Cathy Cox inaugurated as GC’s 12th president


Anna Leavitt

President Cox celebrates her inauguration

Rebecca Meghani , News Editor

After almost a year of President Cathy Cox residing as GC’s new university president, she was officially inaugurated as the twelfth president on Aug. 19, 2022. The ceremony included speakers from people within the Milledgeville and GC community, which notably included USG’s Chancellor Sonny Perdue and the last three presidents of GC, Dr. Rosemary DePaolo, Dr. Dorothy Leland and Dr. Steve Dorman. Through their greetings, Cox’s career accomplishments were recognized along with the values she had embodied throughout her career in higher education. 

Cox emphasized the importance of a liberal arts degree because of the critical thinking that is taught in universities. Along with how students learn in a classroom, she recognized GC’s involvement in the local community and discussed the importance of students being involved with service projects and non-profits.  

“Being the state’s designated public liberal arts university really gives us a calling to do it right, do it the best and to be as distinctive as we can because we know that students have a lot of other options in the University System of Georgia,” Cox said. “We want them to know when you come here, you get a very different experience than you’re going to get at any of our sister institutions.”

She discussed how the educational experience here is different from other universities because of the work to be distinctive where the outcomes are beneficial. 

“I like what GC is doing, how they are teaching, the approach they have where small classes are valued with small interactions,” Cox said. “The focus on undergrad research, skilled writers, communicator, thinker that will last from job to job and career to career. We do that so well here and I wanted to be part of a campus where those kinds of things are really important.”

The values for students, faculty and staff stand out to her that she wants to continue to experience on campus. She states that she wants the students to sense her approachability in order to improve GC for students.

“I love the fact that students will stop, talk to me and take a selfie,” Cox said. “I’m not afraid to be asked for a selfie or a conversation but I want students to tell me what’s on their mind, if there’s things that are driving them crazy. I want to know it, I want to hear it so I can help address those things.”

Cox has her own vision for what she wants from an educational experience to better prepare our students. 

“The world is changing so fast, information turns over so rapidly, technology changes so quickly and artificial intelligence is changing the world,” Cox said. “What do we have to do to make sure that degrees you get are still relevant? That the education you get really prepares you to the nimble and that kind of fast changing world.”

She emphasizes the importance for students to leave their comfort zone to think about what we can do differently in the future to better prepare themselves for the challenges of the next decade.

“As a whole campus, jumping into a full-scale strategic planning process this fall,” Cox said. That’s something where we’re going to be asking the whole campus to reimagine what we do and look forward to imagine 2030. I think it can be exciting and fun to think about a campus that’s pretty traditional but what are the things that need to change to make sure students are ready for it?”

GC is in the works with a masterplan for the physical campus, planning for the next ten years from how they can do better, our buildings to what students want to see improved. As the new university president, Cox has already begun initiating projects to better improve GC while prioritizing students and their experience. 

“We want students to speak up and have their voices heard so that we can make sure the student experience here is better than they can get anywhere else in the state of Georgia,” Cox said.