ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The president of the new Albany State University addressed the consolidation of the schools at Darton State College's Spring Commencement ceremony. Dr. Art Dunning says he's excited about the work ethic of people engaged in the process. He also talked about his commitment and the benefits it will bring to South Georgia.
Side by side, Darton's Interim President, Dr. Richard Carvajal and Albany State President, Dr. Art Dunning enter Darton's last Spring commencement before a new chapter begins.
"We have some announcements coming soon," said Dr, Richard Carvajal, Darton Interim President. "Everything is going very, very well. We're really excited about the progress."
Despite many lingering questions about the merger in the community, new Darton graduate Keirston Williams is excited. She'll attend the new Albany State University to earn her bachelors in organizational leadership.
"Well I'm ready as long as it's in my best interest for my education," said Keirston Williams, Darton Graduate. "I'm fine with it."
Wednesday night, Williams was able to hear from the combining institution's President.
"Education is a way to transform your life," said Dr, Art Dunning, Albany State University President. "Not only just your life, but your family."
Dunning recently named his leadership team and athletic coaches. He says more information will be released soon, including details of new academic programs.
"As we consolidate we will have a broader array of programs that meet directly some of the economic needs of this region," said Dunning. "Not just current jobs but emerging jobs."
The merger is the 7th University System consolidation. Dunning says it has been an open process.
"We are looking for every avenue and venue that we can touch to talk about this process," said Dunning. "We spend a lot of time not just on our campus but in the community as well."
Dunning says he and Carvajal meet monthly with citizens, business and faith based leaders to keep the community informed on the process. The consolidation is expected to be complete in January.