Coordinates: 33°58′52.44″N 84°0′10.22″W / 33.9812333°N 84.0028389°W / 33.9812333; -84.0028389

Georgia Gwinnett College
GGC seal1.png
Seal of Georgia Gwinnett College
TypePublic college
EstablishedMay 10, 2005[1]
Parent institution
University System of Georgia
PresidentJann L. Joseph
Academic staff
698 full-time and part-time[1] (2019)
Undergraduatesover 12,000[2]
CampusSuburban, 250 acres (101.2 ha)[1]
Colors   Green & gray
Sporting affiliations
Georgia Gwinnett College logo.png

Georgia Gwinnett College (Georgia Gwinnett or GGC) is a public college in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It is a member of the University System of Georgia. Georgia Gwinnett College opened on August 18, 2006. It has grown rapidly from its original 118 students in 2006 to over 12,000 in 2019.[3]



The county purchased 160 acres of land located off Georgia 316 and Collins Hill Road in 1994 and designated it specifically for the development of a college campus.[4] Five years later, the Georgia Legislature allocated nearly $20 million for the signature building which serves as the focal point on the campus today.

Site construction began in June 2000 to establish the Gwinnett University Center (GUC), a partnership among several state institutions. The Board of Regents approved a public-private venture to construct the first classroom building on the new campus. The new 120,000 square-foot building was constructed in 10 months.

In October 2004, the Georgia Board of Regents voted to create a new four-year college in Gwinnett County. The new college would inhabit the GUC campus and replace the four institutions then offering courses on the site.

The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation calling for the foundation of the college in March 2005.[5][6] That same year, Gov. Perdue deferred a $5 million appropriation in the 2006 state budget for a 29,000 square-foot classroom building.

Dr. Daniel J. Kaufman was the college's first president.[7] A month later, the Board voted to name the institution "Georgia Gwinnett College."[8]

Before the end of the year, the Board of Regents approved several initial bachelor degree programs: Bachelor of Science with a major in biology, a Bachelor of Science with a major in psychology, a Bachelor of Science in education with a major in early childhood education (including eligibility for certification in special education), a Bachelor of Applied Science with a major in technology management, a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in general business, a Bachelor of Science in radiologic technology, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing.[9]

Georgia Gwinnett College opened on August 18, 2006, as Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman, Georgia Board of Regents Chairman Allan Vigil, U.S. Representative John Linder and GGC Foundation Chairman Glenn White cut the ceremonial ribbon.[10]

In 2006, Georgia Gwinnett College accepted 118 juniors as its first students. The following fall, GGC admitted its first freshman class. In 2008, the college held its inaugural commencement ceremony, graduating 17 students.[11]

Georgia Gwinnett received accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in June 2009. GGC began offering majors in History, Exercise Science, Mathematics, Special Education, English, Political Science and Criminal Justice/Criminology.[12]

Expansion and growth

GGC opened a new Library and Learning Center as well as its first residence halls in 2010.[13][14] The school had 5,300 students that fall. The GGC Student Center opened in January 2011[15] and a new laboratory building in August 2011. Enrollment reached 9,400 in the fall of 2012.[16]

In early 2013, the college broke ground on its Allied Health and Sciences Building, future home of the School of Science and Technology and the School of Health Sciences and its nursing program, which began in the fall 2014 semester.[17]

The Grizzlies began intercollegiate competition in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in the 2012–2013 academic year.[18][19]

On March 22, 2013, GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman was named as the new president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Kaufman, who had been president of GGC since the institution's founding in 2005, stepped down from his role on June 30, 2013.[20] University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced that he had appointed Dr. Stanley "Stas" Preczewski, then-vice president for academic and student affairs at GGC, to serve as interim president. In May 2014,[21] Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced that the Board of Regents approved his recommendation to name Dr. Preczewski, president of Georgia Gwinnett College.[22]

The college now enrolls more than 12,000 students.[23]

Preczewski announced his retirement on January 10, 2019, effective the following day. Dr. Mary Beth Walker served as interim president[24] with Dr. Jann Luciana Joseph becoming the college's permanent president on July 1, 2019.[25]

Free speech issue

Main article: Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski

In 2016, a Gwinnett student, Chike Uzuegbunam, was stopped from using one of the two very small free-speech areas on the grounds that his expressed religious views were incendiary. He sued, and on March 8, 2021, the United States Supreme Court ruled in his favor. By that time, the college had already changed its free-speech policy.[26]


The current campus consists of buildings A, B, C, H and W that are used for classes and activities. There are also a Wellness Center (Building F), Administration building (Building D), Athletics Complex (Building G), Student Center (Building E), the Daniel J. Kaufman Library & Learning Center, and several student residence buildings.[27]


