was remodeled into classroom space, offices, and instruction areas for the new Daniel School of Nursing in 1998. The nursing lab is a replica of a seven-bed hospital ward, complete with all of the patient-care and monitoring equipment used in a modern hospital.

Daniel Hall, originally built in 1964, was renovated in 1998 thanks to a gift from the Daniel family foundation. The fourth floor was remodeled to house the new Daniel School of Nursing.

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1998

Construction of Swanson Hall, a residence for seniors, began in 1998. The new dormitory is named for longtime Piedmont Trustee Kay Swanson and her family.

The Martens Center, which opened in 1998, is currently home to the Art Department while plans are under way to construct a new art building.

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1999

Campus Changes

After an Easter weekend fire destroyed Patten Hall on the Demorest campus in 1998, work began almost immediately to rebuild on the site a new center for science and technology. The building, named Stewart Hall in honor of the family of former Trustee H. Milton Stewart and Helen Stroud Stewart, opened in 1999 with 12 laboratories and 11 new classrooms. Construction of Stewart Hall was made possible by a lead gift from the Stewart’s daughter, Piedmont Trustee Kay Stewart Swanson, and her family. The building more than quadrupled the college’s existing laboratories and also for the first time provided adequate office space for the department of natural sciences. A gift from the Arrendale family, including Piedmont Trustee Thomas A. “Gus” Arrendale III, his parents Tom and Winifred Arrendale, and sister Cyndae Arrendale enabled the college to retire the remaining debt on the Demorest campus library, which had been built in 1991. The library was renamed the Arrendale Library in their honor and rededicated in 1999. The modern,

Stewart Hall (below) is the main science, mathematics, and technology center on the Demorest Campus. The building more than quadrupled the college’s science lab facilities.

four-story building houses 38,000 square feet of library space as well as classrooms and offices for the School of Education. Also in 1999, the college opened a new dormitory, Johnson Hall, named after former trustee and longtime supporters Loy and Imogene Johnson. With 40 beds, the new hall increased to 350 the number of students who could live on campus. The Walker Athletic Fields for soccer, baseball, softball and tennis received a major improvement with the addition of lights, which greatly expanded their hours of available use and allowed the athletic department to schedule fewer day games. Also in Demorest, the college opened the downtown Corner Café to provide students and the community with a convenient place to eat and visit between classes or after school hours. In 2005 the café location became home to the college bookstore and the café reopened two blocks away as the Grill on Georgia Street.


Academics

Piedmont’s undergraduate programs expanded in 1999 with the addition of new majors in mass communications, computer graphic design, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary studies. The new Department of Mass Communications began offering a bachelor of arts degree program in mass media, which included coursework in network technologies; journalism and public relations; newspaper, magazine, radio and television production; and online media production. The Department of Art expanded its programs with the addition of computer graphic design, initially offered at both the Athens and Demorest campuses. Both campuses upgraded their graphic design computer labs with top-ofthe-line computer workstations. A new bachelor of arts program in environmental studies combined courses in the sciences with the study of business, sociology and environmental law. Another program that cut across departmental boundaries and allowed students to create personalized majors was the introduction of the Interdisciplinary Studies major. Students, with their advisor, could create specialized majors that include upper level courses from two or more departments. At the Athens campus, a joint admission program with Athens Area Technical Institute began in 1999, allowing students there to transfer appropriate credits to Piedmont in Athens to work toward the completion of a bachelor’s degree.

Enrollment

The college continued to set records in enrollment in 1999, with a total student population of 1,742, an 11-percent increase from the previous fall enrollment of 1,564. In Demorest, the residential student population increased to a record 348 students living on campus.

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A gift from the Arrendale family allowed the college to retire the remaining debt on the library, which was renamed in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Arrendale. The library houses more than 96,000 volumes and provides students and faculty with access to some 18,000 academic journals, magazines and newspapers, in addition to publicly available information on the Internet. (Below) Cyndae and Gus Arrendale, with their father, Tom, unveiled a plaque on the library in 1998 with President Ray Cleere, left, and then-Chairman Edward Ariail.


Johnson Hall, named for alumni and longtime supporters Loy and Imogene Johnson, opened in 1999.

