September 10, 2018
President Leland Malchow rang the bell to call the meeting to order. Jim Price gave the Pledge and Invocation. Frank Ward introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians. Willie Williams introduced the visiting Interact Students. Richard Rogers gave the Sunshine Report. At our last meeting the inside challenger was Havird Usry and his new company, The Southern Salad, was the outside challenger. This week the inside challenger is club member Chris Melcher and the outside challenger is club member Eddie Bussey with State Farm Insurance.
President Leland called on Phil Wahl to introduce new member Brennish Brown, CEO of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Then, Ed Presnell introduced Brittany Burnette, CEO of the United Way of the CSRA as our newest member.
- President Leland thanked both Jeff Simless and Gene McManus for setting up our tailgate kickoff party a few weeks ago. It was most enjoyable and all of the team “representatives” did a fantastic job.
- Jeff Simless came forward and announced the winners of our weekly football pick’em. Susan Rice won in week 1 and Frank Mulherin in week 2. If you are not getting the email to participate from Ashlee Duren please let Jeff know.
- President Leland called on John Whitwell to give us a brief update on the Smash Alzheimer’s event to raise money. Be thinking of ways you want to smash things and video them much like the Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago. More details will be coming soon.
- President Leland thanked Leigh Porterfield for her work setting up the Family of Rotary night at the Greenjackets stadium on August 23rd. We had over 44 members participate.
- He also congratulated Sandy Dykes who had his first hole in one on #7 at Mt. Vintage Golf Course and reminded the club to keep our GRSP student, Linea Larson, in mind when planning family outings, dinners, trips, and sporting events.
President Leland called on Chris Melcher to introduce our speaker, club member Dr. Brooks Keel, President of Augusta University.
Dr. Keel updated the club on the state of the University which has seen enrollment increase by 200-300 new students each year. This year enrollment is over 9,000 and the incoming freshman class exceeds 1,000 students.
He reported that incoming freshman SAT scores have increased from 985 to 1042 and GPAs have risen to nearly 3.46. Over the last 6 years, full-time students have increased from 8% in 2012 to 75% in 2018 and nearly 50% of incoming students are from outside the CSRA.
Dr. Keel also announced that the Board of Regents finalized a decision to allow any student from the state of South Carolina to attend AU at in-state rates. Previously, this privilege was limited to Aiken County.
He highlighted many exciting things happening including the University housing reaching full capacity, the success of our athletics programs, the upcoming Presidents Gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Maxell Performing Arts Theater, the partnership with Perfect Health, the upcoming ribbon cutting at the Bert Storey Cancer Center, the grand opening of the first Cyber building and the second Cyber building coming online before the end of the year.
He also bragged on the Medical College of Georgia, which is the 8th largest medical school in the country. There are currently 230 seats available at MCG and there are 13 applicants for each one.
In closing, Dr. Keel stressed that the opportunities for AU and the community are enormous and are coming at us fast. He remains focused on looking out the windshield and not in the rearview mirror.
Our next meeting will be September 17 and our speaker will be Dr. Alexander Schwartzmann, Dean of AU’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.
The meeting was adjourned with the Four Way Test.
Easy links to pages on our website
Rotary schedule of meeting dates and speakers
Member Proposal Form
Online directory - Find a member or update your information
Bulletins - Weekly bulletins from 2014-current
Inside Challenger: Chris Melcher
Outside Challenger: Eddie Bussey
Richmond County Interact Club
Dora Hogg 9-10-18 On-Line Make Up
Betty Carter 9-10-18 United Way Meeting
Judy Kaye 9-10-18 United Way Meeting
John Sebby 9-10-18 United Way Meeting
Jeff Spears 9-10-18 United Way Meeting
Sonny Tucker 9-10-18 United Way Meeting
Ridge Whitehurst 9-10-19 United Way Meeting
The following will receive a makeup for attending the Rotary Board of Directors Meeting held on Tuesday, September 11 at Cranston Engineering.