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Carter Leadership Program students meet former President Jimmy Carter

Twenty GSW students in the inaugural class of the President Jimmy Carter Leadership Program had the opportunity to visit Plains, Ga. on Friday, September 13 and speak with the program’s namesake, GSW alumnus and former President Jimmy Carter.

During their first year in the program, the students, known as Mix Scholars, are focusing on individual growth and development, working to understand their own beliefs and values. In their private meeting at Plains High School, President Carter explained the importance of choosing one’s principles and values early in life and how his time at Plains High School helped him do just that.

 “Plains was an outstanding high school because they had a teacher named Miss Julia Coleman, who taught me one of the best things I’ve ever learned in my life,” said Carter. “She used to tell us, ‘You must accommodate changing times, but cling to principles that never change.’” President Carter went on to share some of his own unchanging principles, including always telling the truth and knowing your values and sticking to them.

Read more about the students’ trip to Plains here.

Carter Leadership Students with President Jimmy Carter web

Georgia Southwestern sees surge in student retention

Student retention is at an all-time high at GSW. These results didn’t happen by chance though. The University implemented changes in Fall 2018 in an effort to increase student retention by providing an intentional focus on both the academic and social success of first-year students.

In his August Assembly address, GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D., proudly reported those efforts proved effective when the number jumped from 61.2% in Fall 2018 to 74.1% opening Fall 2019.

 “The success of GSW students is important to all of us at the University,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “We took our retention number very seriously and focused our energy around the challenges that first-year students face. These impressive results were achieved through an all-hands on deck approach across campus and I’m proud of our team for making this happen.”

Learn more about GSW’s efforts to increase retention here.

GSW contributes $94 million economic impact on region

GSW’s economic impact on the region was $93.6 million in fiscal year 2018, up nearly $5 million from last year’s total.

This data was published in the recent annual study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. The study, commissioned by the University System of Georgia (USG), included economic data for all 28 System Schools and for the USG as a whole.

Georgia Southwestern’s economic impact grew by 5 percent from fiscal year 2017 to 2018, while the USG’s economic impact also increased by 5 percent. The report stated that the increase at GSW and across the USG is attributed to “spending by the institution and spending by the students” in each economic region.

“We’re proud that Georgia Southwestern is continuing to build momentum and foster growth in Southwest Georgia,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D.  “The report also notes the nearly $50 million in economic impact directly related to student spending. Whether they go out to eat, put gas in their car, or buy a shirt locally, GSW students make a real difference for the Americus and Sumter County community.”

Read more about GSW’s economic impact here.


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