Dr. Luther Elrod demonstrates a chemistry technique for students in one of the new Stewart Hall laboratories that opened in 1999.

Computer graphic design as a separate arts major got its start in 1999.


2000 Academics

Building on its existing Environmental Studies program, the college in 2000 introduced a new bachelor of science major in Environmental Science. The program combines courses in ecology, biology, and toxicology with the study of ethics and social science. Students learn to apply interdisciplinary knowledge to research and management of global, regional, and local environmental situations. Opportunities for study abroad continued with a joint trip by the Department of English and the Department of Religion and Philosophy. Some 17 students took part in the oversees study of literature and Celtic spirituality in Ireland. The Music Department expanded its offerings with the addition of an Opera Workshop, which included student performances of works by Rossini and Verdi, and with the creation of a Wind Ensemble, which performs annual concerts.

The Mize Center houses the Cave Arena, named for former longtime coach and athletic director Leon O’Neal Cave.

The Johnny Mize Athletic Center opened in 2000 and is home to the Mize Baseball Museum.


Campus

Athletics at Piedmont received a boost in 2000 with the opening of the Johnny Mize Athletic Center, a modern, 51,000-square-foot facility that houses a multi-purpose gymnasium, fitness center, classrooms, and training rooms. The center is named for National Baseball Hall of Fame member Johnny Mize, a Demorest native who played for the college’s varsity team while attending high school at the former Piedmont Academy. The Mize Center also houses the Johnny Mize Baseball Museum, a collection of Mize’s own memorabilia from his days in the major leagues from 1936 to 1953. The Athens Campus also expanded in 2000 with the addition of Heritage Hall on North Milledge Avenue. This building is now home to the Lane Library on the Athens Campus.

The Johnny Mize Athletic Center includes a large fitness center where students can work out.

The O’Neal Cave Arena in the Mize Center provides Piedmont basketball and volleyball teams with a first-class facility for competition in the NCAA Division III.


2001 Education Specialist

As enrollment in graduate education programs climbed to 650 students in 2001, the School of Education introduced its first education specialist (EdS) program, taking teacher preparation at Piedmont College to a new level. The one-year specialist program is designed for teachers who already have a master’s degree and want to engage in the professional-level discourse of school improvement at the district, state or national level. The program is available for teachers working in early childhood, middle grades, or secondary education and related fields. The charter EdS group of about 25 students met during the summer in Demorest, and the program was soon expanded to include the Athens Campus and cohorts in other counties.

Neighborhood Grant Program

For students who have been out of school for a while and think that a college diploma is beyond reach, Piedmont in 2001 created a new financial aid program that can put them back on the path to earning a bachelor’s degree. For older students who live in the nine counties around the Piedmont campus in Demorest, the Neighborhood Grant Program provides 50-percent tuition grants. In 2010, seven additional counties were added to the program. Students must be at least 25 years old and seeking their first bachelor’s degree as commuting students attending Piedmont’s main campus in Demorest. The college initiated the Neighborhood Grant Program as a way of fulfilling its core mission to serve students in northeast Georgia.


“Back in 1897, Piedmont was founded by the people who lived here in Habersham County and the surrounding area,” said President Cleere in announcing the new program. “These communities have always been the backbone of our support. Many of our alumni live in these counties, and businesses and individuals in the area have supported Piedmont with literally millions of dollars over the years to help us become the college that we are today. “We want to give something back to the communities and believe that tuition grants for older students can have the greatest impact on the families of this region. As educators, we recognize that going back to college can be a difficult proposition. Once you are working and raising a family, finding the time for school is hard enough; we don’t want finding the money for tuition to be an additional barrier.”

MBA program begins

In August 2001 the Walker School of Business launched its first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program. Classes began at the Athens campus in August and at the Demorest campus the following spring semester. The MBA program emphasizes managerial leadership with a focus on today’s critical business issues. Students study corporate governance and strategic management and research an active business in preparation of conducting an industry analysis. The research culminates in a capstone course with a written analysis and a formal presentation.

School of Nursing

When Piedmont’s 381 graduating students donned their caps and gowns for commencement ceremonies in May 2001, nine students wore a special pin marking them as the college’s first nursing school graduates. As of 2010, some 186 nurses have now graduated from the program with bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees.

