Augusta University

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Augusta University
Augusta University Logo.png
Former names
Georgia Regents University
Georgia Regents University Augusta
as Georgia Health Sciences University: Medical Academy of Georgia, Medical Institute of Georgia, Medical College of Georgia
as Augusta State University: Augusta Junior College, Augusta College, Academy of Richmond County
Type Public, Research university
Established 1828 [1]
Endowment $121.3 million[2]
President Brooks Keel
Academic staff
1,000+ full-time[3]
Administrative staff
Students 9,186[3]
Undergraduates 8,283+[3]
Postgraduates 903[4][4]
Other students
Location Augusta, Georgia, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Blue      and Gray     
Nickname Jaguars[5]

Augusta University is a public academic health center with its main campus located in Augusta, Georgia, United States. It is one of the four public research universities in the University System of Georgia (USG). Augusta University comprises nine colleges and schools.

In addition to nine colleges and schools,[6] the university enterprise includes the 478-bed Augusta University Medical Center, the Children's Hospital of Georgia,[7] outpatient clinics, classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, a student center, a wellness center and a medical education library. The entire complex has a full-time instructional faculty of 651, a volunteer clinical faculty of 1,795 and a staff of over 3,000, making it the second-largest employer in the region with an annual economic impact of $2 billion.[8]

The university receives over $99 million annually in total sponsored research funding.[9] It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which found all 39 Principles of Accreditation to be compliant at the school.[10]


GHSU Presidents
G. Lombard Kelly, M.D. 1950–1953
Edgar R. Pund, M.D. 1953–1958
Harry B. O'Rear, M.D. 1958–1972
William H. Moretz, M.D. 1972–1983
Jesse L. Steinfeld, M.D. 1983–1987
Francis J. Tedesco, M.D. 1988–2001
Daniel W. Rahn, M.D. 2001–2010
Ricardo Azziz, M.D. 2010–2012
ASU Presidents[11]
George P. Butler 1925–1930
James L. Skinner 1930–1937
Eric W. Hardy 1937–1954
Anton P. Markert 1954–1958
Gerald B. Robbins 1958–1970
George A. Christenberry 1970–1986
Richard K. Wallace 1987–1991
Martha K. Farmer (interim) 1991–1993
William A. Bloodworth, Jr. 1993–2012
Shirley S. Kenny (interim)[12] 2012–2013

GHSU–ASU consolidation[edit]

On January 8, 2012, the Georgia Board of Regents unanimously approved the consolidation of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.[13] Ricardo Azziz, the last president of GHSU, was appointed president of the merged institution.

The USG described the advantages and goals of the "bold move to create a new university that builds on the strength of two institutions with distinct missions", including to create a 21st-century research institution that provides high quality and comprehensive undergraduate programs and top-tier health education and research that meets regional and statewide needs; continue to support the access mission which is vital to regional needs; allow for growth of research efforts to spur economic development and facilitate knowledge transfer; offer a wide array of undergraduate programs in liberal arts and professional fields; recognize the geographic proximity of the two universities (~2 miles apart); and build on the strong community support that both enjoyed.[14]

They also identified challenges facing the consolidation, including that significant differences existed in institutional mission, organization, and governance; that complexity associated with current health system structure would be further complicated by integration, and that there would be branding and identity issues.[14] GHSU was a selective graduate and professional-level research university, while Augusta State was a primarily undergraduate-level urban commuter school designed to make college accessible. The USG faced the challenge of not setting admissions standards so high that Augusta State's students couldn't get in, while at the same time not watering them down to the detriment of the medical school's reputation.[15]

One branding issue arose while choosing a new name. A group composed of members from both institutions began the work of selecting a name for the new institution. They conducted branding studies and solicited suggestions from the community, then sent the Board of Regents three finalists, from which the regents chose Georgia Regents University. Many in Augusta opposed the name, wanting the city's name to be a part of it.[16] In October 2012, the university added the city's name to the university name for marketing purposes, so that it became Georgia Regents University Augusta.[17]

