Georgia Military College Celebrates 135th Anniversary of First Meeting of the GMC Board of Trustees
Georgia Military College honored the school’s Board of Trustees (past and present) with a luncheon on Wednesday, October 22nd, at 11:30 a.m. in the legislative chamber of the Old Capitol. The event featured a special presentation by members of MAJ Karen Grimes’ Georgia History class who highlighted the many milestones of the past 135 years. The keynote speaker was Mr. Randy New, Chairman of the GMC Board of Trustees.
For generations, Georgia Military College (GMC) has stood as a unique educational institution within the state of Georgia (Ga.). Through legislative acts of 1920 and 1922, the school was designated a corporate body with a publicly elected Board of Trustees.
The Georgia General Assembly provided for a seven-member board to be elected from and by the citizens of Milledgeville. They are elected every four years and represent each city council district. The trustees are prohibited from holding any other public office during their term. The Milledgeville Mayor serves on the board because GMC is a city chartered school.
The board has the authority to determine policy and conduct of the college and to govern financial and personnel matters. This license also includes overseeing the prep school curriculum and articulation agreements for the college.
The board consists of a chairman, vice-chairman, a secretary/treasurer and four members-at-large. The desire to help the school achieve set goals is expected from each trustee, but a personal connection to GMC is not required.
2014 GMC Board of Trustees
Randy New, Chairman
GMC is truly a family tradition for Milledgeville native and Chairman Randy New. A graduate of both the prep school (’71) and junior college (’73), he met his wife of 39 years, Cynthia (’72 &’74), at the historic campus. Their children, daughter Diana (prep school ‘00), and son Corey (’02 &‘04) continued the legacy into the new millennium.
A trustee for more than twenty years, New views his role in GMC’s future as one of promoting growth in the online programs and expansion of all campuses throughout the state. The most memorable event in his tenure was the opening of the Usery Building-the first building dedicated solely to the prep school.
New holds an Associate of Business Administration from GMC and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and Management from Georgia College (GC). He is the co-owner of Bayne’s Army Store, managing partner in VBRN Investments, and a partner in the Old Capitol Gun Club and BNS Properties.
He is a member of many organizations including the Milledgeville/Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, Milledgeville Main Street, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Rifle Association. He is well-known in town for his volunteerism, especially for the management of the Empty Stocking Fund (ESF). In 2013, the ESF, funded completely through donations, provided holiday meals to over three-hundred families in need.
New is a member of Black Springs Baptist Church and enjoys spending time with his family, including grandson Jared New. In his down time, he appreciates fishing, hunting, and shooting.
George Hogan, Vice Chairman
A much-respected businessman and longtime GMC advocate, Vice Chairman George Hogan, is currently in his fifth term as a trustee. A native of Milledgeville, he is a distinguished Vietnam veteran having served in the United States Army during the years 1966-1968.
Hogan owns and operates George Hogan & Sons Logging and Tree Service Company. He is married to Patricia Ann Hogan and together they have five children, thirteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Hogan was the first African-American officer for the Ga State Patrol to work within the Middle Ga area. He served alongside secret service agents guarding President Jimmy Carter after the family left the White House and returned to Plains, Ga.
During his tenure, he has served under four mayors and has witnessed remarkable changes to the main campus. “The renovations of the older buildings along with the construction of new facilities has been just amazing,” stated Hogan.
He says the growth of online programs and expansion of campuses across the state has made a college education accessible to all who desire it. “It is my job, as a trustee, to promote this institution’s assets and ensure that the public know what an excellent education can be obtained here,” added Hogan.
In addition to running his business and serving as a trustee, Hogan is involved in numerous organizations including the Middle Georgia Region Development Corporation. He is currently a member of the American Legion Post 523, the NAACP, and a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Milledgeville/Baldwin County. His charitable contributions include being a founding board member for the Milledgeville Habitat for Humanity. He has been a member of Trinity CME Christian Church for over sixty years and is president of the Baldwin Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Doris Renfroe, Secretary/Treasurer
Secretary/Treasurer Ms. Doris Renfroe is a native of Milledgeville and has served on the board for eight years. She graduated from Boddie High School in 1958 and attended GMC as a non-traditional business student.
An award winning employee, she retired from Central State Hospital after working 34 years as a secretary. She believes her service on the board helps further the education of the school’s students. She stresses, “Education is imperative as it allows people to grow and have a secure future.”
In her seventies, she goes to the gym nearly every day of the week to stay fit and feel young. A widow, Renfroe has two children, a son Grayson Renfroe, and a daughter Debra Lango.
Reverend Tony Fraley
Member-at-large, Reverend Tony Fraley, brings decades of experience in community activism and leadership to the board. A former GMC student in General Studies, he holds a Bachelor of Theology from American Theological Seminary and is the pastor of Vaughn Chapel Baptist Church.
