Welcome, Middle Georgia State College. Though the name will take a little getting used to, the future of the new five campus school could not be more bright. The merger of Macon State College and Middle Georgia College is now complete with the Board of Regents action on Tuesday.
For students, the only changes will be cosmetic. A new logo, signs, T-shirts and other merchandising will help brand the new college, soon to be a university, but the programs offered have now been expanded to include the strengths from both colleges and throughout the campuses in Macon, Warner Robins, Eastman, Dublin and Cochran. In the process, the merger saved the University System of Georgia more than $1.3 million.
Now if a student is interested in aircraft maintenance or nursing or teaching, there are excellent facilities to pursue those goals. The Eastman campus houses one of the best aviation schools in the Southeast. Having an on-site airport is a plus for those who want to become air traffic controllers or learn to fly or the process in making ultralight aircraft components.
The regents, however, cannot wave a magic wand to ensure that the transition will be totally smooth. There will be hiccups. Fortunately, most of those misfires will be internal.
Managing the five campuses will not be childs play, but in the end, with university status coming in the next few years, the residents of Middle Georgia only stand to gain with a diverse university in its midst. Where education goes, industry soon follows.