GGC has full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and received this accreditation in record time. The college has been fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges since June 25, 2009. In addition, the School of Education is completely accredited by Georgia Professional Standards for teachers education. In 2018, Georgia Gwinnett College earned the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation for its business school.[28]

The college is classified as a Baccalaureate college by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[29]

GGC offers over 60+ programs of study including 20 majors. The college offers the following degrees:

There are teacher certification tracks in some programs for students interested in teaching at the secondary level.[31]

Campus life

GGC has a diverse population of almost 13,000 students, with campus housing for more than 1,000. There are more than 160 student organizations and a very active student government association. There are 15 National Honor Society Chapters on campus.[23] The campus has a 24/7 police and security force, and employs around 30 Student Patrols (who provide services that range from collecting lost and found to locking up buildings and providing courtesy escorts). The college's location near downtown Lawrenceville, and its convenient access to the big-city amenities of Atlanta and the many recreational opportunities in the Georgia mountains, make it attractive to a wide variety of students. GGC has the most diverse student body in the southern region, according to the U.S. News & World Report.[32] The college enrolls students representing 32 states and 120 nations, as of fall 2018.[33]

For many years, GGC had controversial free speech zones. In July, 2016, a college official stopped a student from distributing leaflets about his faith in an outdoor plaza. The student, Chike Uzuegbunam, was told he could only engage in this sort of activity by getting permission three days in advance and only at one of the two free speech zones on campus. After getting the permit, Uzuegbunam was then told by campus police that he could not speak in the free speech zone because ‘someone complained’. In December, 2016, Uzuegbunam sued the college for violating his First Amendment rights. GGC subsequently changed its campus speech policy to make speech easier on campus, and in 2018 a federal district court judge dismissed the case, based on the change in policy. That ruling was upheld on appeal in 2019. The case has been appealed to the US Supreme Court by the student because the change in policy did not retroactively change the fact that his First Amendment rights had been violated. The Court will hear the case in the 2020-2021 session.[34][35]


A new model in public higher education, Georgia Gwinnett College is an access institution built from the ground up to facilitate student success, its hallmark. It has achieved retention rates comparable to state universities.[28] It also has a unique organizational structure that omits academic departments and other units typically found in higher education. Under the leadership of a president and cabinet, the college has several administrative divisions and schools, including:


The current student-to-faculty ratio for the college is 18:1, as of the 2018–2019 academic year.[28] Faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College are not eligible for tenure, but are instead hired through renewable one- to five-year contracts. The college emphasizes faculty/student mentorship.


Grizzly Baseball Field
Grizzly Baseball Field

Georgia Gwinnett athletic teams are the Grizzlies. The college is a member of the of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an NAIA Independent within the Association of Independent Institutions (AII) since the 2012–13 academic year.

Georgia Gwinnett competes in six intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, soccer and Tennis; while women's sports include soccer, softball and tennis.

The $13 million state-of-the-art Grizzly Athletic Complex opened in March 2013 and includes soccer, baseball and softball fields and an athletics building for team lockers, weight room, training areas, hospitality suites, academic resource space, coaches and athletic staff offices.[38]

In July, 2013, the college acquired the former Collins Hill Tennis & Fitness Center which included 4 clay tennis courts and 12 asphalt tennis courts.[39]

The intercollegiate athletics program was begun from scratch, beginning in August 2011 when the Director of Athletics, Dr. Darin Wilson, was hired.[40] From there the athletic program quickly ramped up. Highlights include:

GGC athletics have had a brief, but stellar history. As of July 2019, the GGC Athletic programs have captured 11 national championships, achieved over 1,000 victories and won more than 77 percent of their games during the past seven seasons of existence. In 2018, the Grizzlies advanced to the final site in all six NAIA national championship tournaments, and won men's and women's tennis national titles. Currently, each of GGC's teams are ranked in the NAIA Top 25 preseason or postseason polls. GGC is a past recipient of the NAIA Champions of Character team award. Several student-athletes have been recognized as All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and NAIA Scholar-Athletes, along with being named to the college's President's List and Director of Athletics' Honor Roll for their academic achievements. Coaches and the Athletics Director have continued to excel, winning titles and awards along the way. 

Highlights of these include:

Notable alumni


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  5. ^ Robinson, Eric (2005). "2005 Legislative Session Highlights" (PDF): 8. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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  22. ^ "Preczewski named president of GGC". Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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  24. ^ "Preczewski retiring from GGC and interim president named".
  25. ^ "Jann Luciana Joseph named president of Georgia Gwinnett College".
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  27. ^ "Campus Map". Georgia Gwinnett College.
  28. ^ a b c "National Center for Education Statistics - Georgia Gwinnett College".
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  30. ^ "Degrees offered by Georgia Gwinnett College". Retrieved 2022-03-18.
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  32. ^ "US News Campus Ethnic Diversity Regional Colleges". U.S. News & World Report.
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