During 2012, Gov. Nathan Deal signed the 2012-2013 state budget that included $9.6 million in bond funding for the renovation of Ennis Hall. Built in 1918 and designed as a residence hall, Ennis Hall is a historic, four-story masonry and wood frame structure located beside the Old Governor’s Mansion at Georgia College.
Changes at Georgia College bring $1 million donation
The change at Georgia College & State University from a regional public college to the state’s designated public liberal arts university caught the attention of Georgia College alumna Martha Daniel Newell and prompted her gift of $1 million to the university.
The gift, largest ever to Georgia College from an individual, will establish a program for visiting scholars.
“What a transformation,” Mrs. Newell said. “I wanted to be part of it, and supporting a visiting scholars program really appealed to me. I can see real value in, say, a Shakespearean scholar, coming to work with faculty and students for a year."
The endowment will be fully funded in two years, and the university will appoint its first visiting scholar in three years. Scholars may come from any area designated by the university president.
“The Martha Daniel Newell Visiting Scholar Endowment will provide Georgia College students and faculty with the opportunity to engage with and learn from senior scholars from distinguished institutions of higher learning,” said GCSU President Dorothy Leland. “Mrs. Newell’s generosity will significantly enrich the academic experience at Georgia College.”
Mrs. Newell grew up in Atlanta. Her mother, Myrtice Johnson Daniel, graduated from Georgia Normal and Industrial College (the original name for Georgia College) in 1912.
As a student at Georgia College, Mrs. Newell was president of the student government and lived in Bell and Sanford halls. She received her bachelor’s of science degree in home economics in 1942.
Mrs. Newell's husband, a Presbyterian minister, passed away eight years ago. They served churches in South Carolina and Virginia during their long marriage. Today, Mrs. Newell lives in Richmond, Va., where she remains active, swimming four times a week, playing piano, reading and water coloring.
She visited the campus last November with her three daughters and announced the gift. "I wanted them to see where Mom went to school," she said. The visit was her first to campus since 1992, when she attended the 50th reunion celebration.
“Mrs. Newell is a delightful person who dearly loves Georgia College, and we are very grateful for this generous gift,” said President Dorothy Leland. “This gift will benefit Georgia College in perpetuity by enabling the university every year to attract a distinguished visiting scholar in the arts, humanities, social sciences or natural sciences. Over time, it will build a network of scholars across the nation who have a special connection to Georgia College.”