The Pinning Ceremony is a tradition in the School of Nursing for each new graduate.


Heritage Hall on Milledge Avenue served as home to the Athens Campus from 2000 to 2006, when it was renamed Lane Hall.

Lane Hall now houses the Athens Campus library. The building was named for longtime Academic Dean Dr. Mary C. Lane.

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2001


2002 UCC affiliation

P

iedmont College has been affiliated with the Congregational churches of America since 1901 and with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) since the 1950s. In an era when many colleges are moving away from relationships with the churches that founded them, Piedmont chose another route. In 2002, the College affiliated with the United Church of Christ (UCC), a denomination comprised of congregations reflective of four Christian traditions, including Congregationalism. By affiliating with the UCC, Piedmont gained visibility through ties to more than 5,000 churches around the country and became part of a council of 30 colleges and seminaries. Further, this new affiliation strengthened existing relationships with local UCC congregations that had supported the college for decades. Congregationalists have always been champions of social justice, and in keeping with this vibrant heritage, Piedmont encourages dialogue about matters of faith and social issues. Reflecting diverse beliefs and backgrounds, most religious life activities are student-initiated and fall under the auspices of the office of the chaplain. The result is an eclectic array of pursuits: praise and worship services; Bible studies; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; fundraising for earthquake relief; simulations of homelessness; World AIDS Day programs; Baptist Collegiate Ministry; a prayer and meditation garden; forums that address the impact of war or the boundary between church and state; Jewish celebrations such as Purim and a Passover seder; sponsorship of local children for Christmas; and care packages for classmates who are ill.


Camp Hall renovated

Camp Hall, which for many years housed the college’s biology and chemistry departments, was completely renovated in 2002 as the new home of the Walker School of Business. Named for the family of the late longtime Piedmont trustee and former chairman Harry W. Walker II, the three-story building now includes modern classrooms, a computer lab and meeting rooms.

Sewell Organ installed

A 30-year dream came true with the installation of the Sewell Pipe Organ in the newly renovated college chapel. When the chapel was built in 1971, there were plans to install a pipe organ, but the expense put those plans on hold until 2002. The 3,675-pipe, mechanical-action organ was built by the Casavant Frères company of Canada and designed by the college’s own Dr. James Mellichamp, who previously had designed some 33 pipe organs for schools and churches across the Southeast. Mellichamp performed the inaugural concert on the Sewell Organ, which is named for Charles K. Sewell of Marietta, Ga., a member of the Piedmont Class of 1954. Sewell served on the Board of Trustees from 1995-2001 and is a long-time supporter of the college. In addition to the installation of the organ, the Chapel underwent almost a year of major renovation work to install an elevator and add new classrooms and performance rooms.

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2002


The Sewell Organ installed in the Chapel features mechanical key action to give the organist a better feel for the music.

41


2003 Nursing school gains national accreditation

The Daniel School of Nursing earned accreditation from the National League of Nursing (NLN) in 2003, a step that aids student nurses who seek to serve in the military or continue their education in graduate school. The accreditation process involved a self-study period, and members of the NLN Accreditation Commission visited the School of Nursing to analyze every aspect of the nursing program. NLN accreditation is especially important if students plan to earn a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. Nurses applying for officers’ training in the military must also have graduated from a nationally accredited school. National League of Nursing accreditation, gained in 2003, helps Piedmont graduates who want to continue their eduction at the master’s level or serve in the military. The Art Department added a BFA program and a new master’s level program in 2003.

Foxfire teacher training Piedmont was selected by the Foxfire Fund in 2003 to administer its Teacher Outreach Program, which trains teachers at all grade levels in how to implement the Foxfire approach to classroom instruction. Dr. Hilton Smith, coordinator of the outreach program for Piedmont, said the training is designed to teach the 11 core practices of the Foxfire approach to education. These include giving students choices in how to do their schoolwork, emphasizing creativity and critical thinking, and making connections with the surrounding community.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The School of Arts and Sciences initiated a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program for students seeking professional study in graphic arts design and for students planning to pursue graduate studies in studio art. The school also added new graduate degree programs for students seeking master’s degrees in art education and music education.


