Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University is a public university located on 700 acres of land in Statesboro, Georgia. The university was founded in 1906, is part of the University System of Georgia, and is the largest university in the southern half of Georgia. It offers 117 academic majors, with a large array of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs.
Georgia Southern University athletic teams are known as the Georgia Southern Eagles and participate in the NCAA Division I and the Southern Conference.
Included in the university is the Center for Wildlife Education and Lamar Q Ball Junior Raptor Center. The center is home to 85 birds, 67 reptiles, 70 amphibians, and 8 mammals. Birds on display include kestrels, hawks, owls, falcons, vultures, and the mascot of the school, an American Bald Eagle known as Freedom. In 2009, a 12 acre wetlands preserve was added to the center.
The recreation and activities center (RAC) on the Georgia Southern University campus is 220,000 square feet and offers weight lifting, cardio training, basketball, indoor track, two dance studios, five racquetball courts, a 45 foot indoor climbing wall, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a rehab pool, and a studio for yoga and pilates. In 2006, a bandshell area was added that has since hosted several national touring musical artists.
The Georgia Southern Botanical Garden includes woodland trails, Bland Cottage visitor center, a heritage garden, rose arbor, children’s vegetable garden, camellia garden, native plant landscape garden, native azalea collection, and bog garden on nearly 11 acres of land. The garden is centered on an early 20th century farmstead. Their mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of Georgia’s native plants, connect people to the natural and cultural heritage of Georgia, and inspire environmentally responsible behavior.
Georgia Southern has its own transportation system. Eight buses run two routes between the University store, the RAC, Paulson Stadium, Forest Drive, and Lanier Drive. On game days, the routes are modified to accommodate fans of the Georgia Southern Eagles.
Daniel Cathy (president of Chick-Fil-A), Hala Moddelmog (CEO of Arbys), and Thomas Bryant (CEO of TempurPedic) are business leaders who attended or graduated from Georgia Southern University. Casey Cagle is the lieutenant governor of Georgia; Charlie Norwood is a former US Congressman; and Lea Foster was the chief spokesperson for former USA vice president Dick Cheney. All three attended or graduated from GSU. Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jayson Foster also is a GSU alumnus.