The University of North Georgia (UNG) is located in Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia. Founded as North Georgia Agricultural College in 1873, it is the second oldest public institution of higher education in the state, the first being the University of Georgia. The university is renowned for its ROTC program, and is designated as The Military College of Georgia. It is also designated by the University System of Georgia as a state leadership institution. It is one of only six senior military colleges in the United States.
On January 10, 2012, the Georgia Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the consolidation of North Georgia College and State University with Gainesville State College by January 2013 to form the University of North Georgia. It is not anticipated that either schools' current campuses will close. The merger brought along a change in school mascot from the North Georgia Saints to the North Georgia Nighthawks.
The institution was founded as an agricultural branch of the University of Georgia in 1873, which was made possible by the Morrill Act and the efforts of William Pierce Price. Its first graduating class in 1879 consisted of three men and one woman, making it the first public college in the state to award a degree to a woman. In 1929, its agriculture program was dropped and the name was changed to North Georgia College. The school received the designation of state university in 1996. Protesting alumni were successful in keeping the word college in the name after they became upset when the name North Georgia State University was suggested.
North Georgia's campus is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just south of the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Campus buildings are located around the drill field which is used by the military for drill and training, recreation for students and intramural sports. As a sign of respect students do not take short cuts across the field from the dorms and barracks to the academic buildings. The main administrative building, Price Memorial Hall, is named in honor of founder William Pierce Price. It is built on the foundations of the mint that was established in Dahlonega during the gold rush. Its spire was gold leafed in 1973 from local gold as was the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
The university consists of 4 colleges and awards over 50 degrees including in teacher education, nursing, pre-med, and military programs. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university 53rd in the "Regional University (South)" category. G.I. Jobs magazine listed the university as a 2013 "Military Friendly School".
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