NCAA Division III

Piedmont gained Division-III active membership status in September 2003, making the college’s student-athletes eligible to participate in all NCAA championships. The college competes as a member of the Great South Athletic Conference. To earn active membership in the NCAA, Piedmont went through a four-year provisional membership status.

Chapel Alley landscaping

Chapel Alley, formerly an entrance to the campus off Highway 441, was converted to an attractive pedestrian walk with serpentine stone walls, brick-accented pavement and a variety of flowers and shrubs. The Chapel Alley project was just one part of a multi-year plan to improve the overall landscaping of the college.


2004 President’s House renovated

In 2004 the college acquired a private residence adjacent to the Demorest campus and completed a top-to-bottom renovation, restoration and landscaping project to convert the building for use as the President’s Home. This two-story 1930s Georgian-style home now serves as an attractive area for hosting a wide variety of campus events.. The former President’s Home, known as Hobbs House, also underwent renovations to prepare it for use as an Alumni House and the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Barnes and Noble Bookstore

The college bookstore received a dramatic makeover in 2004 when it was moved to the first floor of Nielsen Hall and operation was contracted to a national bookstore chain. The bookstore was later moved to the corner of Georgia Street and Highway 441 in downtown Demorest to make it more accessible to the community at large. The store is now operated by Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

Claudia Barton, left, director of the Demorest Campus Bookstore, and Kate Smith of the Athens Campus Bookstore.

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Mayflower Hall opens

The college opened a new residence hall in 2004, making room for an additional 72 students on the Demorest campus. Named Mayflower in honor of Piedmont’s Congregational heritage, the dormitory across from the Johnny Mize Athletic center helped boost the number of boarding students from 372 in the previous year to 410 for the fall semester of 2004.

Nielsen Hall renovated

The main dining hall on the Demorest campus, Nielsen Hall underwent major changes in 2004. In the student cafeteria, the food service area was enlarged and the dining area renovated from floor to ceiling, including new lighting and windows. The downstairs dining area, now known as Brookside Dining Room, also was completely renovated to serve as many as 200 people for use in college functions and by the community. A second dining area, called the Fireside Room, was added for hosting smaller events.

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2005 Loudermilk Baseball Stadium

In April 2005 the new Loudermilk Stadium received a proper breaking in as former Atlanta Braves pitchers Phil Niekro and Steve Bedrossian took part in dedication ceremonies. The brick and steel Loudermilk Stadium was designed to remind fans of the classic ballparks from baseball’s golden age during the 1930s and ’40s. The park features covered stadium seating as well as two bleacher areas and a concession area. Special guests included Charles Loudermilk of Atlanta, a former Piedmont board member who was instrumental in the stadium’s construction. The stadium is named in honor of Loudermilk’s grandparents, Henry and Beulah Loudermilk, and their children. After brief opening remarks, Niekro and Bedrossian threw out the first pitches.

Lane Student Center

With the opening of the Johnny Mize Athletic Center in 2000, Piedmont’s previous gymnasium, built in 1951, was remodeled into a gymnatorium to house a student center and offices of the Dean of Student Affairs. In addition to recreation and study rooms, about half of the original building was left open for use as a student activity center and is used for movies, concerts and dances. The building was named after longtime Academic Dean, the late Dr. Mary C. Lane.

Steeple Renovated

The steeple atop the Piedmont Chapel was refurbished in 2004. Along with a new roof and paint, the steeple gained new clockworks and an electronic carillon to toll out the hours.


Athens Campus tops 500 students

Since its inception in 1996, the Athens Campus has offered a select group of majors for undergraduate students and graduate programs in business and education. By 2005, some 554 students were enrolled on the Athens Campus.

2005

Enrollment in the EdS program topped 400 in 2005.

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Students can now relax between classes in the Lane Student Center located in the former gymnasium.


2006 Academics

As enrollment growth continued in 2006, the college held its first December Commencement ceremony to handle the increasing number of graduates. The Johnny Mize Athletic Center in Demorest was full for the third time this year with 287 new graduates. Together with the 865 students who graduated in May and July, the Piedmont Class of 2006 swelled to 1,152 students, eclipsing the previous record of 1,021 students in the 200405 school year.

