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Dalton State Launches $16.5 Million Campaign

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*Please note: The file photos used in this story showing students in the renovated Gignilliat Hall were taken before the pandemic.

Dalton State College launched the public phase of a major fundraising campaign this week. The campaign goal is $16.5 million, and $15.2 million toward that goal has already been raised. 

“This is only the second comprehensive fundraising campaign in the college’s history,” said Dr. Margaret Venable, president of Dalton State. “We know there is significant interest in our community for Dalton State to be a driver of growth for our region, and the ultimate success of this campaign will be one of the determining factors in our ability to deliver that impact for our community and Northwest Georgia.” 

The campaign seeks to expand scholarships for financial need, academic merit and athletics; invest in faculty; and provide places and spaces that enhance discovery and learning. College and Dalton State Foundation leaders hope to complete the campaign by Dec. 31. 

“The benefits that Dalton State delivers to our community are immeasurable,” said Chip Howalt, chairman of the Dalton State Foundation and president and CEO of Dalton-based Textile Rubber & Chemical Company. “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 why our company is a proud supporter of this campaign and Dalton State.”

“The extraordinary tradition of private philanthropic support for Dalton State is what emboldened us to initiate this effort a few years ago,” said David Elrod, director of the Dalton State Foundation. “Every time the college has taken a step forward over the past 54 years, community support has been the catalyst for the good things that have happened here.” 

The previous addition of on-campus student housing, the revival of athletics and the expansion of the college’s bachelor’s degree offerings are three examples over the past two decades where private support was a decisive factor.

Already, gifts made in support of the campaign have enabled the expansion of Gignilliat Hall, home of the 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.

“We are careful and conservative stewards of the public funds provided to us by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia,” Venable said. “The critical margin of excellence – maintaining our reputation for providing a transformational educational experience in a caring, diverse community – is provided by the kind of private philanthropy our community is known for. We have no doubt the successful culmination of this campaign will only affirm that.

“The current environment demonstrates more powerfully than ever the importance of easy access to higher education opportunities with financial need-based scholarships, talented faculty and quality academic programs and facilities,” Venable said. “We know our donors believe in Dalton State whether we meet with them in person or on Zoom or by phone, and we look forward to continuing those interactions however donors wish.”

In addition to the projects already funded, the campaign seeks to raise funds for scholarships for athletics, study abroad and undergraduate research experiences; endowed faculty positions and endowments to fortify academic programs. Donors wishing to learn more may contact the foundation at 706-272-4473 or give online at

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