Starting Strong: Dr. Bleicken addresses students



By Dr. Linda M. Bleicken, President of Armstrong State University

 As the president of Armstrong State University, it is my pleasure to welcome you as we officially kick off the Fall 2014 semester. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a returning graduate student, I’m delighted that you’ve chosen to pursue your education at Armstrong and pledge to help you chart a path for success in life.

While education may begin in the classroom, its transformative value is often achieved outside class—in the conversations you will have with professors, in the organizations you will join and lead and as you navigate university life. At Armstrong, you’ll find mentors at every step of your journey. Some may be your professors, and some may be staff members. You will also find mentors among your Navigate leaders and resident assistants. Wherever they may be, feel free to reach out. We are all here to help you fulfill your potential.

At Armstrong, you’re more than just a number. Our goal, as faculty and staff members, is to recognize you as the unique person you are, helping you reach your personal goals. Whether you dream of becoming a doctor or an entrepreneur, a lawyer or a psychologist, a teacher or a physical therapist, a scientist or an artist, we’re here to help you make those dreams come true.

The beginning of the fall semester is always my favorite time of year. It’s a time full of hope, promise and potential. Best of all, there are many wonderful events on the horizon. I hope you’ll join the fun.

This semester, we will officially roll out our second annual Moveable Feast Lecture Series on September 4 with a stimulating lecture by History professor Dr. Christopher E. Hendricks, who will discuss influential 19th-century Savannah architect William Jay, the creative force behind such Savannah landmarks as the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House. To add to the relevance, Dr. Hendricks will present his lecture on site at the Telfair. Additional Moveable Feast events will showcase the best of the Liberal Arts at Armstrong, from literature to economics.

Don’t miss Celebrate Armstrong, which is set for October 9-11 and will culminate with fireworks after dark on Saturday night. This annual tradition offers three days of fun, including a campus-wide festival on Thursday and an alumni awards gala on Friday.

If you enjoy community service, mark your calendar for Treasure Savannah, which will take place on October 10. Armstrong students, faculty and staff will unite to volunteer at various non-profit organizations throughout Savannah, serving food to the homeless at Union Mission, helping animals at the local Humane Society and making a positive impact across the area. This bi-annual event demonstrates our ongoing commitment to giving back to the community and to uniting for a common goal.

Last year, we experienced a 20 percent increase in enrollment in Hinesville, so the timing is perfect for us to break ground on the new Armstrong Liberty Center on September 10. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal will provide remarks at this much-anticipated event.

Armstrong has a proud tradition of excellence, dating back to our founding in 1935. Our alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in a wide range of fields, from medicine to business. Today, Armstrong graduates are elected officials, teachers, nurses, business leaders, artists, scientists and historians, making important contributions to the world around us.

We’re also proud to be one of the first tobacco-free campuses in the University System of Georgia and are currently celebrating our two-year anniversary of that landmark initiative. Armstrong students and faculty joined forces and led the way, supporting health and wellness throughout our campus community.

I hope you start strong this semester and are proud to be a Pirate. On behalf of the entire university community, I wish a successful year at Armstrong, filled with moments of inspiration and connection in the classroom and beyond.


Dr. Linda M. Bleicken is the president of Armstrong State University.