College And Community Thrive With Mutual Support

From the moment a group of community leaders envisioned the impact a college could have in Northwest Georgia, we have had your support.

We began 60 years ago – as Dalton Junior College – to provide access to local students to attend college close to home. This meant higher education was available to more people. Local college graduates could fulfill our workforce needs and provide an educated population to become the next generation of community leaders.

That’s still who we are today at Dalton State College. We believe education should be available to everyone who wants to work for it. And we’re able to continue to grow while still staying true to who we are because of your support. 

I think about that now as we launch the public phase of only our second fundraising campaign in the college’s history. We have raised $15.2 million toward an overall goal of $16.5 million for student scholarships for financial need, academic merit and athletics; investments in faculty; and places and spaces that enhance discovery and learning.

When we transitioned from a two-year junior college to a four-year institution, community support made it happen. 

When we expanded our bachelor’s degree offerings in response to local employers’ needs, the community stepped up. 

When the college began offering on-campus housing to enhance the student experience, the community supported us again.

In every significant step forward at Dalton State, our supportive community has been the driver of these changes. I am proud to tell others about the wonderful opportunities we provide our students and what a welcoming, safe and fun place Dalton is.

We know there is substantial community interest for Dalton State to continue to drive growth for our region. That’s why your support continues to be important to who we are and in helping us achieve our mission.

Our Dalton State Foundation chairman, Chip Howalt, of Dalton-based Textile Rubber & Chemical Company, may have said it best when he noted, “Not only is the college a major contributor with its annual economic impact and employment, but the production of qualified graduates who stay here and build their careers here and raise their families here is an incredible asset in a community of our size.”

That is indeed what we’re constantly seeking to do, and with the success of this campaign we intend to do even more of it.

Already, gifts made in support of the campaign have enabled the expansion and renovation of Gignilliat Hall, home of the new C. Lamar & Ann Wright School of Business; the creation of the Shaw Industries Chair in STEM at Dalton State and the establishment of more than $4 million in newly endowed scholarship funds.

Some have asked why a public institution like Dalton State would need private donor support. We are conservative stewards of the funds provided to us by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, but the truth of the matter is this community wants and needs us to do more than merely exist.

We need to thrive.

We can prosper and expand our reputation for providing a transformational educational experience in a caring, diverse and dynamic community only with the level of private philanthropy our community is known for.

More than ever, the current environment demonstrates the importance of easy access to higher education opportunities with need-based scholarships, talented faculty and quality academic programs and facilities. In turn, we will be able to produce even more qualified graduates that local employers want to hire, and those graduates will stay here in our communities and build successful families, careers and organizations.

We plan to complete the campaign by Dec. 31, and we hope you will plan to be a part of this success story with us.

Because of our low tuition, it doesn’t take much to make a direct impact on the lives of one of our students. Even a few dollars can help a student achieve their goals.

If you wish to learn more about the campaign, feel free to contact the Dalton State Foundation at 706-272-4473 or you can give online at