President Carter honored with GSW Presidential Plaza dedication

President Carter at GSW (Source: WALB)
President Carter at GSW (Source: WALB)
GSW dedication plaza (Source: WALB)
GSW dedication plaza (Source: WALB)

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Former President Jimmy Carter left another mark on the campus of his alma mater on Friday morning.

Georgia Southwestern State University dedicated its "Presidential Plaza" in president Carter's honor.

It was an exciting day as students, faculty and the community welcomed President Carter back.

Both he and Rosalynn Carter attended GSW in the 1940s.

The presidential plaza is the first thing you seen when you enter the main campus.

Part of the plaza has a mounted signature in cement that President Carter signed when he was just a freshman at the school a near 75 years ago.

He and three other students were chosen to sign near a new building because they were students who showed good leadership qualities.

The plaque which was dedicated reads:

"On February 13, 1942, four freshmen identified as possessing strong leadership skills etched their names in the wet cement of the newly constructed driveway of the Wheatley Building: Bill Davis (DeSoto), John McCrea (Atlanta), Bob Logan (Quitman) and Jimmy Carter (Plains). Jimmy Carter would later become the 76th Governor of Georgia and the 39th President of the United States. In 2014, the cement etching was removed from the driveway to preserve it for future generations of Georgia Southwestern State University students."

On Friday he signed his name again in fresh cement to add to the plaza.

He said he can't believe how far the university has come since he was there.

"I don't remember when I signed my name, but I remember coming here, being here and I was chosen for some unknown reason to be one of the future leaders," said President Carter.

The former president spoke briefly to students, faculty and members of the community, telling them he hopes the country keeps peace and human rights of high importance.

"When I was in the whitehouse I had two ambitions. One was to keep our country at peace and the other was to be a champion of human rights. While I was there I was fortunate enough. We never dropped a bomb, we never fired a bullet, never launched a missile when I was in office and I come we can return to that commitment of peace and human rights sometime in the future," said President Carter,

The school has gone on to grow rapidly in size.

The university's president said enrollment now is at the highest in the history of the institution.

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