Superintendent appointed to new statewide position

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gov. Sonny Perdue this week announced Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Teachers Retirement System.

Wilbanks, 63, has been chief executive officer and superintendent of the Gwinnett Schools for almost 10 years. He was the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce's 2005 Citizen of the Year, the 2005 Georgia Superintendent of the Year and was one of the four finalists for the 2005 National Superintendent of the Year award.

He is a member of the American Association of School Administrators, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Gwinnett County Board of Public Health and the Lawrenceville Rotary Club. Wilbanks earned both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in education from the University of Georgia as well as a specialist's degree in education from Georgia State University.

He and his wife, Celeste, have two grown children and five grandchildren.

UGA at GUC sees enrollment jump

LAWRENCEVILLE - Fall semester enrollment at the University of Georgia totals 33,660, an increase of 255 students from last fall and the second-highest fall enrollment in UGA history.

The figure includes 1,105 students taking classes at the Gwinnett University Center and UGA centers in Tifton and Griffin.

Enrollment at the Gwinnett, Tifton and Griffin centers climbed 30 percent, or 255 students, accounting for almost the entire 0.8 percent increase in total enrollment.

The largest increase is at the Gwinnett University Center, where 467 undergraduates and 570 graduate students are in UGA degree programs, a 28.7 percent increase over last year. The Gwinnett center will convert to a four-year college next fall and UGA will end its undergraduate program when current undergraduates complete their study in 2008. UGA will continue to offer graduate programs at the new Georgia Gwinnett College.

Undergraduate enrollment on the Athens campus totals 24,467, an increase of 15 students from last fall, and graduate enrollment totals 6,265, down 39 students.

University Registrar Rebecca Macon said the 69 students who came to UGA after Hurricane Katrina forced their schools to close include three enrolled in the School of Law and five who are taking graduate courses. All the students are expected to return to their home schools for spring semester, Macon said.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.