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A Not So Trivial History of Dalton State

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Who chose the winner for Dalton State’s, then Dalton Junior College’s, Miss Chaparral during the 1967 – 1968 academic year? If you guessed Leonard Nimoy, known by many as Spock from the hit TV series Star Trek, you are correct?

Dalton State’s history is filled with interesting facts such as this – a pop culture icon participating in student led activities. But Dalton State’s history is also comprised of facts that tell a story of growth and resilience, a story that began with enduring support from our local community. 

Did you know the land our campus was built on was donated by four founding families in the early 1960s? This act of philanthropy was the foundation for Dalton State to open its doors as Dalton Junior College in 1967, setting in motion the opportunity for Dalton State to serve both its campus and local community for the past 56 years.

When Dalton State celebrated its 50th anniversary, the “Dalton State Trivia Book” was published. The trivia book reflects on the first five decades of the college’s history, and its publication was made possible by philanthropic support from the community through a Campus Enrichment Grant from the Dalton State Foundation.

To give you a look at Dalton State’s history through the years, we have compiled a list of insightful trivia for you to enjoy, including content from the “Dalton State trivia book.”

Q: What banner headline did Dalton residents see in their local newspapers on June 27, 1963?

A: Dalton Gets College

The article written by “RIP” Whitfield appeared in the Dalton Citizen-News announcing the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia unanimously approved “the vicinity of Dalton … be authorized for a community college.”

Q: Dalton Junior College was the first college in the University System of Georgia to have what furnishing in all its classrooms?

A: Carpet

This trivia fact is fitting given the college’s home is Dalton, Ga., the Carpet Capital of the World.

Q: What is the significance of September 25, 1967, in the history of the college?

A: That was the first day of classes.

There were 524 students enrolled when Dalton Junior College opened for the first day of classes; the college now has more than 4,500 students.

Q: How soon after the college opened did construction begin on the next academic building?

A: One year and one month.

Construction began on Memorial Hall, later named Gignilliat Hall, in October 1968.

Q: Whose philanthropic donation of $5 million was matched by the state of Georgia to fund the renovation and expansion of Gignilliat Hall completed in 2019?

A: C. Lamar and Ann Wright

Lamar Wright was a member of Dalton Junior College’s first class. Dalton State named the school of business the C. Lamar and Ann Wright School of business in honor of the Wright’s philanthropic support.

Q: Which campus building namesakes met each other in the first grade and later became high school sweethearts?

A: Shelby and Willena Peeples

Peeples Hall was named for the Peeples following a substantial gift to the college in the 2010s and provides students with substantial hands-on learning opportunities including a cadaver lab, the Turtle Assurance Colony and access to a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer and a scanning electron microscope.

Q: In what year was the college authorized to begin developing the first bachelor’s degrees?

A: 1999

The first three baccalaureates offered at Dalton State include BS, Industrial Operations Management; BS, Management Information Systems; BAS, Technology Management.

Q: How many bachelor’s degrees are currently offered at Dalton State?

A: 24

Since approved to begin offering baccalaureates, Dalton State has worked with stakeholders to develop programs to meet student and local workforce needs. Community collaboration has led to the development of programs such as the B.A.S. in Engineering technology, created in partnership with Shaw Industries and Mohawk Industries.

Q: Where on campus can Health Professions students practice simulated scenarios in a hospital setting?

A: Health Simulation Lab

The Health Simulation Lab was funded entirely by private dollars to address industry needs in, not only nursing, but also Respiratory Therapy, Radiology Technology and others. The cross-discipline lab provides hands-on learning opportunities to prepare students for situations they may face in clinical practice, and later, in the workplace. Nearly 100% of our graduates are hired by Northwest Georgia healthcare systems.

Q: Who was the first female president of Dalton State College?

A: Margaret H. Venable

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“Dalton State continues to build on its strong foundation. We understand the important role Dalton State plays in this community and greatly appreciate the partnerships and philanthropic support we enjoy in northwest Georgia,” Venable said. “Although I believe we would be a good college regardless, we are recognized regionally and nationally as one of the very best undergraduate colleges because of the close relationships we have with area businesses as well as other employers, schools, alumni and friends of Dalton State.”

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