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|Motto||As Gold Refined By Fire|
|President||Dr. Ed Schrader|
|Location||Gainesville, GA, US|
|Colors||Gold and Black|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2012)|
|Motto||As Gold Refined By Fire|
|President||Dr. Ed Schrader|
|Location||Gainesville, GA, US|
|Colors||Gold and Black|
Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, United States, founded in 1878, is a private, not-for-profit, undergraduate- and graduate-level higher education institution with multiple campuses and online programs. Currently the university enrolls about 2,800 students who seek degrees ranging from two-year Associate of Arts through doctorates.
With a curriculum that blends professional preparation informed by the liberal arts, Brenau degree tracks include a special “early college” program for exceptional high school-age students. Terminal degrees include a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The main campus of the Georgia-based institution, which includes the Brenau Women’s College, is in Gainesville with other campuses in Augusta, Kings Bay and in two metro Atlanta locations, Norcross and Fairburn.
Brenau’s 2012 ranking as one of the top 15-best higher education values in the Southeast by U.S. News & World Report marks the university’s sixth consecutive year in that position for the magazine’s America's Best Colleges guidebook. In 2012 Brenau online programs scored high in national rankings by U.S. News & World Report, including a #9 in the nation "Honor Roll" listing for graduate degree tracks in Brenau's College of Education. Brenau University also has been cited as one of the best universities in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. The Chronicle of Higher Education accorded Brenau “honor roll” status as one of the top 10 best colleges and universities to work for in its 2011-12 survey rankings and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2012 listed Brenau as one of metro Atlanta's best workplaces.
Academically, Brenau comprises four colleges: Fine Arts & Humanities, Health & Science, Business & Mass Communication, and Education. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirmed full accreditation for Brenau in 2011.
Brenau was founded in 1878 as a private institution for the education of women. W.C. Wilkes, the institution’s first administrator, is credited with building many of the historic buildings that still stand today. Although founders initially called the institution a Baptist seminary for women, it has never been affiliated with or governed by any religious organization. Through the years Brenau evolved from a proprietary college to a not-for-profit institution governed by an independent Board of Trustees. Although the residential undergraduate Brenau Women's College remains as the cornerstone of the institution, other undergraduate programs on campuses, and all graduate and online programs, admit both men and women.
In 1900 H. J. Pearce purchased the institution and renamed it Brenau, a linguistic blend formed from the German word brennen, “to burn”, and the Latin aurum, “gold”. Its motto is “As Gold Refined by Fire”. Brenau College remained privately owned until 1911 when a board of trustees assumed stewardship of the college, as remains the case today. In 1928, Brenau created a female, residential, college-preparatory school serving grades 9 through 12.
In the late 1960s, Brenau began offering evening and weekend classes to both men and women apart from Women's College classes.
Brenau College became Brenau University in 1992 by a vote of the Board of Trustees, a name change that reflected the comprehensive programs of study, the diverse student body, new and stricter employment criteria for professors, and the scope of available graduate programs.
Brenau offered its first online programs in 2002 to meet needs of students who, because of professional or personal responsibilities, were unable to attend classes on campus.
The institution is led by Dr. Ed Schrader, its ninth president, who has held the position since January 2005. Brenau is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and several subject-specific accrediting organizations.
The Women’s College of Brenau University continues the rich tradition of education for women, serving both residential and commuter students. The mission of the university is reflected in the strong emphasis on the broad-based liberal arts education supporting its 30-plus majors, which prepare graduates for their many future roles. The Women’s College is recognized for its outstanding instruction in the fine arts and for its programs to develop leadership skills as well as for its comprehensive nationally-recognized learning disabilities programs.