Regent University (based in Virginia) subsequently filed a lawsuit for a trademark infringement against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia over the name change in August 2012. The lawsuit was settled out of court in June 2013.[18][19][20][21]

On September 15, 2015, the Board of Regents voted to change the name to "Augusta University." Chairman Neil Pruitt said the decision was made to "support the long-term strategic direction of the institution and build on our partnership with the Augusta community."[22]

TIME magazine wrote that consolidation is "becoming increasingly common …" to help combat needs necessitated by lowering budgets for higher education, and focused on the ASU-GHSU consolidation as the prime example.[23]

Since consolidation, the university and its associated health system has made significant progress. Student success measures like retention, progression and graduation rates have improved significantly;[24] Georgia Regents Medical Center won a bid to build a new hospital in Columbia County;[25] a new, state-of-the art medical education building was constructed and opened;[26] a new 700-bed residence hall opened in fall 2016.[27]


The medical crest is displayed all over Augusta University's campus.

Augusta offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees through its nine colleges and schools.

College of Allied Health Sciences[edit]

The College of Allied Health Sciences offers doctoral degree programs in applied health science and physical therapy; master's degree programs in clinical laboratory sciences, medical illustration, occupational therapy, physician assistant and public health; and bachelor's degree programs in clinical laboratory science, dental hygiene, health information management, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy and respiratory therapy. Post-baccalaureate programs include health information management and the Augusta Area Dietetics Internship. All programs are fully accredited. Clinical programs include the Clinic for Prosthetic Restoration, the Driving Simulation Laboratory and the Low Vision Rehabilitation Clinic. Established in 1968, the college enrolled 648 students in fall 2015.[28]

Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences[edit]

Allgood Hall houses departments from two of GRU's colleges

Named in honor of philanthropist and alumna Katherine Reese Pamplin, the college houses seven departments with 17 undergraduate and one graduate degree programs:[29] Art; Communications; English and Foreign Languages, History, Anthropology, and Philosophy; Music; Political Science; and Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work. The college also boasts a certificate program in European Union Studies.

Accreditations include the Council on Social Work Education,[30] National Association of Schools of Art and Design,[31] National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration,[32] and the National Association of Schools of Music.[33]

The University's Center for Public Service and Research is housed in the department of Political Science, as is Model United Nations.[34] Other extracurriculars include Model Arab League, a partnership with the GRU Cancer Center to offer art and music therapy to patients on the Health Sciences campus,[35] and The Bell Ringer, an award-winning student newspaper.[36]

James M. Hull College of Business[edit]

The James M. Hull College of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB),[37] and has been since 1999. It was given its current name in 2006 after James M. Hull, who donated two million dollars to the college and university as a whole – the largest such gift in Augusta State school history. It offers undergraduate degrees in Accounting (from the Knox School of Accountancy), Computer Science, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Management Information Systems (MIS), and an MBA program for graduate students.[38]

The Summerville campus at Augusta University includes an Amphitheatre and Science Hall, pictured here.

Dental College of Georgia[edit]

The Dental College of Georgia offers a four-year program leading to a doctor of dental medicine degree and is fully accredited by the Commission of Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The curriculum covers oral biology, clinical sciences, behavioral sciences and management. A state-of-the-art building housing 10 departments, faculty and student clinical practice facilities and research laboratories opened in fall 2011. Enrollment is anticipated to increase to 400 by 2016.

A newly opened dental facility will enable the state's only dental college to increase its class size to 100 by 2016.[39] The GRU/University of Georgia partnership campus in Athens will enable the Medical College of Georgia to increase class size to 300 by 2020.

College of Education[edit]

The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE),[40] which found "no improvements needed" upon their last inspection completed in 2012.[41] The college offers undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education, Middle Grades Education, Secondary Education, and Pre-K–12 Programs. Graduate students may pursue a Masters of Teaching (MAT), Masters of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.), or Master of Science (MS).

