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GPC celebrates 50 years
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Georgia Perimeter College celebrates its 50th anniversary with events beginning this week.

On Friday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 a.m., GPC faculty, staff and retirees will kick off the college’s 50th anniversary celebration at Fall Convocation in the Clarkston Campus gymnasium. Special guest speaker will be Dr. Houston Davis, USG executive vice chancellor. Interim President Rob Watts will give the annual state-of-the-college address, and Academic Affairs Vice President Ron Stark will provide a college update.

1964 was a big year. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act into law. The Beatles landed in New York City for their first U.S. tour. And the DeKalb Board of Education officially opened DeKalb College, the first and only public two-year college in the state controlled by a local school district.

Twenty-two years later, DeKalb College joined the University System of Georgia; and in 1997, the USG Board of Regents changed the name of the college to Georgia Perimeter College to reflect its expanding mission and its service throughout the metro Atlanta area. The GPC moniker became official in the fall of 1998.

During spring 1993, Georgia Perimeter College, in cooperation with Clayton State College, DeKalb Technical College and Rockdale County Public Schools, formed the Rockdale Center for Higher Education, which offered credit and non-credit courses.

As part of the changing of the college’s name in November 1997, the names of the campuses were changed to identify the cities in which they are located.

In December 2001, Georgia Perimeter College’s Lawrenceville Campus, along with its partners at the Gwinnett University Center, relocated from the MacCleod Industrial Park on Sugarloaf Parkway to a 177-acre campus at 1000 University Center Lane. In 2007, Georgia Perimeter College discontinued offering courses at the Lawrenceville Campus in order for the site to become Georgia Gwinnett College, a new four-year USG institution. In summer 2007, the Rockdale Campus was relocated to a larger new campus in Newton County and renamed the Newton Campus.

GPC began offering classes in Alpharetta in a building owned by Georgia State University. Through the years, the college has expanded its class and service offerings to citizens in north Fulton County. Georgia Perimeter College gained full ownership of the original building in fall 2010.

Today, Georgia Perimeter has five campuses-Alpharetta, Clarkston, Decatur, Dunwoody and Newton County-plus the state university system’s largest online program. GPC currently serves more than 21,000 students and during its history has helped more than 350,000 students toward their dream of earning a college degree.