Message from the President

As we await cooler temperatures and vibrantly-colored leaves that announce the fall and set the stage for the holiday season, UWG is alive with a buzz of activity. We remain ignited with the glow of homecoming - complete with a Presidential 5K, a glow parade, a huge bonfire, a record-breaking scholarship gala, and a victory on the football field. Go Wolves!

The rush of students brings our Carrollton campus and UWG Newnan to life as they complete midterms and anticipate finals in the not-too-distant future.

It truly is an exciting time for our university. This semester marked our eighth straight year of record enrollment with 13,520 students and a record incoming freshman average GPA and improved SAT scores. That follows spring graduation, which lifted UWG to a record 2,610 degrees conferred during the 2016-17 academic year and record four-year and five-year institutional graduation rates.

These and other accomplishments earned UWG continued recognition as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges by The Princeton Review and one of the nation's best universities by U.S. News & World Report. Many of our academic programs have been recognized among the best in the country by a variety of education-related groups.

Our education collaborative with public, private, and higher education community partners continues to flourish in Carroll County providing the necessary links in promoting career pathway options to students. UWG recently received a $30,000 grant from AT&T to expand the collaborative into Coweta, Heard, and Troup counties. This partnership and our initiative to align academic programs to workforce needs ensures our programs remain relevant and aligned with the needs of the community, the region, the state, and beyond.

UWG is an active contributor to economic development in the region as well. A recent University System of Georgia study reported our economic impact to be $564 million. That's up 22 percent in the last five years. We also celebrated the first full year of Dine West, our self-operated dining program, which provides student food services and catering for the entire campus. We buy our food products from local farmers and grocers as a part of our investment in economic development in the region.

Our Bike Share partnership with Southwire Company, Tanner Health System, and the City of Carrollton continues to generate a higher percentage of use than other, much larger programs in the area. You will be hard pressed to find a full bike rack at any of the six stations along the Carrollton GreenBelt.

Internally, we will hold our 13th Leadership Development Institute retreat this fall as we continue to engage throughout our teams, colleges, departments, and divisions. We achieved more than 80 percent participation on this year's Engage West! employee survey.

As we build upon the strong ties with our communities, we have seen record philanthropic support this year. As we reach the halfway point of our first-ever capital campaign, we have raised $31 million of our $50 million goal. Additionally, our annual Presidential Scholarship Gala raised more than $183,000 to support need-based scholarships and gap funding, providing a necessary bridge to students whose lives will be transformed through educational attainment.

The investment we make in our students is built on a strong foundation of campus safety. During the past year, we have implemented several efforts to ensure our campus remains among the safest in Georgia. That is our top priority. This year you joined me in welcoming our new head of public safety - Tom Saccenti, who recently served as police chief at Furman University and now leads our many campus safety initiatives, including:

•    Forming Operation Protect Our Pack with the local public safety departments to patrol apartment complexes off campus;
•    Hiring a new emergency management director;
•    Hiring four new officers and developing a community policing model to bring officers in direct contact with students;
•    Partnering with Stanley Black & Decker, a leader in security systems, for two UWG safety summits and to install new cameras and lighting in key areas on campus;
•    Achieving accreditation for our campus police force through the National Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies - one of only three departments in the University System of Georgia accredited by the commission;
•    Receiving accreditation in Georgia through the Georgia Association Chiefs of Police State Certification Program; and
•    Creating a series of self-defense classes for students. 

As we continue to passionately journey West, we are well on our way to becoming the best comprehensive university in America, sought after as the best place to work, learn, and succeed.

Join me in going West. It changes everything.

Dr. Kyle Marrero