Gordon unveils commemorative stag statue

On Tuesday, February 15, Gordon State College hosted the Alan R. Giles Memorial Stag Statue Unveiling Ceremony. The event took place in front of the GSC Student Activity and Recreation Center (SARC) at 9:30 a.m. with remarks from the late honoree’s wife, Angela Giles.

GSC Vice President of Advancement, External Relations and Marketing, Montrese Adger Fuller, opened the ceremony by thanking Angela Giles and her late husband, Alan Giles, for leaving “such a wonderful legacy and addition. to the campus of Gordon State College which will be here for many years to come.”

Alan Giles was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1942 and graduated from Gordon Military College. He was a cadet at a boarding school and a member of the 1960 alumni class. “We call Gordon a home. His friends all came from here,” Angela Giles said. “They were always like brothers. Gordon meant so much to him. He excelled.

Alan and Angela Giles have been loyal donors to GSC for many years. They had plans in place to provide the College with a legacy gift while completing their estate planning. This donation was received by GSC where the proposal to build a large heirloom stag statue in the name of Alan Giles came to fruition.

“We are here today to honor a good man. He was the best man I’ve ever known,” Angela Giles said. “We’re here to honor him and this deer dedication. It’s beautiful and breathtaking.

An engraved plaque sits prominently in front of the statue that displays Alan Giles’ class year as well as his favorite quote: “If you want to go fast, go alone.” If you want to go far, go together.

Dr. Kirk A. Nooks, President of the GSC, was then introduced and warmly welcomed, along with Kierra Cooper Williams, President of the GSC Student Government Association, where she explained the origin of the GSC mascots that have led to his current spirit mark, the deer.

GSC’s name and mascot have changed over the years. Prior to 1980, Gordon’s sports teams were the Bulldogs. By the mid-1980s Gordon’s sports teams were known as the Generals and the Wolves. Sports teams became the Highlanders in 1995.

In August 2020, GSC unveiled the new Symbol of Strength, Pride and Power of WE theme that will guide the institution’s progress for years to come. The deer, transformed into a spiritual mark, is a nod to Gordon State’s rich history and represents dedication to excellence in academics, inclusion and commitment to mission.

“To me, that deer represents a weaving bow, whether it’s Gordon Military College, Gordon College, Barnesville High School or Gordon State College,” Nooks said. “It represents all of us, and what we’re doing here is demonstrating Highlanders Forward.”

The concept came from the historic Gordon Highlanders, which were a British Army line infantry regiment that existed for 113 years after the merger of two Scottish regiments in 1881. They wore a crest with a stag and the motto ” Bydand”, which means “Stand and fight.

“This occasion marks something special for us. When I arrived at Gordon State College, it was clear we needed a rallying zone,” Nooks said. “This rallying point is where future and current students, as well as graduates, can return. They have a place to say this is where it started, this is where it ended, and that’s what gives us energy and that Highlanders Forward rallying cry.

Founded in 1852, GSC is a member of the University System of Georgia. The college has a distinctive heritage of excellent scholarship and service. GSC offers 11 four-year degrees and 16 associate-level degrees, which include several bachelor’s degree pathways for students. With an enrollment of over 3,000 students, GSC offers an intimate academic setting in state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories. As part of this, students receive individualized attention that only a small college with dedicated faculty and staff can provide.

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