Viewpoint: Darton's time has come

Earlier this year The University of Georgia Alumni Association led by Vic Sullivan, recognized the "Bulldog 100", a new program to honor the 100 fastest growing businesses, owned or operated by UGA graduates.

Winners are scattered across the country, but an amazing 81% are businesses based right here in Georgia.

Our state has made huge investments in our local universities and our dividends are the new graduates, remaining here to work locally, paying local taxes, and employing others.

It is past time our local leaders recognized the same dividends are possible in Albany, offering 4-year Programs at Darton.

Yes, we have a 4-year University at Albany State. But where does the current ASU student body come from?

83% of the 4,500 students come from outside Southwest Georgia, mostly Atlanta. 73% of the 5,500 Darton students come from here in Southwest Georgia.

Too many of our young people are leaving Albany, to attend Georgia Southwestern, Valdosta State, ABAC, or Georgia Southern.

It is obvious, the more local students we send to a local 4-year University, the more Graduates we get to stay here, go to work, start a business, and raise a family.

You name any economic engine possible in Albany's foreseeable future; nothing can grow as rapidly, or with the long lasting benefits of 4-year programs at Darton College. Think of a 4-year Darton as a new factory that produces one of our most important products…Working Taxpayers !