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GGC students 'March Through the Arch'

Georgia Gwinnett College students ‘March Through the Arch’ during a ceremony on Thursday night at the school. (Photo: Georgia Gwinnett College)

Georgia Gwinnett College students ‘March Through the Arch’ during a ceremony on Thursday night at the school. (Photo: Georgia Gwinnett College)

LAWRENCEVILLE — For the third-consecutive year, Georgia Gwinnett College hosted its “March Through the Arch” for new students entering the institution.

The “Arch of Knowledge,” as it’s known by, serves as a welcome to new students. By the time they graduate, those same students will recess through the arch, exiting the college the same way they entered.

Greeting the students was a long line of faculty members, there to show their support and encouragement for the new students.

“It’s our way of welcoming our students into the college,” said Dr. Lois C. Richardson, acting senior vice president for academic and student affairs, and provost. “We wanted to do some kind of ceremonial matter to welcome our students here.”

The event saw more than 2,000 of the 3,100 incoming freshmen attend, all looking to get their first taste of college.

“I wanted to come out here and see what this was all about,” said Berkmar graduate Ivan Bessah. “I definitely want to get involved on campus. I think staying involved will help me keep my grades up.”

Richardson agrees, too.

“Studies have show there is a strong connection between student success and the number of activities they’re participating in,” she said. “Those students are getting involved, making friends and putting in the time to be a part of the community here at GGC.”

Of GGC’s 9,880 enrolled students, 30 percent have at least a part-time job.

“We’re a different sort of campus, and our classes and activities reflect that,” Richardson said. “We have classes six days a week. Some of them start as early as 7 a.m. and end as late as 10 p.m. Our activities do the same.

“No matter what a person’s schedule is, we want them to be involved on campus. And we’re more than willing to do anything to ensure that happens.”

While the “March Through the Arch” is still relatively new, Richardson said it’s something that the faculty takes pride in as they support their students.

“We have a faculty that’s dedicated and committed to the mission of this school,” she said. “We’re going to provide a quality education to our students and ensure they have the tools needed when they leave here.”