Georgia Historical Society to Dedicate New Historical Marker Commemorating the History of Armstrong State University

Savannah, Ga., December 16, 2019 – The Georgia Historical Society in conjunction with the Waters Foundation, Inc. and Georgia Southern University Foundation, Inc. will dedicate a new Georgia Historical Marker commemorating the history of Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia.

The dedication will take place Tuesday, December 17, at 2:00 p.m. at the Quad on the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University, 11395 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia.
The marker highlights the history of Armstrong State University from its founding in 1935 as a Junior College in downtown Savannah, through its growth and move to Savannah’s southside in 1966, through the merger with Georgia Southern in 2017.

Speakers for the event are Dr. Kyle Marrero, President, Georgia Southern University; Don Waters, The Waters Foundation, Inc., Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Curator of the GHS Board of Curators, and Armstrong alumnus; Otis Johnson, PhD, former Mayor, City of Savannah, Armstrong alumnus, and Scholar in Residence at Savannah State University; and Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society.

The Marker Reads:

Armstrong State University
Armstrong Junior College was founded in 1935 by Savannah Mayor Thomas Gamble as a two-year college. It held classes in the donated former home of businessman George Armstrong, adjacent to Forsyth Park. In 1959, through the leadership of President Foreman Hawes and alumnus Frank Cheatham, Armstrong became part of the University System of Georgia. To accommodate Armstrong’s growth, in 1962 the Mills B. Lane Foundation and Donald Livingston donated 250 acres on Savannah’s southside for a new campus that opened in 1966. In 1963 future Savannah mayor Otis Johnson became the first African American to attend Armstrong, graduating the next year with an associates degree as the College received four-year status from the Board of Regents. In 1996 the college attained university status. The Regents consolidated Armstrong and Georgia Southern University in 2017 to better serve the needs of students in southeast Georgia.

For additional information please contact Patricia Meagher at 912-651-2125, ext. 153, on cell at 434-996-7085, or by email at


Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the past 20 years, GHS has erected over 250 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also maintains the more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby.Visit for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/R2 institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 26,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit