From its humble beginnings as an agricultural and mechanical school in 1906 to a leading university, the University of West Georgia’s history is rich with knowledge and growth.
The Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School in Carrollton opened its doors in response to a call for “more realistic educational programs for rural youth” aged 13 to 21. The site of the former Bonner Plantation was chosen as a location and 110 pupils enrolled in 1908.
As society changed, so did the educational priorities of Georgia and the nation. By 1933, seven of the A&M schools had abandoned their missions and a decision was made to abolish the remaining A&M schools. Despite the change, the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School was chosen later that year to become West Georgia College, a two-year institution of higher learning.
The evolution continued when West Georgia became a four-year institution in 1957. At that time, 589 students were enrolled. By 1971, enrollment had increased to more than 6,000 students. In fall 1996, the college became a university, the State University of West Georgia. It became simply the University of West Georgia in 2005 and conferred its first Ph.D. in 2012.
The university’s physical environment has grown as well. Recent additions include a state-of-the-art nursing building, Center Pointe Suites, and the East Commons residence and dining complex. Ingram Library has been recently renovated and, in 2015, UWG Newnan will move to its new location in the historic Newnan Hospital building.
Today, UWG enrolls more than 12,000 students and offers more than 85 programs of study through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Social Sciences, the College of Science and Mathematics, the Richards College of Business, the College of Education and the School of Nursing. The Honors College continues to provide intensive study options for high-achieving students. The Advanced Academy of Georgia allows exceptional high school juniors and seniors to live and study on campus while completing their high school graduation requirements. UWG Newnan offers core classes, full bachelor’s degrees, and graduate study. Graduate study in business is available in Douglasville. Courses are also available for students near and far through UWG Online. The university grants degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral levels.
The West Georgia Foundation, and programs such as the Annual Fund, benefit scholarships, faculty development, advanced technology and more. The strategic plan, developed in 2014, provides a structure and roadmap for reaching student success, academic success, partnership success, and operational success – and allows the university to measure its effectiveness in each critical area. The mission and values guide the institutional culture. UWG aspires to no less than becoming the best comprehensive university in the nation, sought after as the best place to work, learn and succeed.