GPC Celebrates Fourth of July and Volunteerism in Dunwoody07/08/2010
Contact: roger barnes
Author: Roger Barnes
The theme of this year’s Dunwoody Fourth of July Parade was volunteerism, a natural for Georgia Perimeter College with its rich history of community service. Volunteer efforts by students at the Dunwoody Campus include Dental Hygiene clinic, a springtime area clean-up day and several service events at the Dunwoody Nature Center.
Georgia Perimeter College joined more than 130 groups and organizations who participated in the 2.5-mile celebration that was held on Monday, July 5.
“I’m glad to see the college here,” said Edward Sands, a volunteer parade marshal. “I’m glad we have the college here in Dunwoody. We need educational opportunities beyond high school available throughout all our communities.”
This year, everyone was willing to participate once the Dunwoody Woman’s Club extended an invitation to GPC, said Dr. Norvell Hamer Jackson, dean of students on GPC’s Dunwoody Campus.
“Once invited, we immediately began work on our float because we really wanted to show our spirit, our dedication and acknowledge our history of volunteering in our community,” Jackson said.
More than 30 GPC students volunteered to participate in the parade but in the past year alone GPC volunteers had participated in a number of events to benefit the city. In April, 60 GPC volunteers cleaned up the area around the Dunwoody Campus. GPC volunteers also helped rebuild trails, and re-painted the Dunwoody Nature Center. Last month, a GPC environmental science class tested the ph balance in the creek near the Nature Center as part of a continuous volunteer effort.
One of GPC’s highlights during the parade was Jaggy, the college’s mascot, who started the parade riding in a convertible driven by Dr. Maggie Ehrlich, GPC Dunwoody’s academic dean for math, computer science and engineering. Jaggy quickly jumped out of the car to meet and greet his many young fans.
GPC’s banner was carried by Dunwoody Student Government Association members, and student volunteers followed the GPC procession to hand out treats to spectators.
Another highlight of the parade was GPC’s healthcare van, a fully equipped mobile unit that allows GPC nursing and dental hygiene students to take their services out into the community. Also, Dunwoody Campus Public Safety and Plant Operations participated in the parade.
GPC’s float was decorated in vivid read, white, and blue, in honor or the volunteers of this great nation. Dunwoody Homecoming Queen Vania New helped the residents get into the GPC spirit.
“It was good to keep our face out there and remind the community that we offer a really good education,” New said. “You can actually start your education in your neighborhood and transfer to a four-year institution with our TAG (transfer admission guarantee) agreements. I enjoyed the parade and I enjoyed my two years at GPC. They have been the best two years of my life.”
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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,500 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu.