Power to the People Exhibit Dedication is Saturday, Aug. 11

Gordon State College and Southern Rivers Energy are teaming up to celebrate the 80th anniversary of electricity being made available in rural Georgia.

“Power to the People,” a historical exhibit that illustrates the impact electricity had on rural Georgia opens Saturday, Aug. 11, 80 years to the date that President Franklin Roosevelt visited Barnesville to dedicate electrical service.

The permanent exhibit of banners, photographs, and historical items from the era is in the atrium of Guillebeau Hall on the GSC campus, just yards from the actual location where, on a scorching summer day, FDR addressed tens of thousands of people.

A Dedication Ceremony for the exhibit is slated for Saturday, Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Gordon State College Fine Arts Auditorium. 

Guest speakers for the event will include Dr. Wayne Clough, former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and President Emeritus of Georgia Tech and Haven Luke, great-grandson of President Roosevelt and others.

There also will be a re-enactment of the speeh President Roosevelt gave 80 years ago.

After the Dedication Ceremony, attendees are invited to have lunch in the Highlander Dining Hall in the Student Center or visit the exhibit.

The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are honored to house the permanent exhibit within sight of where President Roosevelt addressed the crowd in 1938,” said Rhonda Toon, Gordon State College Vice President of Advancement. “We extend an open invitation to everyone to visit the exhibit, expecially schools and students of all ages.”

Parking for the Dedication Ceremony is available behind Fine Arts off Spencer Street. Parking for the exhibit is available along Stafford Avenue and behind the GSC Alumni House. Transportation between the venues and to and from parking areas will be provided.

The “Power to the People” steering committee includes Jill R. Severn, Richard B. Russell Library, University of Georgia; George Hooks, former State Senator; Bob Hanner, former State Representative; Peter Banks, Mayor, City of Barnesville; Prof. Jim Fleissner, Mercer University School of Law; Erin Cook, Southern Rivers Energy; Steve Cason, Southern Rivers Energy; Kelly Caudle, Georgia Humanities; Dan White, Gordon State College Foundation; Bill Verner, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation; J. Franklin Williamson, Assistant Professor of History, Gordon State College; Tamara Boatwright, Public Information Officer, Gordon State College; Charles P. Boltz, Professor of Communication, Gordon State College; Skipper Burns, Development Officer, Gordon State College; Candice Babcock, Advancement Coordinator; Rhonda Toon, Vice President, Office of Advancement, Gordon State College.