The Graduate School[edit]

The Graduate School offers programs leading to master, specialist in education, and doctoral degrees in the fields of education, business, biomedical science, biostatistics, allied health science, nursing, psychology, and public administration. It also hosts GRU's Graduate Research Day, as well as provides support for the Student Training and Research program, which provides research learning opportunities for students.[42]

Medical College of Georgia[edit]

The Medical College of Georgia's freshman class of 230 students is among the 10 largest medical school classes in the country and is expected to grow to 300 within 10 years. The college's expansion plan includes the Medical College of Georgia/University of Georgia Medical Partnership campus in Athens, clinical campuses in Albany, Rome and Savannah, and the Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick.[43] Enrollment in 2011–12 totaled 852.

College of Nursing[edit]

The Graduate Statue, which resides outside an entrance to Augusta University's Greenblatt Library on its Health Sciences campus

The college first opened in 1943 as the department of nursing education within the University of Georgia College of Education, with an Atlanta-based center to offer graduate courses. It relocated to the then-Medical College of Georgia in 1956 to become the MCG School of Nursing.[44]

The school was renamed the Georgia Health Sciences University College of Nursing in 2011, reflecting MCG's name change. In 2013, the GHSU College of Nursing and ASU nursing department became the GRU College of Nursing.[45] It produces the most nurses in Georgia on a yearly basis.[46]

It offers BSN, MS, DNP, and Ph.D programs, and was ranked 44th in graduate nursing programs in the 2011 US News and Report.[47]

The college contains many programs, including the 10th Doctor of Nursing program, several nurse practitioner programs, a Master's-entry Clinical Nurse Leader Program, as well as Georgia's only nursing anesthesia program.[48][49] There are initiatives with East Central Regional Hospital,[50] Good Samaritan House,[51] Healthy Grandparents Program,[52] Costa-Layman's Nursery,[53] and a partnership with Jjaghan University in China.[54]

The college has satellite campuses in Athens and Columbus.

The college is also home to the Beta Omicron chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

College of Science and Mathematics[edit]

The College of Science and Mathematics is made up of five departments: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics, Military Science, and Psychology. It offers 15 undergraduate degrees, a minor in Military Science which grants a graduate the rank of Second Lieutenant, and an M.S. Program in Psychology with three tracks.[55] The Board of Regents recently approved the request for seeking funding to move Science & Mathematiscs to the Medical Campus in Downtown Augusta.[56] More radical voices suggest disbanding the College and amalgamating it into the College of Allied Health Sciences. Medical campus leadership views this as sensible, since most of the students who take physical sciences in Augusta do so with the goal of studying medicine or allied health professions, and the quality of instruction in physical sciences had always been questionable.


The Health Sciences Building hosts a variety of departments and classes

Augusta University's main campus in Augusta, Georgia, encompasses more than 200 acres and has four local campuses. It is made up of the former campuses between Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University, with additions from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.[57]

Health Sciences[edit]

The Health Sciences campus first began in 1913 as the college moved to the Newton building and expanded from there, with the Dugas Building in 1937 marking the earliest building currently on the campus. The first clinical facility opened as the Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital in 1956.[58]

Located in Augusta's Medical District, the Health Sciences campus features all medical programs of the university, as well as the Health Sciences Building, Interdisciplinary Research Building, Wellness Center, Cancer Center, and College of Dental Medicine.

In addition, the Health Sciences campus also contains the Augusta University Medical Center, and Children's Hospital of Georgia.


Augusta University Summerville campus

The Summerville campus was originally used as a United States Army arsenal, established downtown in 1816 and relocated to the campus in 1827. By the turn of the twentieth century, the arsenal's prominence waned, beginning with the Spanish–American War in that the arsenal produced manufacturing equipment, seacoast targets, and was a repair station. In World War I, the station repaired rifles and small arms, but produced ordnance material and fire control operations for World War II.[59]

In 1955, the arsenal was closed, and two years later the land was given to the local Board of Education, which used it to open the Junior College of Augusta. In 1958, the name changed to Augusta College, and in 1996 to Augusta State University.