At the beginning of the 21st century following the first decade of operations as a master's level university, graduate programs at Brenau represented a small percentage of the student body. By 2010 it was clear that the demand for graduate studies would increase and that, but 2025, graduate students at Brenau would represent more than half the student population. Thus, the university created the Sidney O. Smith Jr. Graduate School to place focused attention on the special needs of graduate students. Graduate studies at the university currently include programs based on campus, online programs and a hybrid mix of online and on-campus classes. In November 2010 the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approved Brenau University’s application to become a Level V doctoral degree-granting institution, paving the way for Brenau to launch a Doctor of Nursing Practice program in August 2011 and at least two other doctorates in the near future. A year earlier Brenau launched its first terminal degree program, a master of Fine Arts in Interior Design. The school offers a wide array of master's-level programs as well as Education Specialists graduate degrees.
Although the university had for some time offered cohort programs in different locations, like a MBA cohort in health care management for a group at a hospital in Brunswick, Ga., in 2008 it established its first "residential" graduate school program, a full-time, year-long co-educational MBA program was launched in Gainesville geared toward international students. Students from different parts of the world study together for 1 year. Most select the Project Management concentration.
Brenau Academy was formed in 1928 when Pearce told his wife that some of the first-year college students were having trouble with their course work. She began a program to help prepare young women for college which evolved quickly into the Brenau Academy, which until 2012 remained the only female, college preparatory, residential school for grades 9-12 in the state of Georgia. The Academy has evolved into the Early College program of the Women's College in which qualified young women can earn college credits during the time of their lives in which they normally would complete high school studies. These students actually can complete the first two years of college concurrently with finishing high school.
In the late 1960s, Brenau began offering evening classes to male students at the junior and senior levels. As the number of evening students grew from 17 in 1969 to 1,466 in fall 2003, the structure of the program evolved. Degree offerings through the program now include a two-year Associate of Arts through terminal Master of Fine Arts and doctoral degrees. Although the term "Evening and Weekend College" is no longer in use, the classes predominantly occur at times outside "normal business hours" of the week to accommodate needs of adult learners and nontraditional students who require more flexible course schedules. The programs existing on all Brenau campuses, including Gainesville, and all are coeducational.
Since 2002, students have been able to earn degrees from Brenau University via the internet. The initial mission of the online studies program was to serve students who may be working, traveling, disabled, geographically isolated from institutions of higher education, or homebound while caring for children or other family members. However, Associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and certification programs are now available in this format. Some degree programs, such as the Master of Applied Gerontology, are only offered online. However, online classes are also open to students enrolled on on-campus programs as a class-scheduling convenience. In 2012 Brenau's online graduate programs in the College of Education ranked among the Top 10 in the nation in a U.S. News & World Report publication, and other graduate and undergraduate programs ranked well in the listings. Brenau University's Online MBA was named a GetEducated.com Best Buy for affordability and quality in the Online MBA, Regionally Accredited category in fall 2007.
The Women’s College continues as the heart of the university with approximately 900 students from 20 states and 23 other countries. Thirty-three percent are from minority groups (not including international students) and 17 percent are older than 25. There are eight national sororities on campus.
In the 2011-12 academic year, online and nonresidential students about 1,900, 81 percent female and 19 percent male.
Brenau University teams, known as the Golden Tigers, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). Women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Seven Brenau teams (cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball, basketball and tennis) were named NAIA Scholar Teams in 2011. To be considered for the award, a Scholar Team must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. In 2012 four Brenau teams finished in the Top 10 national rankings: cheer, No. 2; softball, No. 4; tennis, No. 6; and swimming, No. 8.
The university's world-renowned tennis program has attracted athletes from across the world. Coached for over 10 years by Bill Rogers, the team earned numerous conference and regional titles, as well as two National Championships, in 1999 and 2002. Gordon Leslie assumed the position of head coach in 2005 after Rogers left to pursue other opportunities. Following Leslie's 2010 retirement, Andre Ferreira became head tennis coach.
Long neglected in favor of academic programs and fine arts, a new emphasis on developing Brenau's athletics department came in 2002 when Mike Lochstampfor became head coach of the soccer team. Lochstampfor came to Brenau after serving as the director of the Men’s and Women’s Soccer programs at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. In 2004, Brenau’s soccer team advanced to the conference tournament for the first time in many years, and at one point in the season, received regional recognition for the first time. Another boost to campus athletics came that same year when Lila Harste was named head coach of the cross-country team, and Brenau’s softball team played its inaugural season in 2004 as well. Leading the team was new head coach Devon Thomas, Georgia Athletics Coaches Association “Coach of the Year” in 1999, 2002 and 2004 and North Georgia “All Area Coach of the Year” in 1999, 2002 and 2004.
A significant sign of the growing importance of athletics to the university was the hire of Gary Bays as head coach of the Golden Tigers collegiate basketball team, launched in 2006. Former women’s basketball coach for Florida’s Warner Southern College, Bays was named NAIA Region XIV Athletic Director of the Year for 2005, and joined Brenau in October 2005 with plans to put both varsity and junior varsity teams on the court in the 2006-2007 academic year. Kris Stewart replaced Bays as head coach in 2011.
The 2005-2006 academic year also saw a new volleyball team hit the courts.
In November 2009, Mike Lochstampfor was named Brenau University's Athletic Director, overseeing all athletic teams as well as the school's new Sports Management program while remaining head coach of the soccer team. In 2010 Lochstampfor announced the hiring of Blaire Bachman as head coach of the swimming team, saying he was confident in Bachman's ability to lead the team and increase its visibility locally and nationally. Bachman graduated in 2009 from Georgia College and State University, where she organized, coached and managed the Swim Cats Swim Club. Ms. Bachman is the youngest head coach in the nation.
In November 2011 Brenau announced its formation of a track and field program, to begin varsity competition in 2013. The university plans to use other local facilities as a home, as Brenau itself has no track on campus. The team is expected to be among the school's largest, with up to 30 members ultimately. In January 2012, Dr. Richard Ludwig was named to coach the team. Ludwig competed for the University of Georgia and was captain of the team his senior year. Following graduation Ludwig was an assistant under coach Lewis Gainey, who led the team to Southeastern Conference championships in both 1976 and 1977. Ludwig has also previously coached track and cross country at several local high schools.
Greek life at Brenau University has a long and prosperous tradition; established in 1909, it is one of the oldest Greek systems in the United States. Brenau is one of only four women’s colleges in the United States that has Greek life, and with eight sororities active on campus, Brenau has the most chapters. The other women’s colleges with Greek systems are Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri; Spelman College in Atlanta; and Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Of the eight chapters active at Brenau, two are NPHC (National Pan-Hellenic Council) and six are NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) sororities. For the six NPC chapters “formal recruitment” follows Panhellenic’s recruitment guidelines and occurs annually at the beginning of the academic year, while the NPHC or historically African American Greek organizations hold their recruitment separate from the formal process. These sororities follow NPHC recruitment guidelines, with membership intake for Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta at the discretion of the individual organization.
Every woman at Brenau who is a member of a sorority becomes a member of the campus’ Greek Council, the governing body over all sororities on campus, both NPC and NPHC. The Greek Council sponsors social and other events throughout the year including the Greek Sing, Greek Week, and the Greek Gala.
The sorority chapters active on campus and their founding dates are:
Brenau’s 50-acre (200,000 m2) main campus is located in Gainesville, Georgia, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Atlanta, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Brenau University maintains evening and weekend satellite programs at the main campus in Gainesville and at these additional Georgia locations: Augusta, Kings Bay, and North and South Atlanta - Norcross and Fairburn.
Brenau University Galleries, located on the campus of Brenau University in Gainesville, feature one of the finest university art collections held by an educational institution in the state of Georgia.
