President Preczewski’s farewell to campus
Interim President Stas Preczewski has served Georgia College well over the past year. Although it is time for him to leave, he is taking many fond memories and important lessons with him.How did this year go, overall? Have there been any challenges or improvements since you’ve been here?
I’d say that this place is better than it knows it is. No particular challenge couldn’t be met. Some great opportunities were available to improve student life: we improved the fields, we opened the rec center, Ennis is near final approval for the arts program, we improved staff salaries…We’ve opened the Sallie Davis House…the incoming class is more diverse and of higher quality. We had a challenge to our culture in the diversity memes, which has created a thoughtful set of discussions and activities to improve the diversity on our campus. But again, backing the first statement, what I found is that this campus is humble. It doesn’t know how good it really is. You know, coming from the outside, and seeing it, it’s easy to celebrate a lot of great things that are happening here.
How do you feel about leaving this campus?
Sad. Very sad. The community is a very welcoming and, frankly, loving community. People have opened up their classrooms, their ball fields and their homes to welcome me in. Their sincere willingness to help is remarkable. But, in the end, as I’ve said to some of the faculty groups that I’ve addressed, Georgia Gwinnett College will be a much better college because of the things that I’ve learned here. I’ll take back many examples of excellence in so many areas and apply them to our college up there.
What has been your best experience here at GC?
I would say my single best experience has been with Dr. Sandra Godwin’s social justice class with seniors and what they’re doing to attempt to improve the Baldwin County community. All the best memories are in classrooms and out at student events. That’s what college is about — it’s about students. But to see her and the passion that these students have to assist the local community is remarkable. I’ll carry that with me for the rest of my life.
What do you think GC students will most remember you by?
In a lot of ways, I hope they don’t. I hope they remember more what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve done to contribute to make the college better. It’s really not, nor should it ever be, about the president. It should be about the students and their learning and their development. To me, the mark of a really good leader is that they don’t remember the leader, they remember themselves and what they’ve accomplished.
What do you think about finding a new president for this college?
I think Georgia College deserves the finest, most experienced president the country has to offer. As a campus, it’s poised to truly move to the next level as a university while maintaining its liberal arts undergraduate focus. It’s a really great university. It’s set up to take off in every way. You’re adding a volleyball team, you’re renovating facilities, you’re adding programs, you’re gaining national recognition … it needs a visionary leader to work with the community to help it achieve its fullest potential.