September 9, 2010
Vaishali Patel The Union-Recorder The Union-Recorder
Thu Sep 09, 2010, 08:00 AM EDT
MILLEDGEVILLE — Georgia Military College Junior College and community partners welcomed more than 130 first-time junior college cadets and their families to the historic campus Wednesday morning during the annual Super Wednesday event.
“The new cadets are from all over the country. It’s been wonderful so far, and I just love to see their bright and shining faces,” GMC Community Service Coordinator Brenda Brown said Wednesday while urging students to register to vote.
The event kicked off at 9 a.m. as the soon-to-be members of the 132nd Corps of Cadets began processing in the mini-gym of Cordell Events Center and made their rounds to various tables to meet and greet representatives from campus clubs and admissions and to familiarize themselves with area businesses, organizations, banking institutions and churches.
“Good luck with classes, and if you have any questions with your finances we can be your personal bankers,” Jaclyn Wilson said to students as she handed out information about Suntrust banking services.
Assistant Professor of English Amy Zipperer was in charge of the Drama Club station and had 12 cadets sign-up for the club by lunchtime. As students passed by, they were also encouraged to contribute to a poster in an inspirational way as part of a creative thinking activity.
“Each new group of cadets sort of get that ‘tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it’ type of mindset at first, but they leave more confident and more engaged with their goals by the time they graduate,” the GMC five-year instructor said. “These first few days are important to make sure they feel what we inspire to be, which is to be an institution that inspires in a meaningful way.”
Coordinated and sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, campus offerings including intramural activities, special events, organizations and clubs were showcased at different stations.
“GMC can broaden their horizons to help them be more successful when they graduate here,” Student Activities Director Leslie Lash said. “Also help cadets and commuter students get together and [learn] side by side [in the classroom] which dispels a lot of myths about the military. Cadets are just like students except they’re wearing uniforms.”
Elvia Aguilera, hailing from Stuart, Fla., said she is pumped to start her first year of college at a structured institution alongside her two best friends.
“I chose GMC because of the ECP program, the clubs, student government, intramural sports and I heard ROTC was good here,” she said while waiting in line to receive information about Academic Support Services. “I’ve been in ROTC for four years, and my goal is to be an officer in the Army. Everything is paid for here, and I’m just excited to be here.”
Friends Deonne Williams and Joshua Salley arrived to campus from South Carolina Wednesday morning, and they said they hope to make their mothers proud while attending GMC for the next two years.
“I hope they learn structure, organization, education, how to lead and how to become stronger men,” Deonne’s mother Marlette Williams said of the roommates’ near future at GMC. “They applied to several other colleges and it made us see as parents that education comes first here.”
“I’m hoping for a new experience, new structure and better education,” Salley added.
After meeting with officials from Academic Support, Financial Aid, Registrar, Medical Services and the Commandant of Cadets and obtaining parking permits, school identification badges and campus mailboxes, the new GMC families traveled to Parham Hall, the New Academic Building, Baugh Barracks and other designated areas across campus.
As roommates and friends from the Atlanta area Alriquez Bryant and Christopher Garrett took in their new surroundings at Baugh Barracks, their parents and families shared their thoughts with The Union-Recorder on how they believe GMC’s structure and campus programs can play a big part in the teens’ futures.
“I hope GMC will be able to show his leadership skills, philanthropist abilities as well as how to become a productive citizen and lifelong learner in the community,” Christopher’s aunt Dr. Omar Wray said while outside the duo’s assigned room.
“I believe GMC is a strong environment for young, single men,” Alriquez’s mother Regina Bryant replied.
“GMC is a good leadership program for him to become a leader and help others become leaders,” Christopher’s mother Dr. Crystal Garrett added.
Once students completed the in-processing steps and their journey at the GMC Bookstore to receive their initial issue known as the “Ditty Bag,” cadets and GMC families were welcomed into the battalion and the plebe period officially began.
The final orientation program for new students for fall quarter will be held Monday, Sept. 13, and classes begin Wednesday, Sept. 15.