Cathy Cox year in review


Courtesy of Anna Leavitt

Cathy Cox at her State of the University Address in February 2022.

Lily Pruitt, Assistant News Editor

GC President Cathy Cox began her first year of presidency in 2021. Prior to being the university’s President, Cox gathered her skillets in other positions. President Cox was a lawyer in Bainbridge and Atlanta for 10 years until she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. After, she became the first woman in Georgia history to serve as Georgia’s Secretary of State. Following this career path, she switched to become president of Young Harris College and then dean for Mercer University School of Law before making her way back to a president for our campus.

“I don’t feel like I’ve even really scratched the surface of what I hope we can do in the years to come but I feel like I’ve personally accomplished some of my goals in just trying to get to know the campus,” President Cox said. “My hope is that my skillset and my experiences can add value to what has already been happening here.”

There are many events that GC provides for students to attend year-round, as well as the Milledgeville community. President Cox attends most of these events, hoping to be more involved with the GC and Milledgeville community than she was in her past careers.

She discusses that GC budget is her biggest issue because of what money is allocated to the university. Learning the process and adjusting to the GC budget is something that she has been consistently working on in order to better her role here. She claims that athletics, as a public higher education university, is less funded than the private higher education universities that she had previously worked at.

“There are always challenges in learning any enterprise,” Cox said. “More particularly, the biggest difference from private higher education to public higher education, honestly, is how athletics are funded and that’s a very difficult challenge because students pay an athletic fee every semester.”

Cox is an advocate for student-led events, campus events and Milledgeville community events. Cox has joined the Board of the Milledgeville Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce. She does volunteer work to see the personal and social needs of the local community.

“We have this great first Friday event in downtown Milledgeville that is really fun,” President Cox said. “I’m really looking forward to, for the first time in several years since the pandemic, that they’re bringing back the Deep Roots festival. I love going to all our musical, theater, and dance performances. That to me is one of the biggest things I’ve missed about not being in the heart of a liberal arts campus was being able to attend and participate in those fine arts and know the students performing.”

Despite these challenges that President Cox is working towards to fix and advocate for the students’ needs and wants, she has been welcomed to the GC community with open arms.

“This campus has been so warm and hospitable and welcoming,” President Cox said. “I can hardly find the words how wonderful that has been and the greater Milledgeville community has been so welcoming and hospitable to my husband and I. They have certainly made me feel welcome here, and they are so fun to get out and know our students.”

“I want them to never leave here or never want to leave here, then when they graduate to think ‘I have had the best 4 years of my life here at GC and I will always love this university’,” President Cox said.