Elected in 2013, Fraley is in his first term and sees his role on the board as a steward of the school. He says, “As a trustee, my role is one of a wise steward who is tasked with identifying and recommending opportunities that foster growth and sustainability.”
As a trustee, Fraley’s most memorable event was the historical penning of the partnership between GMC and Fort Valley State University. He believes this connection provides another opportunity for local students to continue their education within the Middle Georgia area.
Fraley has extensive experience in serving the community in various leadership positions. He is the president of the Baldwin County 21st Century Ministerial Alliance, co-owner of Voyage of Hope, founder of Crack Prevention-the Family and Community Conservation Center, and serves on the Riverbend Correctional Facility Board of Directors. He is a former board member for the Salvation Army and the Adult Education Program.
Fraley enjoys family life with wife Daphane, son LaVata Antonio Fraley and daughter Shameka Fraley. He is a proud grandfather to grandsons Darien Fraley and LaVata Antonio Fraley, Jr. and to granddaughter JaKia Fraley. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, traveling and baking.
Alberto C. Martinez, Jr.
Member-at-large Alberto C. Martinez, Jr. is a graduate of GMC prep school (’70) and received his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia. His brother Sandy (’73) and daughter Mary Beth (’06) are both graduates of the prep school as well. Making GMC a family affair, brother George taught Physics at the school for several years.
A member since 2000, Martinez views his role as one in support of the president and staff running the school and in planning and providing for its future. He states, “We are a group of people who care about GMC and are willing to volunteer our time to help see to it that the school has the best leadership and administration possible.”
For Martinez, it is hard to choose one singular favorite event that he has been involved with as a board member. He believes the most important accomplishments have originated from a cumulative effort to bring about growth and change. “In my fourteen years on the board, there has been an impressive transformation of the main campus-the new and modern buildings, the Grant Parade Field, the athletic fields-a truly amazing makeover,” he said.
Retired from the state of Georgia, he last served as chief assistant in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. He is a member of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia. His family includes wife Jeanine and daughter, Mary Beth.
Although he is a transplant from South Georgia, member-at-large Ken Vance has been a dedicated citizen of Milledgeville for decades. He is currently in his first term as a board member and is excited to be part of the school’s bright future.
Vance brings a myriad of experiences to the board table. As the head of campus police at GC for over twenty-seven years, he was known to locals and students simply as “Chief.” He served on the Milledgeville City Council for twenty-eight years and has degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Public Administration. Governor Sonny Purdue appointed Vance as the executive director of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council of Georgia-he was reappointed under current Governor Nathan Deal.
Married to Carol Grant Vance, they have two children, Emily and John Austin, who are both GMC graduates. Vance praises the strong educational support that helped his children achieve success. “The Character Education Program that is the foundation of the school’s curriculum is what I see as the greatest influence on my children,” said Vance. “Additionally, the disciplined environment, created by Principal John Thornton and Assistant Principal Pam Grant and the wonderful faculty, contributed to their value base.” He firmly believes the school prepares students for the next step in their lives after graduation.
The opening of the Kidd Health and Wellness Center is one of the most memorable events for Vance. He says it’s the culmination of all the effort put forth by former President Peter Boylan and his staff led by Colonel Van Horn. He now looks forward to serving the school under the guidance of the new president, Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV.
Vance is a published poet and spends his leisure time cycling, reading and writing. The Vance family have been longtime members of First United Methodist Church of Milledgeville.
Mayor Richard Bentley
Mayor Richard Bentley is yet another board member with deep family ties to GMC. He and his wife of thirty years, Susan, are both graduates of the prep school. His son, Brett, also a graduate, is currently a student at Georgia Southern University.
Bentley has been on the board for nine years and is also a past president of the Alumni Association. He chose the opening of Usery Hall as his most memorable moment during his time as a trustee. “The completion of Usery Hall is significant to me because my wife and I were both students at GMC, and my son was a student at the time of the dedication,” said Bentley.
Bentley stresses that the trustees have a responsibility to ensure GMC remains financially sound and serves the community at the highest level. “I believe the board has the best interest of the institution at heart. It is very satisfying to witness the great things GMC has accomplished and the great things the future holds for us,” he added.
Bentley holds a Bachelor of Public Administration from GC and currently serves on several boards including the Milledgeville/Baldwin County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. He is a member of Hardwick Baptist Church where he is an inactive deacon.
Bentley takes great pride in claiming GMC as his alma mater. “It is because of the experience at GMC that I became interested in public service. The education prepared me for college, and the character development and discipline made me a better person. It is an honor to continue to serve GMC.”
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