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GGC honors late official with street name

Special Photo Georgia Gwinnett College officially opened Lonnie Harvel Boulevard Feb. 16. As part of the streetis ribbon-cutting ceremony, the college presented commemorative street signs to members of Harvelis family. Shown are GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman, from left, Harvelis daughter Samantha Harvel, widow Martha Aenchbacher-Harvel, daughter Emily Harvel and brother Lester Harvel. The street memorializes Harvel, one of the collegeis charter cabinet members, who passed away in 2010.

Special Photo Georgia Gwinnett College officially opened Lonnie Harvel Boulevard Feb. 16. As part of the streetis ribbon-cutting ceremony, the college presented commemorative street signs to members of Harvelis family. Shown are GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman, from left, Harvelis daughter Samantha Harvel, widow Martha Aenchbacher-Harvel, daughter Emily Harvel and brother Lester Harvel. The street memorializes Harvel, one of the collegeis charter cabinet members, who passed away in 2010.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- For his contributions to Georgia Gwinnett College, the name of one of the institution's charter cabinet members will live on for all who knew him.

For those who never met the late Lonnie Harvel, his name will live on in a different way: emblazoned across a green street sign.

More than 125 friends, associates and family members recently gathered to dedicate a new road that cuts through the GGC campus in Harvel's honor.

In addition to his service as a GGC charter cabinet member, Harvel -- who passed away unexpectedly Nov. 4, 2010 -- was the college's vice president of educational technology and an associate professor of technology.

"GGC is Lonnie's legacy, and it is fitting that the GGC community will forever be reminded of this every time they enter the main entrances into campus," said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman.

Noting that the street cuts through the full width of the campus, he added: "Lonnie Harvel Boulevard touches every part of the GGC campus, just as Lonnie did."

The new street reaches from University Center Lane near the college's main entrance and connects with Collins Industrial Way near its intersection with Walther Boulevard. A portion of Lonnie Harvel Boulevard was formerly named Tree Creek Boulevard.

Officials said the street provides a much-needed route through the northern side of campus from Collins Hill to Walther.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Harvel's widow, the Rev. Martha Aenchbacher-Harvel of Athens First United Methodist Church, recalled how her late husband would explain what GGC would one day look like.

"He would describe the library, the student center and the dorms," she said.

Aenchbacher-Harvel added that, while future generations of GGC students might not know who Lonnie was, "his name will be logged into their GPS."

As part of the ceremony, which was held Saturday, Harvel's mother, widow and two daughters each received a commemorative street sign. After a ribbon-cutting and reception, Harvel's family members were the first to drive the new boulevard.

A 30-year veteran of the University System of Georgia, Harvel was a senior research scientist in the School of electrical and computer engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

He later served as director of the Digital Media Lab, associate director of the Center for Distributed Engineering Education, and an affiliate member of the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center, all at Georgia Tech.

His research included the development of distributed education architectures and applications, mobile interaction, telepresence, context analysis systems and context based content filtering.

While at Georgia Tech, Harvel was a guiding influence in evaluating and implementing technologies that aimed to enhance student learning in electrical and computer engineering.

Harvel was a popular speaker on educational technology issues, and developed a partnership between GGC and the Technology Association of Georgia.

In addition to the street name, GGC officials plan to memorialize Harvel through a scholarship fund named in his honor. During Saturday's ceremony, the family announced a gift to the Lonnie Harvel Memorial Scholarship. Donations are needed to fund the scholarship. Interested parties can contribute by visiting www.ggc.edu and clicking on, "Give to GGC."

Comments

GinaG 1 year, 10 months ago

What an awesome way to honor a really special friend and leader at Georgia Gwinnett College. He lived the "dream" each and every day. So many of us were honored to work alongside him and witness his vision for the Campus of Tomorrow. We still miss his sense of humor, innate ability to always think beyond the average standard, and notion to always take risks to ultimately impact positively. The curtain will never fall as Lonnie's final act is living on forever in the memories and impact he left in Gwinnett.

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

Why do we have to continue to "name" our public assets with people hardly anyone even knows or cares to know?

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news2me 1 year, 10 months ago

kevin, while I agree that we should not continue to name public streets, major highways, buildings, etc after politicians and the like, this is a good example of an exception done right.

This is a small street that actually cuts through the campus, it is not like a street that you would personally travel trough, that is unless you are on the GGC campus. If the people that are on that campus everyday think it is fine, then why oppose it?

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