Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
|Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC)|
|President||Dr. David Bridges|
|Location||Tifton, Georgia, USA|
|Colors||Green and Gold|
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) is a State College of the University System of Georgia. Located in Tifton, Georgia, ABAC offers baccalaureate and associate degrees. The college is named after Abraham Baldwin, a signer of the United States Constitution from Georgia and the first president of the University of Georgia.
ABAC was established in 1908 as the Second District A&M School. The name was changed to the South Georgia A&M College in 1924, and to the Georgia State College for Men in 1929. It became Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 1933 when ABAC became a part of the newly formed University System of Georgia. At that time, ABAC’s mission was devoted to associate level studies in agriculture, home economics, and related fields. Today, ABAC offers a variety of bachelor’s degree programs as well as associate degrees.
The college became the owner of Possum Poke in 1999.
The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources is the largest area of study at ABAC. Nursing is the largest single major. This associate degree program prepares students to be certified as a Registered Nurse (R.N.).
Students can complete their bachelor’s degrees at ABAC in Biology, Natural Resource Management (Forestry, Wildlife), Rural Studies (Arts and Culture, Business and Economic Development, Community and Social Affairs, Writing and Communication), Diversified Agriculture, and Turfgrass and Golf Course Management. Over 50 associate degree programs are also available where students can spend two years at ABAC and then transfer to a university.
Learning laboratories such as the J.G. Woodroof Farm and the Forest Lakes Golf Club enhance the academic curriculum. ABAC’s 516-acre campus also includes the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, located one mile south of the main campus. Key components of the Museum include an 1890s village, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, a cotton gin, a print shop, a saw mill, and a steam locomotive.
There are numerous student organizations on the ABAC campus. Students have the opportunity to get involved with organizations ranging from the Student Government Association to the Forestry-Wildlife Club.
The Stallion is the premier student newspaper in both the state and the southeast region. It wins annual awards for excellence in all categories, such as editorials, feature writing, photography, layout and design, given by the Georgia Press Association. Staff of the literary magazine, Pegasus, and creative writing faculty sponsor numerous poetry readings each year. Other events include a Writer’s Harvest and contributions to the George Scott Day festival.
Intercollegiate sports teams include baseball, golf, and tennis for men, and softball, tennis, and soccer for women. ABAC has five national championships, three in softball and two in men’s tennis.
ABAC has achieved international attention through its music program. The music program at ABAC includes a jazz band, jazz choir, concert band, concert choir, bluegrass band, and pep band. The ABAC jazz band has been on three tours of Europe. ABAC vocalists performed in 2011 at the Lincoln Center.
The ABAC journalism program produces two award-winning publications - the student newspaper, “The Stallion,” and the student literary magazine, “Pegasus.” ABAC also has its own radio station, WPLH 103.1.
The ABAC Arts Connection brings art and cultural events to Tifton and surrounding counties. The Baldwin Players theatre troupe stage performances during the fall and the spring semesters.
One of the more active clubs on campus is the Agricultural Engineering Technology Club. The club is known for holding truck and tractor pulls on campus each fall and spring. The club also maintains the ABAC Crackerjack pulling tractor, an Allis Chalmers 190XT, built in the 1970s by former staff member Jimmy Grubbs. The AET club has also recently completed work on a brand new pulling tractor, an AGCO Allis 9650, making the ABAC AET club the only college organization in the U.S. that currently has two running and competitive Super Farm Pulling Tractors. Almost all of the work building the new tractor and the work needed to maintain Crackerjack is performed by the students in the club. The club uses both tractors as recruiting tools not only for the organization, but for the school as well.
Over 1,200 students live on the ABAC campus in modern housing units. In ABAC Place, every student has a private bedroom, in a four-bedroom, two-bath apartment. The ABAC Lakeside facility offers suite-style living for freshmen on the north shore of Lake Baldwin.
The ABAC campus is used as an open-air classroom for students in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources due to the large number of trees, plants, shrubs, and fields on campus. ABAC faculty, staff, students and visitors also enjoy the well manicured grounds of the college. A renovation project was recently completed for the original three buildings on campus, Tift, Lewis, and Herring Halls. New landscaping and a new front lawn for ABAC was also a part of the renovation process. Now ABAC plans to start building a new Lab Science building scheduled to break ground in the Spring 2015.
ABAC continues to add bachelor's degree programs after receiving state college status from the Board of Regents. The college now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Bachelor of Applied Science in either Diversified Agriculture, Natural Resource Management or Turfgrass and Golf Course Management as well as a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Art in Rural Studies. Enrollment in ABAC's bachelor’s degrees has quadrupled since their start in January, 2008.
- Ralph Bryant, former major league baseball player who played with the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Tom Cheney, who struck out the highest number of batters in a single Major League Baseball game playing for the Washington Senators
- Cathy Cox, former Secretary of State of Georgia
- Kyle Farnsworth, relief pitcher for the New York Mets
- George Thornewell Smith, the only person to win contested elections in all three branches of the state of Georgia government; former lieutenant governor
- Boo Weekley, professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour
- "Semester Enrollment Report" (PDF). Office of Research and Policy Analysis. University System of Georgia. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
- "History of ABAC 1906 to Present" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-07-07.
- "ABAC selects six for inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame". 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-02-09.