The University of West Georgia is a comprehensive, residential State University located in Carrollton, Georgia, approximately 50 miles (80 km) west of Atlanta, Georgia. It has an enrollment of about 10,111 students as of Spring 2008. With a student/faculty ratio of 17 to 1, the university's motto is "Educational Excellence in a Personal Environment." The University is built on a 394 acre (2 km²) Carrollton, Georgia campus. The University has also received a land gift of from the city of Carrollton, Georgia Off-campus classes are available in Dalton, Newnan , Georgia Highlands College in Rome, and at several other community locations throughout the state.
In recent years, the university has been named by the Princeton Review as one of the Best Southeastern Colleges and one of America's Best Value Colleges. Its 109 programs of study include 60 at the bachelor's level, 45 at the master's and specialist's, two at the doctoral level and two at the post-master’s certificate level. Online courses are available for both undergraduate and graduate students seeking flexibility in time and location.
UWG is home to the state's only Honors College. The university's Advanced Academy of Georgia is one of only about 12 U.S. programs that allow gifted high-school-age students to earn concurrent high school and college credit while living on campus in a full-time residential program.
The University of West Georgia was originally founded as the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School in Carrollton, Georgia in 1906 in response to a call for "more realistic educational programs for rural youth" ages 13-21.
As times changed, so did the educational priorities of Georgia and the nation. By 1933, seven of the A&M schools abandoned their missions, and a decision was made to abolish the remaining A&M schools. The Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School was chosen later that year to become West Georgia College, a two-year institution of higher learning.
The evolution continued when West Georgia became a four-year institution in 1957. At that time, 589 students were enrolled. By 1971, enrollment had increased to over 6,000 students. Just seven years after West Georgia received university status, fall enrollment topped 10,000.
To accommodate university growth, a multi-million dollar building program has increased the value of the university's physical facilities to nearly $154 million. Beginning with three small buildings, the university has grown to include nearly 80 structures for learning, living and recreation on its wooded campus.
The University offers 113 programs of study through the College
of Arts and Sciences, the Richards College of Business, the College of Education, the Honors College, and the Graduate School. Approximately 50 programs are available at the bachelor's level
, 50 at the master's
and specialist levels, and two at the doctoral level
. The University operates an honors program through its Honors College. In addition, the university is one of few in the United States to hold a residential, early entrance to college opportunity for high school juniors and seniors, the Advanced Academy of Georgia
. Advanced Academy students take college courses and reside on campus under the supervision of a professional residential staff. In so doing, when Academy students graduate from high school, they have completed two years of university work. Some of them graduate from high school almost as college seniors, and two Academy students have graduated from their high schools in June, and the University in December. Students in the Academy and Honors College have achieved national acclaim at the National Collegiate Honors Council, and other student research competitions, and have secured admission into such institutions as Harvard, MIT, Yale, and Oxford. A hallmark of the University of West Georgia is that its senior faculty, many with national credentials and honors, department chairs, deans, vice presidents, and the president of the university teach undergraduate courses. In fact, the VPAA, Dr. Tim Hynes, has taught an undergraduate course each of his 10 years at UWG, and the president, Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna
, who is in his 12th year as President, puts his professor title before that of his administrative title, has taught an undergraduate course every year, has been elected Honors Professor of the Year by the students, and has been the faculty mentor for student research teams which have gone on to win national recognition and awards for their research work. On May 7th, 2004, the University issued its first doctoral degree
On May 10, 2006, the University awarded its 50,000th degree.
The University is unique in that it is one of only two public universities in the United States offering a psychology program with a humanistic
and transpersonal focus. In 1967 Mike Arons, a student of Abraham Maslow
, Paul Ricoeur
, and Jim Klee, became chair of the West Georgia psychology department. Jim Thomas, then on the psychology faculty at West Georgia, and others had asked Abraham Maslow
to recommend someone to them to initiate a humanistic emphasis there, and Arons was Maslow's recommendation. West Georgia's psychology
department still stands as a unique center of humanistic
and transpersonal psychology
, based in existential
and phenomenological philosophy
. Under the leadership of Dr.Donadrian L. Rice
who has served as department chair since 1993, the psychology department was recently (June, 2006) approved to offer a doctoral level degree in psychology. The doctoral program is in Individual,Organizational,and Community Transformation: A program in Consciousness and Society.
Students have access to more than 90 student organizations covering academics, cultural/international, departmental/educational, professional and honor groups, politics, religion, service, recreation and sports, social fraternities and sororities, and debate. The athletics program fields men's intercollegiate teams in football, baseball, basketball, and cross country, and women's teams in basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, and volleyball. All intercollegiate sports are affiliated with Division II of the NCAA. In 2006, amid the NCAA Indian Mascots scandal, the UWG changed its athletic nickname to the "Wolves."
UWG's marching band is known as "The Sound that Lights the South" and consists of over 140 members. Led by Dr. Douglas Overmier since 2003, it is known for its high energy and athleticism. Each performance finishes with the band dancing to the final number. This group is the only performing ensemble from North America invited to Antigua to celebrate the 25th annual Independence Day ceremony.
The pedestrian campus also includes a Library with 561,900 volumes, a Gym, computer labs, tennis courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, a nature trail, a quarter-mile (400 m) running track, and basketball courts.
The university also operates a noncommercial radio station (WUWG-FM) at 90.7 MHz FM. It has been on the air since 1973 (originally as WWGC-FM), serving all of Carrollton and Carroll County as well as the student body of the university. The station is a listener-supported affiliate of Public Radio International, with diverse programming from a wide variety of genres.
UWG competes on the NCAA Division II
level and is a member of the Gulf South Conference
Future Football Stadium
Funding is underway to build an Alumni Stadium and Athletic Complex on campus. The area of proposed development is about granted to the university from the city of Carrollton in 2003. The athletic complex will include a 9,000 seat football stadium as well as a 750 seat soccer stadium, varsity softball field, a multi-field softball complex, football and soccer practice fields and other fields for intramural sports. The project began in 2004 and will require $10 million. The funds will be raised entirely from private donation. As of July 2006, the project had already collected $3 million
Leading the effort as chairman of the Stadium Development Committee is David Parkman. In Early August 2007, the University announced that it has completed a deal with the city of Carrollton for the transfer of to the University, part of which will be used for the new Stadium and Athletic Complex. The current plan is to break ground on the Stadium in spring of 2008 and begin playing football in the Stadium in Fall of 2009
- Newt Gingrich (History teacher ('70-'78), U.S. Speaker of the House (1995-1999))
- Stanley Brewer (Houston Rockets, 1981 Draft Pick)
- Rick Camp (Atlanta Braves pitcher from 1976-1985)
- Barry Evans (San Diego Padres pitcher ('78-'81), New York Yankees ('82))
- Brandon Jamison (Carolina Panthers LB (2007-present), Atlanta Falcons LB (2006))
- Col. Julian Dale Alford, USMC - Three time Bronze Star recipient commanded 3/6 Infantry Battalion in Afghanistan and Iraq
- Keith Beukelaer (Former American Idol Contestant)
- Warren "Rhubarb" Jones (radio personality)
- Sam Crenshaw (Sports anchor, NBC Atlanta)