GMC News

GMC unveils new community room
GMC unveils new community room

by Felicia Cummings

Faculty, staff and alumni of Georgia Military College gathered at Usery Hall for the unveiling of a new community room dedicated to a special guest.

Thursday morning, the honorable W.J. Usery Jr., former U.S. Secretary of Labor and GMC alumnus, cut the ceremonial ribbon that unveiled the new Usery Community Room.

"I believe I have lived a life in accordance with the creed of this institution and I am proud to call myself a GMC alumnus," Usery said. "But I am also 91 years old, and I want to make sure that the school that I love and has made me the man I am today lives on long after we have passed. I am asking that this room be christened the Usery Community Room to reflect the largest part of my public life at GMC and the navy."

Usery Jr. became the first Georgian to serve as secretary of labor.

He was appointed to the position in 1976 by U.S. President Gerald Ford.

During his military career, he served aboard the Tutuila in the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet from 1943-1946.

His educational years at GMC were from 1938-1941.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Usery expressed his thoughts on the significance GMC has had on the accomplishments in his life.

"Through much trials in the navy the GMC motto, ‘duty, honor, country, and character’ above all was always there to guide me. GMC made it possible to face the fear of death and overcome it and makes perseverance through difficult times one of the keys of a virtuous life," he said.

GMC President Lt. Gen. William Caldwell said it was an honor to be in the company of Usery and an even greater honor to have his legacy preserved at GMC.

"We are in the presence of a great man, but we are also in the presence of one of our most dedicated alumni. It is truly an honor to have his legacy preserved at our institution."

Usery said it was his fondest hope that the room will help bring people together.

"I hope that this room may in a small way help bring people together not just among the faculty and students at GMC but across our fair city — helping to overcome current geographic and racial barriers." 

The coming together of different groups is the core objective of the new community room as well as his legacy, he added.

"As my legacy at GMC, I want to help in providing for the years ahead the opportunity for all of us to work together for the future we want our children, our schools, our city and our nation to have. This is what Usery Community Room is all about."