Undergraduate Secondary Education programs The preparation of graduates planning to work as high school teachers underwent a major change in 2006. This new program is designed to produce teachers who have more hands-on experience at the end of their four-year program to help them meet the challenges of today’s high school classrooms. The program is available for students who want to teach biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, and history. A similar program is also in place for those who want to teach theatre at the elementary, middle or high school level. Students majoring in secondary education are assigned advisors who are especially selected not only for their teaching skill but also for their experience as secondary teachers. In these classes, the professors use the techniques that have been proven to work in high school settings. These include group work and allowing students to take responsibility for their own learning. The program also emphasizes more in-class student teaching.

New Pix


SIM-Man

A donation from Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company, aided in the purchase of a SIM-Man human patient simulator for the college’s R.H. Daniel School of Nursing. The life-like patient simulator was the first major equipment purchase for the school’s new Human Patient Simulator Laboratory, which will be used to train nursing students and health care professionals from a consortium of schools and hospitals across northeast Georgia.

Athens Campus

In April 2006 the college agreed to purchase the entire campus of the Prince Avenue Baptist Church school in Athens. Since opening in 1995, the Athens campus had expanded four times, and the move to Prince Avenue marked a dramatic increase in the college’s Athens presence. The Prince Avenue facility sits on about 4.5 acres and includes six buildings with about 90,000 square feet of education and office space.

Student nurses work with SIM-Man, a computer controlled patient that can simulate a wide range of symptoms.

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2006

Workers replaced columns on the east side of Daniel Hall, the main administration building in 2006. The old wooden columns, installed when the building was erected in 1964, had become weakened with age and were replaced with stronger composite supports.


An Advisory Board made up of Athens-Clarke County business and civic leaders helped plan the growth of the Athens Campus.

Piedmont’s Athens Campus moved into its new home on Prince Avenue near downtown in 2006.

Music professor Dr. Philip Hayner presented the inaugural concert on the college’s new Steinway grand piano in 2006

Steinway

Christmas came early for the Piedmont College music department in 2006 when the college unwrapped a brand new Steinway concert grand piano for the Center for Worship and Music at the Demorest campus. With the addition of the ninefoot Steinway Model D to augment the Sewell Organ and a Kingston harpsichord, the music department offers keyboard students a variety of classical instruments on which to train.

51


2007 The spacious atrium [right] that greets visitors to the Swanson Center is an ideal space for receptions and other events held in the performing arts center.

A wooden footbridge provides access to the Swanson Center from the south side of campus

The Swanson Center features a modern 350-seat theater with state of the art sound and lighting, as well as a backstage area that includes adequate fly space, dressing rooms, costume storage and a separate set construction workshop.


With its neoclassic design, the Swanson Center provides students majoring in theatre and mass communications a state-of-theart facility that is unmatched at small colleges in Georgia and the Southeast.

Swanson Center

When the Neil Simon comedy, “God’s Favorite,” opened at the new Swanson Center for Performing Arts and Communications in October 2007, it marked a new era in live theatre for northeast Georgia. Long noted for outstanding theatre and theatre education programs, Piedmont lacked one key ingredient—a venue worthy of the talented students who each year performed everything from Shakespeare to children’s theater on the college’s tiny stage. That all changed with the opening of the Swanson Center, which provides not only a professional-size mainstage and seating for 350 people, but also more than 10 times the backstage space. Named for longtime Piedmont supporters Kay and Dean Swanson and their children, the Swanson Center is a 45,000-square-foot “signature facility” for the college. The Center’s proscenium mainstage is 40 feet wide and 23 feet high, flanked by 21-foot wings. The fly space includes 21 counterweighted flylines, providing the means to raise and lower sets for the first time. Lighting control is state-of-theart, as is the sound system. The Center also includes spacious set construction, wardrobe, and dressing rooms and a “green room” for actors waiting to come on stage. There is a separate “blackbox” theatre that gives students space to perform smaller, avant-garde shows and theater-in-the-round. This space is also used for acting and directing classes. In a separate wing off of the soaring main lobby, the Center houses one of the most advanced mass communications education facilities in the Southeast. With studios for television and radio production, and computer labs for print and online media production, the Center provides Piedmont students with facilities that were undreamed of just a few years ago.

