In an age when many colleges and universities are scaling back, Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is growing by leaps and bounds – doubling its enrollment, building new facilities, increasing faculty, and now, adding an intercollegiate athletic program.
This fall, GGC participated for the first time in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) by adding men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis.
Founded in 2005, Georgia Gwinnet College is a youngster in higher education, but it’s making a name for itself very quickly. By adding intercollegiate athletics, GGC hopes it will add yet another dimension to student life at the rapidly-growing college, which now has almost 10,000 students. A complete athletics program including varsity, club and intramural sports, will offer students an opportunity to develop skills in teamwork and leadership.
“We are pleased to offer intercollegiate athletics to our students, as it represents another milestone in our brief history. Varsity sports will enhance the college’s vision of a fully integrated educational experience,” Georgia Gwinnett President Daniel J. Kaufman said in a press release earlier this year. “Students who are engaged in college stay in college and this new level of athletics will provide even more incentive for students to get involved, stay in school and graduate.”
“The entire school is very excited to have an athletics program for the first time,” said Georgia Gwinnett College Bookstore Manager Maggie Heatley. “And we’ve responded to this growing school spirit by displaying our athletic apparel front and center in the store and expanding the amount of space dedicated to Georgia Gwinnett apparel.”
By keeping her finger on the pulse of her campus, Heatley has worked closely with school administration, students, and merchandise buyers to ensure that her store offerings are exactly what her customers want. From high-tech performance apparel to comfy sweatshirts to the most popular school spirit styles, the Georgia Gwinnett College Bookstore delivers the right brands, styles and graphics for the most ardent “Grizzlies” fan in-store – and on the field.
The bookstore also scored a first by bringing the store to the fans, providing game-day attendees with an abundance of emblematic apparel, gifts and GGC merchandise at men’s and women’s soccer home games.
“The spirit on campus has really grown – and we wanted to be a part of that,” said Heatley. “For the first time, we took our store outside and set up a tent at the soccer games. This is the first year we’ve ever had intercollegiate teams at our school and the turnout at the games was fantastic. It’s been so incredibly exciting to be a part of such a dynamic school like Georgia Gwinnett. I can’t wait to see what’s next! ”