Students encouraged to join GCSU and Flannery O’Connor trip


Bree Messenger

Georgia College and State University is a renowned liberal arts college in the University System of Georgia. The historical home of Flannery O’Conner, fiction author and poet, is located on campus and open to explore.

Anna Crusselle, Managing Editor

Student Engagement Coordinator, Clifton Puckett, and Student Engagement Assistant, Madison Signoret, had the idea of taking students on a trip to tour Georgia College and State University and visit the Flannery O’Connor home in Milledgeville, GA. 

The trip will be Friday, March 10. Students will be picked up in a minibus from the Cartersville campus at 8 a.m., then from the Marietta campus at 8:45 a.m. It will arrive at GCSU for an information session at 11 a.m. 

Lunch will be served in the dining commons at noon, then students will meet with the GCSU academic advisors for more information. 

Part of the idea for the trip was to introduce students to other colleges within the University System of Georgia. 

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “The rise of transfer students is particularly evident at Georgia State.” GS, Kennesaw State University and the University of Georgia are three of the most popular colleges for transfer students. 

GCSU Transfer Admissions Counselor, Caitlin Vinson, said: “Our education program is really well-known because GCSU started as an all-women’s teaching college and has been educating teachers since 1889. We also have a great business program and two areas that are becoming more popular are our psychology and criminal justice programs.” 

Signoret said that Puckett told her, “This field trip will give students a chance to broaden their minds on the opportunities they could have at GCSU when their time comes to transfer.” 

Vinson said: “We will be informing them about admissions, how to apply, where to submit their applications and the different student types they could be. Students will also hear from our financial aid office and career center as well so they can ask any questions they might have.”

GCSU Interim Executive Director of Admissions, Javier Francisco, said, “With GCSU being a liberal arts school, we get to educate students in multiple disciplines which allows them to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills that are important in success. The foundation that you get from a liberal arts school is very transformative.” 

The campus tour will commence after the advising sessions and students will get to explore the entire campus.

Francisco said “Students can walk to get coffee or have picnics on the front campus” thanks to everything being within walking distance. 

The town of Milledgeville features a lot of history and older buildings such as the Flannery O’Connor home, which happens to only be a 10-minute drive from GCSU. 

“Sometimes college visits can be quick, so if we’re going to drive as far as Milledgeville, GA, what else can we do around the area?” Signoret asked. 

The bus will head to the Flannery O’Connor house after the GCSU campus tour ends. 

“Since Flannery graduated from GCSU, we decided to create a devoted writing center for our creative writing program and the center will be opened up within the next year,” Francisco said. “Our creative writing program is one of our hallmark programs and is highly ranked across the country.”

According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia,  O’Connor was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist. Andalusia Farm, the name of her home, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. 

The Visit Milledgeville webpage states, “It serves as a museum whose mission it is to care for, collect, interpret and exhibit items that illustrate the history of the site during the time Flannery O’Connor lived there (1951-1964).” 

“Flannery O’Connor was a writer and artist for our newspaper when she was a student here,” Francisco said. “She drew cartoons and has a book published for all her drawings.” The book is titled “Flannery O’Connor: The Cartoons.”

GCSU has a Flannery O’Connor institute dedicated to studying her. Writers and poets from around the world are invited every summer to join. Francisco said, “The institute has a display of all of her works that have been translated in different languages.” 

The campus tour and lunch is expected to finish at 2:30 p.m., then students will be returned to the GHC Marietta and Cartersville campuses. 

Email [email protected] for more information and to attend the field trip.