The mass communications wing includes a central newsroom where students man the desks and oversee the production of the college’s newspaper, yearbook, student magazine, and student web sites. Surrounding the newsroom are the production studios for radio and television classes. The television studios, designed in consultation with CNN, include sets for a variety of news and feature television shows. The control room allows student directors to monitor video feeds from any part of the building, as well as raw footage directly from CNN that can be incorporated into news shows. The television programs are available via cable to all student rooms on campus. The Center also includes computer-equipped studios for radio production. This includes the local on-air studio for WPPR (88.3 FM), a college-sponsored station that is part of the statewide Georgia Public Broadcasting network. Local programming heard on WPPR is generated from this studio. In the adjoining studio is WRFP, a student-run radio station that is webcast on the Internet and is available to listeners around the world. The Cox computer lab, with equipment provided by the Jim Cox Jr. Foundation, gives students space for learning how to write for print and broadcast media. There is also a large screening room used to view student productions.

53


The Swanson Center includes recording and editing suites for students studying mass communications. Students who work on the college newspaper, magazine, radio and television shows are assigned desks in the main newsroom of the Center.

Disaster Drills

The Daniel School of Nursing joined with county and regional emergency management agencies to host the first in a series of annual disaster drills in 2007. With junior student nurses and members of the college theatre department posing as “victims,� the senior student nurses were called on to triage patients and prepare them for transport to Habersham County Medical Center, which also took part in the drill.

A simulated plane crash was complicated by a cargo of radioactive materials in one recent disaster drill conducted by the Daniel School of Nursing.

54

2007

The Chamber Singers, a select 40-voice choir, continued their annual fall and spring concert tours in 2007 with a tour of four cities in Florida. Known for their great precision, the Chamber Singers have performed concerts all across the U.S. and Canada.


The first group of students to spend an entire semester at the University of Nottingham pose with faculty advisors Dr. Viviane Daigle (left) and Dr. Stephen Whited (right) before leaving for England in 2007.

Nottingham University

Piedmont College students can trade the mountains of northeast Georgia for the forests of Nottingham, England, thanks to a study abroad program that began in 2007. Under the program, students can attend school and live on campus at Nottingham for a full semester. The cost to students is about the same as tuition and board at Piedmont, and any scholarships the students have can apply at Nottingham. Nottingham University is located approximately 100 miles north of London, allowing students to experience the English capital as well as the local people and culture. Nottingham offers a unique combination of heritage and history with contemporary culture.

Athens business students got their choice of day or evening classes as the programs were expanded in 2007.

Athens campus business programs

The Athens Campus added three new business programs designed to help novice and experienced business men and women advance their careers. For students seeking a bachelor’s degree, PC-Athens added new concentrations in its undergraduate business administration program. In addition to a general business track, students can now choose to focus their degree on accounting or technology management. Also for the first time, undergraduate business courses, which previously were offered in the evening, were offered during the day. The Athens Campus also added a new MBA program for Health Care Management. The evening program includes courses in Managed Care and Finance; Health Care Politics, Policy and Law; as well as Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The new program joins existing MBA options in Managerial Leadership and Financial Services.


2008 College Drive

College Drive, a new road connecting the north and south sides of Piedmont’s Demorest campus, opened in 2008. The 2,000-foot road includes a bridge across Camp Creek, sidewalks and lighting to provides easier access to the Swanson Center and the Arrendale Amphitheater. The road connects Georgia Street near the Loudermilk Baseball Stadium to the Swanson Center and Maine Street. It also provides access to new parking areas for the Swanson Center and Arrendale Amphitheater.

Pedestrian Overpass

A combined effort by Piedmont, the City of Demorest, and the Georgia Department of Transportation, construction of a pedestrian overpass crossing Historic Highway 441 was completed in 2008. After months of preparation, the actual installation of the bridge took only a few hours as a crane lifted the 21,000-pound main span and set it into place.

Completion of College Drive connecting the north and south sides of the Demorest campus required the construction of a bridge across Camp Creek.

The overpass now provides students and area residents with a safe way to cross this busy highway, and the addition of an elevator also makes the Demorest campus more handicapped accessible.

