DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Tuesday, Jan. 8, the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents approved the consolidation of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University. Thursday morning, the University of North Georgia (UNG) was officially introduced in front of a near capacity crowd at a pep rally held inside Memorial Hall Gymnasium on the Dahlonega campus.
"We are excited to have reached this stage in our consolidation and the ability to now move forward as one institution," UNG President Dr. Bonita Jacobs said. "Our goal is to provide new and enhanced pathways for students to pursue higher education and to complete their college degrees in an educational environment that will foster their development and success as leaders."
Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves echoed Dr. Jacobs’ sentiments when she said, “We are looking forward to moving ahead as the University of North Georgia and are confident the strong traditions built here at North Georgia will continue well into the future.”
The newly formed university is now the seventh largest public university in the state of Georgia boasting 16,000 students located on four campuses: Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee. North Georgia’s rich military history will remain intact as one of only six senior military colleges in the United States and with its Corps of Cadets numbering more than 750 students.
With the new name change came the need to unite all four campuses under a new athletic banner. Through a several month process, the nickname “Nighthawks” was adopted as voted on by students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community. The new Nighthawk logo, designed by Rickabaugh Graphics with input from a committee of students, alumni, faculty and staff, was also unveiled much to the joy of those gathered Thursday morning.
To mark the milestone, the City Council of Dahlonega recognized Thursday, January 10, 2013 as “The University of North Georgia Day” in a proclamation delivered before the crowded pep rally Thursday morning.
While the name, the University of North Georgia, will go into effect immediately, the mascot “Nighthawks” will not be phased in until after the Spring 2013 season.
A rolling tour will continue throughout the day traveling to each campus to unveil the new university and its athletic brand and will end back on the Dahlonega campus in time for North Georgia’s Peach Belt Conference basketball doubleheader against the University of Montevallo. The pair of games will be tipped off by the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. before the men take the court at around 7:30 p.m.
At half time of the women’s game, President Dr. Bonita Jacobs will address the crowd to announce the successful consolidation and creation of the University of North Georgia.
For those that cannot make it to the games, tonight’s home basketball games can be followed live via live stats and a free live webcast featuring Craig Corbin and Walker McCrary located on the schedule pages on www.SaintsSports.com. Also, Glory 1330 WGTJ Radio will continue to broadcast live during games with Mike Wofford and Drew Harris and can be followed at www.glory1330.com or through the Tune in Radio app.
Top Right: University President Dr. Bonita Jacobs enters Memorial Hall Gymnasium prior to Thursday's pep rally. Above 1: Memorial Hall Gymnasium was packed to near capacity for the unveiling. Above 2: Students, faculty and staff mingle following the event on the Dahlonega campus and receive t-shirts with the new Nighthawk logo. Below: The new UNG sign in the gymnasium is unveiled during the pep rally.