GMC-Madison Celebrates 25th Anniversary and Pearl-Burney Annex Ribbon Cutting
GMC-Madison Event Celebrates Past and Future With
Pearl-Burney Annex Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony and 25th Anniversary
MADISON, GA ¬– Georgia Military College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its GMC-Madison Pearl-Burney Annex joined by the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, February 24, welcoming key members of the community who helped make the Annex a reality for more than 100 GMC students. The event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the GMC-Madison Extension Center, established in 1995.
The GMC-Madison Pearl-Burney Annex is the result of the valuable partnership the GMC-Madison campus has with the Downtown Development Authority of Madison, the Morgan County Charter School System, and the City of Madison. Representatives from the local agencies and organizations attended the dual event, including Morgan County School Superintendent, Dr. Virgil Cole; and Development Authority Chairman and Madison City Council member, Ed Latham.
The historic structure last housed Morgan County Middle School and originally served as Pearl High School, an all-Black school in the Canan community of Madison. Among the distinguished guests who attended and spoke at the GMC-Madison event were three Pearl High School graduates – former Morgan Middle School principal, the Rev. Alfred Murray; Morgan County Commissioner Donald Harris; and Madison Mayor Fred Perriman.
“Our hearts beam as we see education still being held on this campus,” Mayor Perriman said to the crowd before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Madison is very fortunate for the Georgia Military College investment here. . . . Madison values GMC and the new life it brings to this community.“
GMC-Madison alumni, Logan Mayzurk (JC ’20) and Katilya Ross (JC ’15), also spoke at the event, sharing their experiences as a GMC student and expressing their gratitude to everyone at GMC-Madison who helped them along the way. Mayzurk is currently attending the University of Georgia as a civil engineering major. Ross, who was a single mother when she attended GMC-Madison, now has a successful career in real estate.
Since fall 2020, the GMC-Madison Pearl-Burney Annex has welcomed more than 100 Morgan County High School students enrolled in the GMC Dual Enrollment program, but GMC-Madison chose not to hold the combination ribbon-cutting and anniversary event last year due to COVID-19 precautions.
Event attendees were able to tour the newly restored GMC-Madison Pearl-Burney Annex that currently uses six classrooms with the option to add up to eight more classrooms in the future. Work has already begun on the Pearl-Burney Museum to be housed in same structure as the Annex. The Madison-Morgan County Boys & Girls Club will also be located there.
Perriman and his fellow Pearl High School graduates took their time touring the GMC-Madison Pearl-Burney Annex and reacquainting themselves with the newly renovated facility. “To walk back on this campus and see it move to higher education,” Perriman said, “that’s wonderful.“
Since it opened 25 years ago, the GMC-Madison campus has increased the number of students enrolled from 50 to more than 200 each quarter. Since 2000, the Madison campus has awarded more than 450 associate degrees to GMC graduates.
With the addition of the Pearl-Burney Annex, GMC-Madison is proud to be “carrying on a legacy,” said Leigh Aldhizer, GMC-Madison Extension Center Director, adding, “I’m glad that we can keep carrying the torch.”
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