From ASU to GRU to AU…..


What’s more saddening than knowing that your alma mater’s name is no longer the same since you graduated?

Having a really infamous person to change your alma mater’s name to something really stupid and then claim himself as the president of both your alma mater and the new school.

This infamous person is Dr. Azziz, and I don’t even have to describe to you why he is infamous, just look at these cartoons about Dr. Azziz and you’ll understand.

On May 10, 2013, I graduated from Augusta State University, as the first graduating class of Georgia Regents University due to the consolidation with Georgia Health Science University under the approval of Board of Regents. Following Tuesday, I went to pick up my diplomas at the Registrar.  As promised, I received a diploma for ASU and another for GRU. As I opened the package, a sudden anger came to my mind. Azziz’s signature appeared on both of my diplomas. Apparently, he was calming himself as both the president of GRU and ASU. It is infuriating to me and to my fellow graduates, who also started at ASU and spent most of their time as ASU students until the very last semester that consolidation and name change took place. The consolidation was just a mess. The idea wasn’t bad, but the process and the people who handle it have just been a full wreck. During my senior year, I overloaded myself with classwork in order to graduate before this mess. It was worth it.

As a result, I decided to do a small protest in the incident. I got rid of the GRU diploma immediately, and ASU diploma I had to scan it, Photoshop remove Azziz signature, re-print it, went to Dr.Bloodworth and asked him to sign in person, as you can see in my diploma. Unfortunately, his presidency ended in 2012 while I graduated in 2013. If I could, I would, but I wasn’t able to triple load my school work to graduate in 3 years. However, on the plus side, Dr. Bloodworth was also one of my professors during my last semester in school. I was really happy that I signed up for his class even though it was just an elective. It was a really small class (only about 10 students) and everyone got to know each other very well. Dr. Bloodworth’s passion for teaching and learning was overt. Though surprised, he was more than happy to sign my diploma. According to him, I was the only person in school who has ever done that.

Just today, 9/15/15, The Board of Regents just approved changing the name of GRU to Augusta University, one of the names that was what the majority of the people wanted according to the poll. Who isn’t happy to have “Augusta” back? But who would have thought it takes 4 years of time and Azziz to resign from his position to do it? And what about those millions of dollars spent on name change, re-designing the logos/ signs, and advertising the new name when there are so many faculties who haven’t had a raise for a while and so many students who are fighting for resources or struggling to pay for their classes?

The name change will bring back thousands of alumni who became disinclined to donating to their school I’m sure, because I am included in that number. But on the downside, the name change is really giving current students a hard time establishing a strong sense of school pride, on top of the confusion —”just what the heck is going to be on my diploma when I graduate?”

Either way, I really don’t care about having another diploma with a different school name or whatever on it. All I need is this one, I started with ASU and I ended with ASU. I respected Dr.Bloodworth and it was such an honor for him to sign my diploma.



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