Located on Walton Way, the Summerville campus houses many of the undergraduate programs and the Jaguar Student Activities Center. The Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, the History Walk, the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art, The Honors Program, and the Maxwell Alumni House are all found on this campus. In addition, the James M. Hull College of Business, College of Education, College of Science and Mathematics, and Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences are located here.

The campus was formerly well known for the Arsenal Oak, a tree that contained wood believed to be 250–400 years old, until it was cut down in June 2004 because of disease.[60] A dedication ceremony of the replanting of the new Arsenal Oak took place on Friday, April 29, 2016, on the front lawn of the Benét House.[61] The descendent was grown from an acorn of the original Arsenal Oak.[62]

Forest Hills[edit]

A par 3 hole at Forest Hills

Then-Augusta State University opened a second campus in 1991 for athletics, complete with a 3,800-seat arena – Christenberry Fieldhouse, named in 2003 – and softball and baseball fields.[59] The J. Fleming Norvell Golf House was added in 2007 with an adjacent driving range, putting green, and chipping area.[63]

The campus contains Forest Hills Golf Club, home of the men's and women's golf teams and a public course available for play, and the 500-bed University Village student housing.

Riverfront Campus[edit]

The former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame riverfront property in downtown Augusta is being developed to house the Augusta Cyber Institute [64] and the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center. [65]


Augusta University has three satellite campuses for clinical study in Albany, Rome, and Savannah.


UGA–MCG medical partnership[edit]

The College of Nursing has a satellite campus in Athens. AU's Medical College of Georgia (MCG) operates a partnership with the University of Georgia on the University of Georgia's new Health Sciences Campus, also in Athens. AU also has clinical campuses in Albany and Savannah, with one planned to open in Rome soon.

In 2010, MCG partnered with the University of Georgia (UGA) to create the UGA-MCG Medical Partnership. The Medical Partnership combines the experience of one of the nation's first medical schools with the resources of one of the nation's most comprehensive leading nationally ranked research universities. The result is an education that allows medical students to reach their full potential in a unique and stimulating learning environment. [66]

To accommodate its new Health Sciences Campus, in 2011 the University of Georgia acquired the 58-acre former U.S. Navy Supply Corps School which had extensive landscaped green spaces, more than 400 trees, and several historic buildings located on the hospital and medical office corridor of Prince Avenue near downtown Athens. After renovations and additions, in July 2012, the UGA-MCG Medical Partnership moved to the new University of Georgia Health Sciences Campus.

ECRH–AU medical partnership[edit]

East Central Regional Hospital contains two locations in Augusta and Gracewood, was taken over by GRU for administrative purposes in 2009 after the facility was considered for closure. The university's College of Nursing is actively involved in the daily activities, including patient care. The hospital specializes in behavioral health and mental disabilities.[67]

US Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon–AU Cyber Institute partnership[edit]

Fort Gordon is home to the US Army Cyber Center of Excellence an the US Army Cyber Command. The partnership will strengthen the relationship between AU and ARCYBER by assisting soldiers transferring their training to the private sector as well as by sharing resources.[68] The ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony of Augusta University's Cyber Institute took place in University Hall on the Summerville campus on Friday, September 16, 2016. [69]

East Georgia State College Augusta[edit]

In 2013, East Georgia State College (EGSC), a University System of Georgia state college based in the rural city of Swainsboro, began a collaboration with AU to serve Augusta area students who do not meet AU's freshman admission requirements. Students enrolled in the program are enrolled as EGSC students and attend classes on the Summerville Campus. After completing 30 semester hours of college level coursework and attaining a minimum GPA of 2.3, students can then elect to transfer into a bachelor's program at AU. This collaboration replaces the former "University College" program.[70]


Augusta competes at the NCAA Division I level in women's and men's golf and is a Division II participant in its 11 other sports (women's and men's cross country, volleyball, women's and men's basketball, women's and men's tennis, softball, baseball and women's and men's outdoor track & field). The mascot is the Jaguar.

