Armstrong Atlantic State University was founded in 1935 with 175 students as Armstrong Junior College to enhance higher educational opportunities in the community. The foundation of the institution, then as now, was a firm commitment to the ideals of a liberal education.
The city-supported college was housed in the historic Armstrong House, a gift to the city from the family of George F. Armstrong. Over the years, the college occupied six additional buildings downtown near Forsyth Park and Monterey Square. In 1959, as Armstrong College of Savannah, it became a two-year unit of the University System of Georgia. In 1964, the Board of Regents conferred four-year status on Armstrong State College.
In January 1966, the college moved to its present site, a gift from Donald Livingston and the Mills B. Lane Foundation. Eight buildings were constructed on the campus' original 250 acres. Additional buildings joined the original structures as Armstrong added professional and graduate programs. In 1993, work began on transforming the grounds into an arboretum.
In 1996, the institution gained state university status and a new name: Armstrong Atlantic State University. Armstrong today serves more than 7,000 students of all ages. Eighty-six percent come from across Georgia, 12 percent come from other states, and 2 percent come from 84 other nations.
Armstrong in the CommunitySince its inception as a city-owned junior college, Armstrong has been a strong partner with its neighbors. Armstrong graduates have taught generations of school children, cared for thousands of patients and helped to keep the community safe. In addition, the university has created a wide variety of courses and degrees to meet the ever-changing needs of business and industry.
From the moment the lights went up on the first Masquers' theatrical production, the college has enriched the life of the community through hundreds of cultural offerings from plays and concerts to art gallery exhibits and lectures. The Pirates' athletic teams bring excitement and an impressive string of national championships.
A culture of leadership and community service sends Armstrong students into surrounding localities as volunteers in a variety of civic activities from fundraising to delivering vital assistance to those who need it most.
Armstrong Through the Years
|1935||The Aldermen of the City of Savannah create Armstrong Junior College. The college is housed downtown in a mansion donated to the city by Lucy Camp Armstrong Moltz and Lucy Armstrong Johnson.|
|1935||Ernest A. Lowe is appointed the first president, and classes begin in September with 175 students.|
|1937||Stacy Keach, a senior, formed the college's Savannah Playhouse, the forerunner to the Masquers.|
|1940||Armstrong was first accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in a report that identified the school as the best junior college accredited that year.|
|1941||J. Thomas Askew is appointed the second president.|
|1944||Foreman M. Hawes is appointed the third president.|
|1959||Armstrong College of Savannah becomes a two-year unit of the University System of Georgia.|
|1962||The Mills B. Lane Foundation and Donald Livingston donate a new campus site of 250 acres on the south side of Savannah.|
|1964||The Board of Regents confers four-year college status upon Armstrong. B.A., B.S., and B.B.A. degrees are offered.|
|1964||Henry L. Ashmore is appointed the fourth president.|
|1965||The new eight-building campus is completed.|
|1968||The first baccalaureate degrees are awarded.|
|1968||Armstrong State College receives notice of accreditation as a senior institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.|
|1971||The Board of Regents authorizes Armstrong and Savannah State to offer joint graduate programs leading to the M.B.A. and the M.S. in education.|
|1978||The Board of Regents designates Armstrong State College as a Regional Health Professions Education Center.|
|1984||Robert A. Burnett is appointed the fifth president.|
|1985||Armstrong celebrates its fiftieth anniversary on May 27.|
|1986||The Regional Criminal Justice Training Center is established on the Armstrong campus.|
|1986||The Board of Regents approves the offering of selected baccalaureate degrees by Armstrong State College at the Brunswick Center.|
|1995||The sixtieth anniversary is celebrated with a historic marker at Armstrong House, presidential artwork, inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame, and dedication of the new Armstrong Sports Center.|
|1996||The institution gains university status and a new name: Armstrong Atlantic State University.|
|1997||The dedication of University Hall, an 89,000 square-foot classroom and office building and home of the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center, is held.|
|1998||The Shirley and Philip Solomons Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics is established.|
|1998||Armstrong collaborates with other university system institutions to create the Liberty Center, which offers degree programs in Liberty County.|
|1998||The College of Education is named Best in the State by the Georgia Association of Teacher Educators.|
|1999||The Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program is established on the Armstrong campus.|
|2000||Thomas Z. Jones is named the sixth president.|
|2002||The student population exceeds 6,000.|
|2002||The dedication of the 126,056 square-foot Science Center is held.|
|2002||The university's first student residential community is dedicated.|
|2002||The Board of Regents approves funding for a new $23 million academic classroom building.|
|2003||Victor, Hawes and Solms halls are completely renovated and rededicated.|
|2003||The Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at Armstrong Atlantic program (HOLA) is established under a generous grant from the Goizueta Foundation.|
|2004||The student population exceeds 7,000.|
|2004||Armstrong Educational Properties, Inc. purchases 18 acres of land adjacent to the campus for development as academic support space, a Professional and Continuing Education Center, and student residences.|
|2005||The fourth student residential community is complete.|
|2006||The Peach Belt Conference gives Armstrong its inaugural Presidents' Academic Award for 2006-2007.|
|2006||The Armstrong Center, a conference facility for small to medium groups, is dedicated.|
|2006||The Student Recreation Center is opened.|
|2009||Both the men's and women's tennis teams win the 2009 NCAA Division II national championships for the second consecutive year.|
|2009||Construction begins on a new Student Union building and Windward Commons housing community.|
|2009||Armstrong graduates its first Doctor of Physical Therapy, awarded in conjunction with the Medical College of Georgia.|
|2009||Linda M. Bleicken is named the seventh president.|
|2009||Armstrong gains approval to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.|