Friday, May 24, 2013
Family, friends, faculty and staff gathered at the University of West Georgia on yesterday for the renaming ceremony of UWG’s Honors House to the Donald R. Wagner Honors House. The house is named after the late Dr. Donald Wagner, the first dean of UWG’s Honors College and Professor Emeritus at UWG. The University System Board of Regents approved the renaming on April 17 under retiring President Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna.
“When I came here as a presidential candidate, Dr. Wagner and I envisioned what the first Honors College would become,” said Dr. Sethna. “He worked very hard for the this university and will forever be known as the founding dean of the Honors College at West Georgia.”
Wagner also served as the dean of both the extended degree programs and UWG e-Core. He co-created Georgia’s Political Heritage Project, helped build UWG’s Master of Arts in Public Administration program, and served on over 30 university committees during his tenure, including holding more than 10 chair positions. Wagner also taught political science at UWG for 25 years.
“My husband was very proud of all the programs that are housed within this unit and every single student that came through those doors,” said Linda Wagner, wife of the late Dr. Wagner. “He constantly spoke about the talented and brilliant students he worked with.”
Linda continued by thanking everyone who worked with Dr. Wagner during his 36 years at West Georgia. “I hope that Don had the opportunity to express to all of you how much you meant to him,” she said. “If not, know that he loved you and was honored to work with you.”
Wagner was also widely known for his leadership skills, ability to serve as an outstanding mentor and his untiring commitment to students.
“The reason why we all enjoyed working here so much is because Dr. Wagner created a very warm and fitting atmosphere,” said Dr. Michael Hester, dean of the Donald Wagner Honors House. “There is not a day that goes by that each one of us does not recognize the privilege we had in working for Dr. Wagner.”
Wagner died on Oct. 4, 2012, due to complications from cancer.