Special to The U-R
MILLEDGEVILLE — A special celebration enlivened the Georgia Military College campus in celebration of Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Peter J. Boylan’s 21-year tenure as the institution’s president. The festivities began on Friday, June 8 with a black-tie dinner attended by 200, including members of Boylan’s family and close friends and supporters of Georgia Military College.
During the evening, Randy New, GMC Board of Trustees chairman, declared Boylan will become the school’s first president emeritus upon his retirement at the end of June.
“No other president has done more for this school than General Boylan, so the board of trustees felt it was fitting that he be given this title,” New said.
Additionally, New announced the building known as the new academic building would be renamed Peter Boylan Hall. A plaque, affixed to the outside of the building’s west wall, recognizes Boylan as a “dedicated patriot, a soldier, educator and servant leader.”
“This building represents General Boylan’s commitment to GMC and its students. As Peter Boylan Hall, it will be a lasting tribute to his great accomplishments for the betterment of our school,” said New.
The celebration continued on Saturday with a concert on Grant Parade featuring the Atlanta Pops Orchestra and soloist Katie Deal, where hundreds from the community came together to honor Boylan.
The evening began with remarks from Gov. Nathan Deal.
“General Boylan, your heart for this institution has left a powerful impression that will not easily be forgotten in this community. I would wager to say that we could explore most every part of this campus and see your hand everywhere we go,” said Deal. “Thank you for the leadership and love you have shown for this school, community and your country. Without your guidance, we would certainly not have the GMC that we do today.”
Following such patriotic favorites as “America the Beautiful,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Georgia on my Mind,” came a special tribute to Boylan. Pam Grant, assistant principal for the GMC Prep School; Lyn Chandler, community leader; John Austin Vance, GMC Class of 2010; and Sonny Harmon, GMC coach and junior college professor, each spoke about the significant influence Boylan has had on Georgia Military College, its students, faculty and staff, the community and them personally. The evening concluded with “God Bless America,” which has become the traditional closing of every concert held on campus.
Boylan became GMC’s 20th president in 1992 and is the longest serving president since the school’s founding in 1879. He is credited with restoring the reputation and financial stability of Georgia Military College, a fully accredited institution which has been ranked as one of the best community colleges in the nation. GMC serves more than 6,500 junior college students at nine thriving campuses in Georgia, as well as students across the nation through online programs established under Boylan’s leadership. Additionally, the reputation and academic excellence of the Georgia Military College Preparatory School has soared to new heights during General Boylan’s tenure, providing college-entry education and opportunity to thousands of Middle Georgia students in grades six through 12.
Boylan planned and secured the funding necessary to rebuild and renovate every structure on the GMC-Milledgeville campus, made possible the addition of previously non-existent athletic fields and facilities, and renovated, relocated, or established-as-new every Georgia Military College campus and extension center in the state.
Perhaps most importantly, Boylan’s tenure has been marked by a focus on character development among GMC’s students, establishing GMC’s reputation as a leader in “Ethics across the Curriculum” and placing the institution among the most exemplary in the nation.
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