April is a vital month for athletics, wellness programming

Thank you for the warm welcome and good wishes as I complete three months as president.  I greatly appreciate the trust and hospitality shown to me.

In those three months I have had much conversation and reflection about our unity and our distinctions.  I have said repeatedly we need to be and think as a unified institution, while highlighting and playing to our strong and distinct attributes across our several campuses.

This month illustrates well that principle in our athletics and wellness programming.  April is a vital month in which those attributes take huge strides forward.

As a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) we have a star-studded history, especially in baseball.  The former Warriors will be forever a cherished foundation of our success and legacy of the best of student-athleticism.

Now as a four-year institution, soon to be a university, we need to grow in our athletics programming through participation in an association where four-year student athletics is prized and available. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) affords us that opportunity.

An excellent application was compiled last year by our athletics staff, and we have had formal site visits from the NAIA and the likely conference in which we would play — the Southern States Athletic Association. Student-athletes are some of the most successful students we have, and now we can reward their academic and athletic success with athletic scholarships that allow them to experience a four-year baccalaureate degree and practice their sporting skills as Middle Georgia Knights for their entire degree program.

This month we will learn at the NAIA Convention in Kansas City about our application, and I shall be there with our Athletic Director Charles Mullis and Vice President Jennifer Brannon.

Student athletics will be centered on our Cochran campus, illustrating our commitment to four-year student experience and re-vitalizing our presence.  Additionally, we shall look at new athletic possibilities at our Macon campus, as we develop a strategic plan for the student-athlete at our university.

The opening of the new Recreation and Wellness Center on our Macon campus is thus a timely and apt event, since it shows that physical excellence should not be the prerogative of athletes alone, but rather for all students, faculty and staff.  Our student-athletes provide the model for physical health and excellence that we all can emulate, and our Wellness Center will be a premium bridge to a broader experience.

We can look back in history to an extraordinary legacy as Warriors and a courageous, strengthened athletic future as Knights!

LINK: Recent developments in our athletics program.


Christopher Blake, Ph.D.
Middle Georgia State College