56

A construction crane gently sets the new pedestrian overpass in place across busy Historic Highway 441 in front of the Demorest Campus. The overpass and new traffic controls in Demorest have greatly increased the safety of pedestrians moving from downtown to the campus.


Conference on Liberal Arts and Religion

Piedmont Butman Professor of Religion, Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor, led a symposium on religion and the liberal arts at the Athens Campus in 2007 that has become an annual event. The symposium explored the different ways the Bible has influenced Southern art, music, and literature. The two-day symposium featured workshops on biblical influences in art, music and literature led by current and former Piedmont professors.


Athens Four-Year Degree

From the time it opened in 1996, the undergraduate program at Piedmont in Athens focused primarily on students who had already completed two years of college and were seeking to complete their degree. In 2008, Piedmont began offering a complete four-year undergraduate degree program in Athens, allowing freshmen and sophomores to enroll for the first time. The campus also expanded the number of day classes to accommodate more traditional-age students.

The undergraduate programs at the Athens Campus include education, business, criminal justice, political science and psychology.

Campus Dining

Students at both the Demorest and the Athens campuses got new dining options in 2008 with the opening of CafĂŠ on Prince in Athens and the Grill on Georgia Street in Demorest. The CafĂŠ on Prince is the main on-campus dining facility for Athens, while the Grill on Georgia Street provides Demorest students an alternative to the dining hall with extended night and weekend hours.

Department of Teaching and Learning As the number of students seeking Education Specialist (EdS) degrees continued to grow, the program gained its own department in the School of Education in 2008. The Department of Teaching and Learning oversees the EdS program and began the preliminary work on adding the college’s first doctoral program. The EdS program also was restructured to include a concentration for teachers interested in furthering their career in educational leadership. The concentration includes three new courses to give teachers interested in administration a foundation in educational leadership.

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Also new in the School of Education in 2008 was the first cohort class for teachers seeking a master of arts (MA) degree in special education. The cohort of about 18 teachers met in Gwinnett County and was designed to meet the needs of certified teachers in maintaining new standards for special education, including providing special education instruction within a regular classroom.

2008


2009

Members of the first doctoral class from the Demorest campus gathered for a group photo before the start of their program of study. The first students to graduate will march at the May 2011 Commencement ceremonies.

Education Doctorate

The School Education took a leap forward in 2009 with the creation of the college’s first doctoral program. The new degree, is offered at both the Demorest and Athens campuses. The components of the doctoral program include course work, field experience, research, and writing, culminating in the dissertation process. The EdD requirements include a minimum of 51 hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree and a minimum of nine hours of dissertation credit.

Anagama kiln

The art department added a ceramic kiln in 2009 that is based on an 800-year-old Japanese tradition. The anagama kiln, which was developed in the Echizen region of Japan, was built with the help of Juroemon Fujita, a ninth-generation Echizen potter.

LPN-BSN program

The Daniel School of Nursing added a new degree program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who want to earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree to advance their careers. The new program, similar to an existing program for registered nurses (RNs), allows LPN graduates to apply their existing credit hours toward the BSN degree. LPNs typically graduate from a technical college after a one-year program. When LPN students begin their degree at Piedmont, they are given a minimum of 15 hours credit for having an LPN degree. Everything else about the LPN program is the same as the pre-licensure nursing program, including the general education courses, clinical hours, and requirements to pass the license test. After finishing the general education courses, LPN students apply to the school of nursing, and if accepted they can finish their BSN degree in two years.

(Left) Art Department Chair Chris Kelly works with Juroemon Fujita of Echizen, Japan, on the construction of the college’s Anagama wood-fired kiln, built in the 800-year-old tradition of Japanese potters.

Board Chairman Thomas ‘Gus’ Arrendale III congratulates a new EdS graduate.

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Arrendale Amphitheater

A new performance venue for Piedmont and northeast Georgia opened in October 2009 with the completion of the Arrendale Amphitheater. This 350-seat outdoor performance area features a sculpted metal roof that covers the stage and part of the seating area. Named for the Arrendale family, including board chairman Thomas A. “Gus” Arrendale III, the amphitheater has already hosted a number of public events, including an all-day bluegrass festival, student performances, and public concerts. The amphitheater also won a design award from Metal Architecture magazine for its designers, Armentrout Roebuck Matheny Consulting Group of Athens.

