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GGC Foundation gets new chair

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Snellville resident John D. Stephens was elected Tuesday as the new chairman of the Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation by its board of trustees

Stephens succeeds Glenn White, who served as the inaugural chair from the foundation's inception in 2006. White recently stepped down from the post.

When it was first created, the college foundation was challenged with building the financial resources needed to support a new, unproven institution through its first few years. Now that the college has grown, the foundation's emphasis must shift, officials said.

"I have had the incredible experience of watching this college grow from a dream to a comprehensive campus of almost 6,000 students," said White, president of the Atlanta Region of United Community Banks. "I have enjoyed my association with GGC in this role. The time is right to give someone else the opportunity to serve as board chair as the college enters into its next exciting phase of growth."

Gordon Harrison, president of the GGC Foundation, said the needs of the college have changed since it first opened in Lawrenceville.

"The foundation initially had to focus on helping the college develop key, core facilities that are at the heart of the student experience at any institution," Harrison said. "This included the library, student center and student housing. Now, the foundation's emphasis will shift toward initiatives more directly related to supporting enrollment growth, which continues at a dramatic pace."

Harrison said Stephens has an approach that is visionary and strategic, something necessary to guide the foundation to a new level.

"This is an exciting time for the college, and it is my privilege to be involved," said Stephens, who has served on the foundation's board since December 2009. "I will continue to focus on a healthy organization, especially as we gain momentum on fundraising."