Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Praises the $22 Million State-of-the-Art Facility
Local and state dignitaries joined forces to celebrate a special groundbreaking ceremony for the new Armstrong Waters College of Health Professions on the Armstrong State University campus on Aug. 29. Dignitaries included, from left to right, Regent James Hull, Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone, Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, Alderman Brian Foster, Regent Laura Marsh, Armstrong graduate student Tiffany Slater, Cindy Waters, Regent Don L. Waters, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Armstrong Interim President Jennifer L. Frum, Georgia Southern President Jaimie L. Hebert, Representative Jesse Petrea, Representative Jon Burns, Representative Bill Hitchens, Commissioner James ‘Jay’ Jones, Alderman Julian Miller and Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott.
(Aug. 29, 2017) – Armstrong State University officially broke ground earlier today on the new building that will house the Waters College of Health Professions in Savannah. More than 300 community leaders, political dignitaries, faculty, staff and students attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley, Regent Don L. Waters, Armstrong Interim President Jennifer L. Frum, Ph.D., and Georgia Southern President Jaimie L. Hebert, Ph.D., addressed the audience at the ceremony.
“This new facility, supported by state funds, will house a state-of-the-art interprofessional environment that encourages a team-oriented approach to healthcare education,” said Governor Deal. “It is important to the students, it is important to healthcare in this part of the state, but it is also important for our state as a whole.”
In May, Governor Deal signed the FY18 budget for the State of Georgia, which included $22 million in construction funding to build a new health professions facility on the Armstrong campus and to renovate Ashmore Hall. The vibrant complex will feature a state-of-the-art Simulation Suite as well as hands-on, team-oriented learning opportunities. The 63,000-square-foot building is expected to welcome students in Spring 2019.
Governor Deal also thanked Regent Don and Cindy Waters for their longstanding dedication to public education in Georgia and for their commitment to ensuring the future success of students in health professions.
“I am extremely grateful to Don and Cindy Waters, who provided a generous $2 million donation to name the Waters College of Health Professions,” stated the Governor. “A true leader, Don Waters serves on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and had the vision to make Savannah a center for health professions education and leadership. The impact of his transformational gift is truly monumental.”
“I’m passionate about education and doing what we can as a community working together to create educational opportunities for people across our state,” said Regent Waters. “Making the gift to name the Waters College of Health Professions has been one of the most meaningful things Cindy and I have ever done. We wanted to support leadership development and to find a way to encourage generations of students in our community to make a positive impact on the lives of citizens across our great state.”
Armstrong graduates more undergraduate health professionals than any university in Georgia, offering a range of academic programs that prepare students for careers in nursing, public health, health administration and the allied health professions.
“This is a culmination of the great efforts of individuals dedicated to supporting the success of our students in health professions,” said Armstrong Interim President Jennifer L. Frum. “When this state-of-the-art educational facility opens, it will offer remarkable learning opportunities for students in a wide range of fields, from nursing to radiologic sciences. The new Waters College of Health Professions symbolizes not only an investment in future health professionals, but also the strong connection between public higher education and our state’s future workforce.”
In her remarks, Frum also thanked Chancellor Steve Wrigley for his deep commitment to ensuring that Georgia’s public universities are affordable and meet real world needs of the future workforce.
“The Waters College of Health Professions building will support student success, help meet the needs of the regional workforce and positively impact healthcare in the state of Georgia,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley.
The Waters College of Health Professions identifies with the new Georgia Southern University’s mission to drive economic development in the coastal Georgia region by supporting collaborative efforts and technological advancements in a variety of fields of study.
Georgia Southern President Jaimie Hebert made final remarks before inviting Governor Deal and the other visiting dignitaries to participate in the groundbreaking.
“At Georgia Southern and Armstrong, we have students who have dreamed their whole lives of becoming nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists and medical technicians,” Hebert said. “We are excited to support those students in making their career dreams come true.”