2009

Smart Board Tech

As more U.S. school systems turn to computer-assisted “Smart Boards,” it is important for Piedmont students, particularly education students, to be familiar with the latest in this classroom-enhancing technology. The college has equipped more than a dozen classrooms in Demorest and Athens with Smart Boards, which allow professors to instantly present a variety of text, images and video.

New Bedford Hall

With a bumper crop of freshman arriving in 2009, the college opened a new residence hall for 48 students on Georgia Street near the Burgen Tennis Courts. The dorm was named New Bedford Hall to commemorate Piedmont’s longtime affiliation with New England Congregational Churches, and the windvane atop features a sculpture of a whale.


2010 The original nine counties served by the Neighborhood Grant Program are shown in gray, while the seven new counties are shown in green.

Neighborhood Grant Program Expands

Piedmont’s Neighborhood Grant Program, which provides financial aid for students who are at least age 25, expanded to cover seven new counties in 2010. For the students who qualify, the Neighborhood Grant covers 50 percent of the regular tuition. Students may also qualify for other state and federal aid, such as Pell Grants or HOPE scholarships.

International Studies

Expanding on its program of summer study abroad and semesters at Nottingham University, the college in 2010 added International Studies as an interdisciplinary major. The program combines classes from business, political science, anthropology, mass communications, foreign language, literature, and history to provide students with a greater understanding of the languages and cultures of the world, as well as an understanding of the political climate, economics, and history.


Articulation program

Piedmont continued to add new articulation agreements to help students attending technical schools earn bachelor’s degrees. The agreements allow students who attend select technical schools to transfer some course credits to Piedmont. In 2010, Piedmont concluded agreements for nursing, education, business, and criminal justice degrees.

Dual Degree with Georgia Tech

BFA in Arts Administration

Students seeking an engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology can now complete much of their undergraduate course work at Piedmont’s Demorest Campus. The two colleges completed an agreement in 2010 that allows engineering students to study for three years at Piedmont and then complete their engineering degree in two years at Georgia Tech. At the end of the program, students receive a bachelor of science degree in engineering physics from Piedmont and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Georgia Tech.

Soccer field

At Piedmont, students take the regular general education classes required for a bachelor of science degree, including English, languages, science, social sciences and math. Students also take advanced math and science courses, including additional calculus, physics and pre-engineering courses. At Georgia Tech’s Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, they then study more specialized engineering courses, such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, manufacturing processes, and engineering economics.

The music, theatre, art, and business departments at Piedmont joined together to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Administration. The program is designed for students interested in the arts either as performers or as administrators in a variety of fields related to the arts. In addition to performance classes, students study business classes and perform internships in arts administration.

The soccer pitch at Walker Fields got a new artificial surface in 2010 in anticipation of the addition of lacrosse as a varsity sport. The new surface will require less maintenance and will bear up under the more constant use that the new program will require.

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2010


Architect’s rendering of the new Art Gallery (left), which is now under construction in downtown Demorest, and a rendering (right) of the proposed art department building, which will be built adjacent to the Martens Center.

Campus The Demorest Campus added its second new residence hall in two years with the opening of Plymouth Hall in 2010. Similar in design to New Bedford Hall, which opened in 2009, Plymouth adds 48 beds to the Demorest Campus, bringing the total residential population to more than 500 students.

Also on the Demorest Campus, the college began a complete renovation of two downtown buildings which previously held the college art classrooms and art gallery. The buildings will now become the permanent home of the Mason Art Collection, donated to the college by Dr. Bill Mason, a member of the Class of 1957, and Bob Scharfenstein, both of Birmingham, Ala.


T

he strides Piedmont has made during the last 15 years only hint at the progress which is to come as the college continues to grow in the 21st Century. The alumni, students, faculty, and staff of Piedmont College gratefully thank everyone who played a role in working to meet the goal that the Board of Trustees set in 1995—to make Piedmont one of the best small colleges in the Southeast.


Piedmont College President's Report 2010  

The Piedmont College 2010 President's Report summarized the achievements of the past year, as well as looked at the highlights from Dr. Ray...

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