Dick Morrow: I’ve been asked to tell you just a little bit about the modern history of the Teaching Center here, the building, on the campus. In my previous years, I was serving as Spalding County Commissioner here. And in 2003, our team of volunteers had been working several years to bring a teaching campus here to where the Experiment Station was. We had talked to regents; we had talked to legislators; we talked to anybody that would listen to us and it seemed like we were having difficulty getting traction. So we decided to go to Atlanta, sit down with the governor and make our pitch to him personally. And that’s what we did. About a half dozen of us went. During the course of that conversation – at the time I was Chairman of Spalding County – I said to the governor, after he had slowly sort of let us down gently, we could see that times were tight and money was shortand we were going to be let down, I decided it was time to change the dynamics of the conversation. I said “Governor Perdue, I’m Chairman of the County Commission this year and we are about to embark on a new SPLOST. What if we put a few million dollars on that SPLOST to build the University of Georgia their first building here on the campus; what would that do to our chances of having a teaching school here?” And I’ll always remember what Governor Perdue said. He kind of lifted his head and did the finger pointing, he said “Now that’s what makes things happen. When local folks bring money to the table, we can make things happen.” And I said “Thank you very much Governor. We will do that.” Subsequent to that, we went through a process and we ended up with a $10 million item on SPLOST to build the Learning Center here on the campus. It took a few years. We got the SPLOST. We got the money. The citizens backed us and we built a new Learning Center that you will enjoy here today. We are proud, as citizens of Griffin and Spalding County, to be able to show off the Center. That $10 million was paid for by our citizens who backed the SPLOST and who have been very supportive of the University of Georgia here in Griffin the entire time; we are a community of strong Bulldog supporters. One last thing I’d like to mention, the Experiment Station came here in 1889. It’s been a 123-year partnership between our community and University of Georgia. In 1889, our citizens not only donated a farm but $15,000 in cash to the University of Georgia to fund the start here of the Experiment Station. So for 123 years, UGA has been a very important part of our community. The latest $10 million SPLOST building – the addition from our citizens, voters, taxpayers – is the latest in a long-term partnership. We are very proud to have UGA here. And now, as a city commissioner, our final step in this is to grow this college here, bring in more students and make it truly a thriving branch of the University System. © 2012 University of Georgia Griffin Campus
The scene opens to Dick Morrow, City of Griffin Commissionr, standing in front of a painting of a Georgia bulldog. He is giving a brief history of the building of new Student Learning Center on the Universiry of Georgia Griffin Campus.