Georgia Highlands College
Georgia Highlands College bestowed an award on Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown recently at its first fund-raising gala celebrating the institution’s achievements over the past year.  The event was held at the Clarence Brown Conference Center in Cartersville and hosted 300 supporters.  Randy Quick, general manager of Rome Radio Partners and a foundation board trustee, served as master of ceremonies. 
GHC Foundation trustee and long-time friend Tommy Strickland presented Brown with the Heritage Award for his many years of work and outstanding contributions to the Cartersville and Bartow County area.  He said, “I can think of no one who has worked harder and is more deserving of such an award.  GHC is just one of the many projects that Clarence Brown has helped bring from inception to completion for the people of Cartersville and Bartow County.”  
The Heritage Award will annually honor those who have left a legacy of leadership, civic development and philanthropic contributions and who have served with integrity, honor, determination and vision.  Brown was instrumental in bringing the Cartersville campus to fruition, and worked tirelessly to find funding for infrastructure and to keep Cartersville civic leaders and community members informed about the project’s development.
Brown’s opinion that the Bartow community would enthusiastically support a campus in the rapidly growing county was proven accurate.  After the doors to the first building opened in 2005, GHC’s enrollment immediately increased by 50 percent.  Today that building has more than reached its capacity of 2,000, reflecting enrollment that has tripled since 2005.  Before the new campus opened, Cartersville enrollment totaled 799.  This past fall that number was 2,145.  Governor Nathan Deal recently signed the state budget for 2013, which includes design funding for a new academic facility.  And in August the new student center, a public/private venture financed over 30 years and repaid through student fees approved by the student body, will open in time for the fall semester.  
Guests at the gala were treated to a VIP reception, dinner and musical entertainment by Theresa Hightower.  Proceeds from the gala benefit the college’s student scholarship program. 

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