The men's golf program captured the school's first NCAA Division I Men's Golf National Championship on June 6, 2010 in Ooltewah, Tennessee, when the Jaguars defeated Oklahoma State University. The Jags then became the first Division I men's golf program in 27 years to repeat as National Champions on June 5, 2011 when they defeated the University of Georgia at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.[71]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

Notable alumni and faculty of GRU's predecessor institutions include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About August University". Retrieved 29 March 2016. 
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011 (Table Revised and Updated on March 19, 2012)" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "GRU Facts". Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "GHSU IRIS: Facts and Figures". 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Colleges << About GRU". 
  7. ^ Key, Randy. "Names of Clinical Entities Associated with Augusta University Changing". 
  8. ^ About Us. Augusta University Health System. Last accessed 2012-01-11.
  9. ^ Sponsored Funding. Augusta University. Last accessed 2012-01-12.
  10. ^ Key, Randy. "GRU Receives Positive Review From Accreditation Group". WJBF News. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Augusta State University Presidents". Augusta State University. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Dr. Shirley Kenny Named Interim President at Augusta State University". University System of Georgia. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Crawford, Steve (Jan 4, 2012). "GHSU, ASU Could Merge, Lawmaker Says". The Augusta Chronicle. 
  14. ^ a b "USG Campus Consolidations Georgia Regents University Name". University System of Georgia. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
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  16. ^ Regents pic name for university in Augusta. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Last accessed 2015-09-30.
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  19. ^ Hodson, Sandy (March 6, 2013). "Georgia wins round in legal battle over GRU name". The Augusta Chronicle. 
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  21. ^ Corwin, Tom. "Regent files suit over Georgia Regents name". Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  22. ^ "Board of Regents Names Augusta University". University System of Georgia. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  23. ^ Marcus, Jon (19 July 2013). "Cash-strapped universities turn to corporate-style consolidation". Time. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
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  30. ^ "Council of Social Work Education". 
  31. ^ "National Association of Schools of Art and Design". Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. 
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  37. ^ "AACSB Accredited Schools Listing". 
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  44. ^ Spalding, Phinizy. The History of the Medical College of Georgia. 
  45. ^ Corwin, Tom. "ASU nursing to move to GHSU in merger". The Augusta Chronicle. 
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  50. ^ "Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities". 
  51. ^ "Daring Community Health Center". 
  52. ^ "Healthy Grandparents Program". 
  53. ^ "Ryan White team honored by Costa-Layman Farms". 
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  55. ^ "About College of Science and Mathematics". 
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  58. ^ "GHSU History". 
  59. ^ a b "Augusta State University history". Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. 
  60. ^ "End Near for Augusta's historic Arsenal Oak". Associated Press. 
  61. ^ "Augusta University dedicates new Arsenal Oak Friday". JagWire. 
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  63. ^ "ASU Press Release". 
  64. ^ "Augusta University Cyber Institute". 
  65. ^ "Work starts on Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center prior to Monday groundbreaking". 
  66. ^ "UGA-GHSU Partnership". UGA-GHSU Partnership. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  67. ^ "East Central Regional Hospital and Georgia Health Sciences University Partnership". 
  68. ^ "Cyber Center at Fort Gordon and Augusta University Collaborate on Cyber Security". 
  69. ^ "New Cyber Institute opens". The Bell Ringer. 
  70. ^ "EGSC-A Frequently Asked Questions". Augusta University. Retrieved 9 April 2017. 
  71. ^ Balicki, Ron. "Augusta St. tops Georgia, repeats as NCAA Champ". 
  72. ^ John Britton (doctor)
  73. ^
  74. ^
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  76. ^ David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, additional text.
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°28′18″N 81°59′20″W / 33.47170°N 81.98885°W / 33.47170; -81.98885