On Courage: Celebrating Women’s History Month

As we all know, Middle Georgia State has undergone significant change in recent years. Change takes courage.

What many may not recognize is that women have been a vital part of leading that change. The majority of the senior leadership in the President’s Cabinet are women.

The teams they work with and lead are also predominantly female. After the year 2000, the majority of doctorally degreed candidates in the USA were women.

In fact, some 48% of Middle Georgia State faculty and 53% of staff are women. Each day, as they go about the business of serving students, our colleagues are making women’s history—not just in March as we celebrate Women’s History Month, but all year long.

Given the tremendous barriers women have overcome in the past century, one could argue that we all make women’s history—by following in women’s footsteps—when we remove barriers for students, whether male or female. Many of our students are the first in their families to receive a post-secondary credential.

This past year, 62% of our graduating students—the majority of whom stay in Central Georgia—were women, including nearly a quarter of our first master’s degree recipients. This despite the fact that our first graduate degrees were awarded in Information Technology, a field traditionally dominated by men.

Nearly 60% of our student body—both undergraduate and graduate—are women. Three of our four President’s Scholars since consolidation have been women, as is the President of our Student Government Association. And, six of our ten NAIA collegiate athletics teams are women’s teams.

In short, women’s history is in the making throughout this institution. When historians detail the lives of famous women, the thread that runs through their stories is that of courage. Courage to stand up for just causes, to step up to challenges, to do what has not yet been done.

As we close out this year’s celebration of Women’s History Month, let us all be courageous. Let us follow in the footsteps of fearless women like Rosa Parks, who once noted, “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

We know what must be done to transform lives in Middle Georgia. Let us relentlessly pursue our mission.

Middle Georgia State represents above all a promise to our students to find their greatness, whatever their identity and origin.  We can be proud that women in record numbers are responding to that promise, and thus changing our communities through their leadership forever.