Gary McGaha Ph.D., former president of Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC), will be honored during the college’s annual Celebration of Leadership Awards. The COL Awards is an awards dinner with a program held during the college’s Homecoming Week, Sept. 23-27, 2019. This year marks the institution’s 45th year since its founding.

The annual Celebration of Leadership (COL) Awards is AMSC’s signature fundraising event to support scholarships and financial assistance for Atlanta Metropolitan State College students. Students receiving funds raised at COL are typically those within a semester or two of graduating and in need financial assistance to continue their education.

The COL awards dinner will be hosted on Sept. 26 at 7:15 p.m. in the Charles F. Easely Pavilion of Edwin A. Thompson Sr. Student Center.

In November 2007, McGaha was made the permanent president of then-named Atlanta Metropolitan College (AMC) after serving as interim president since Jan. 2007. He served Atlanta Metro as president for 12 years before announcing his retirement in March 2019.

Prior to being named interim president, McGaha served as Atlanta Metro’s vice president for academic affairs. Preceding his appointment as vice president, he served as dean of academic services for the Dunwoody campus of Georgia Perimeter College from 2002-2006.

Though his tenure as president of Atlanta Metro was long, his affiliation with the college dates back to 1993 when he was appointed professor and chair of the Social Sciences division. In 1996, McGaha was appointed as the site coordinator for the Post-Secondary Readiness Enrichment Program (PREP) for University System of Georgia institutions in metropolitan Atlanta: Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Georgia Perimeter, and Atlanta Metropolitan.

From 1983-1993, McGaha served as assistant to the president and assistant professor of community health and preventive medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in Atlanta, Georgia. Before joining MSM, he served in several roles at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, including associate vice president for academic affairs, chair of the Department of History and Political Science, assistant professor of political science, and administrative assistant to the president.

In 1976, McGaha was the first African-American to earn a doctor of philosophy degree in political science from the University of Mississippi. He also holds a master’s degree in political science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Mississippi Valley State University.

In February 2019, McGaha received the John R. Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award from Gideon’s Promise. He is also the recipient of the 2017 Educator of the Year Award by the Georgia Minority Business Awards. McGaha continues to remain active in his church and in the community. He serves as a deacon at Greenforest Community Baptist Church and a graduate of the 2017 Leadership Atlanta class.


(Courtesy: WABE)

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