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Southern Polytechnic State University

Founded in 1948 as a two-year division of Georgia Institute of Technology, SPSU was established at the request of Georgia business and industry. It first opened its doors as the Technical Institute in Chamblee, Georgia, with 116 students, all but 10 being World War II veterans, and a staff of 12.

In 1949, SPSU became the Southern Technical Institute and was recognized as a college-level school by the U.S. Department of Education. Less than a decade later, the college migrated to its present campus in Marietta, Georgia.

In 1961, Hoyt McClure was named acting director and led the movement to build eight new buildings on 120 acres of land. Since then we have continued to expand -- our campus now encompasses more than 230 acres and contains 35 buildings.

SPSU became accredited as a four-year college in 1970, and was one of the first colleges in the nation to offer the bachelor of Engineering Technology degree. We also earned independence in the University System, separating ties with Georgia Tech. In the summer of 1980, SPSU officially became the 14th senior college and the 33rd independent unit of the University System.

The college's first president, Dr. Stephen R. Cheshier of Purdue University, was named in 1980 and served with distinction until his retirement as president in June 1997. He saw SPSU through two name changes -- Southern College of Technology in 1987 and Southern Polytechnic State University in the summer of 1996, when the school also became a university. Dr. Daniel S. Papp served as interim president from July of 1997 to August of 1998, when the university welcomed Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher, formerly of Dickinson College, as its president.
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