Gordon State College Hosts Its First Highlander Nation Day

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

On Friday, March 25, Gordon State College hosted its first Highlander Nation Day for all future Highlanders from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Barnesville campus Student Activity and Recreation Center (SARC).

The event’s mission was to provide an opportunity for prospective students to visit the campus again, meet with incoming peer students from other high schools, network with current Highlanders, preselect extra-curricular and co-curricular involvement, meet with faculty members in the area they are interested in studying and confirm financial aid and housing needs.

Highlander Nation Day kicked off early with attendee check-in that included a photo station and special guest appearance from GSC new stag mascot, Gordy. A mini-connection fair followed that allowed future Highlanders to cultivate connections with faculty and staff to learn about their chosen academic program of study as well as discover new resources. Some stations included New Student Orientation (NSO), Counseling, Student Activities, Career Services, and Student Success Center.

GSC Dean of Students, Dr. Matthew Robinson proceeded the fair with a formal welcome and introduction on how students can connect with him and others to better navigate their GSC journey forward into success.

“How exciting it was to see future Highlanders on campus for Highlander Nation Day!” Robinson said. “The atmosphere was electric and the enthusiasm the future students brought to the event was amazing. I look forward to the 22-23 school year as these new students begin their GSC journeys.”

GSC President, Dr. Kirk A. Nooks took the floor next with enthusiasm to teach future Highlanders the “Highlanders Forward!” rallying cry as a reminder of encouragement and symbol of the Highlander Nation looking to one another and joining together.

“I was excited to meet and speak to all our future Highlanders! It was important for me to communicate to them that they belong at Gordon State College and that we’re here to navigate them on a successful journey, cultivate connections, and embrace their Highlander Edge for a lifetime,” President Nooks said.

Bethany Watts, GSC enrollment services advisor and alumna gave a rundown of the agenda and activities planned for the day. As an alumna, she spoke briefly of what sets GSC apart from the average institution.

“Gordon State College is a large family of faculty, staff, and students. I have always felt at home here and believe that the majority of our students share that feeling. We offer a sense of belonging and connectivity that provide students the opportunity to shine far brighter than they ever imagined possible,” Watts said. “Our students come first here at Gordon and everyone could see that just based on the student involvement! I enjoyed seeing our incoming Highlanders become intertwined with our current Highlanders and the interaction between them! I look forward to seeing these same faces at New Student Orientation, throughout their entire Highlander journey, at their GSC Commencement, and even afterward when they come back to visit.”

Before lunch was provided, three breakout groups were formed to take a mini campus tour based on the student’s academic program. The groups consisted of students pursuing their degree from the School of Business, Liberal Arts, and Social Science, School of Nursing, Health, and Natural Sciences, and the School of Education, Mathematics, and Applied Sciences.

After lunch, future Highlanders visited the GSC bookstore to pick up their free t-shirt followed by a housing tour. All who have registered for the day also received a swag bag filled with a pair of sunglasses, phone ID holder and a lanyard to name a few.

Highlander Nation Day concluded with a Highlander yard party located on the SARC greens. Future Highlanders engaged in fun activities from fair games and music to photo sessions. The yard party provided extra opportunities to connect with GSC clubs such as Campus Activity Board (CAB), Student Government Association (SGA), Sisterhood of Integrity, Human Services, Athletics, and more. It was also an opportunity to develop relationships with fellow students to realize GSC’s vision of, The Power of WE.