Until 1985, when John S. Burd became president of the university, Brenau lacked a designated art gallery; student and faculty work was displayed in various buildings across the campus. Recognizing the need for a gallery, Burd converted a small chapel outside the balcony of the University’s Pearce Auditorium into the “President’s Gallery”. Director of visual arts Mary Jane Taylor became the first gallery director and began expanding the frequency and breadth of art exhibitions on campus throughout the late 1980s. Burd also initiated the creation of Brenau’s permanent art collection in 1986. The first important acquisition during this period was a still life painted by the American artist William Merritt Chase. The collection today consists of over 1,100 pieces and is periodically exhibited on campus.
Highlights include early oil paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne; watercolors by Eugène Delacroix; artifacts from the pre-Columbian period of American history; an oil painting by Anna Elizabeth Klumpke; sculptures by Jean Arp, Maria Artemis, Clyde Connell, and William King; a gouache by Amelia Peláez; and one of the largest collections of prints anywhere by Jasper Johns.
In 1990, Brenau’s neoclassical library building, originally built in 1914, was redesigned to house the Simmons Visual Arts Center. The second art gallery director, Jean Westmacott, was appointed by the university that year and Brenau held its inaugural art exhibition, featuring Jasper Johns’s prints from the Leo Castelli Collection, at the Simmons Visual Arts Center in March 1991. This exhibition also launched an outreach program focusing on art education. Gallery tours and hands-on workshops for children have become a regular feature of this educational curriculum. Since the opening of the Simmons Center, the university has hosted a wide range of art exhibits, including the work of Brenau’s faculty and students as well as the work of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The works of Benny Andrews, Beverly Buchanan, Lamar Dodd, Nancy Graves, William King, Roy Lichtenstein, Marisol, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Donald Saff, Frank Stella, and Neil Welliver have appeared in the university’s galleries. The Brenau galleries have also featured such group exhibitions as the women artists from the Vogel Collection.
In March 2002, the Burd Performing Arts Center opened and gave the university a new home for visual art on campus. The center’s gallery is known as the Leo Castelli Gallery, in honor of the New York art dealer and university trustee responsible for several major art acquisitions and exhibitions by the Brenau University Galleries. The gallery's primary function is to house long-term exhibitions of art from the permanent collection of the university.
In 2010, Brenau University entered a three-year partnership with the Atlanta High Museum of Art. The collaboration will help deepen Brenau's commitment to the arts as part of its curriculum, and will allow Brenau students to have access to lectures, exhibits, and other special programs at the High.
The Trustee Library on Brenau's Gainesville campus houses the first exhibit of artifacts and personal possessions of the late Dian Fossey, the famed authors of Gorillas in the Mist, through a partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
Brenau University houses the Eleanor Dare Stones, the curious and controversial collection that purports to shed light on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
In late 1895, a meeting of the Gainesville, Ga., townspeople discussed the need for a new auditorium. Dr. A.W. Van Hoose and Dr. Haywood Jefferson Pearce, president of Brenau University from 1893-1943, asked the community to lend Brenau US$10,000 without interest for five years for the construction of an auditorium. The funds were raised in a short period, and the contract for the construction was signed April 1, 1896.
The auditorium was completed within only a year and dedicated on May 21, 1897, as “the largest of its kind in the South.” Nearly 67 years later on March 26, the auditorium was dedicated in honor of Pearce.
In 1978, the building was named to the National Register of Historic Places, along with others on the Brenau campus. Three years later, it was closed for renovations, reopening in the spring of 1984. “It’s difficult to imagine Brenau University without Pearce Auditorium. In fact, it is hard to imagine Gainesville without Pearce Auditorium,” said John W. Jacobs, Jr., chairman of the Brenau board of trustees, as he began the centennial observance of the dedication of Pearce Auditorium.
In addition to its wide usage by such local groups as The Arts Council, the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, the Gainesville Ballet, the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra and others, Pearce Auditorium has been the site of many famous speakers. Helen Keller, Will Durant, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Dennis, Martin Luther King, Sr., Letitia Baldrige, Roberta Peters, Williams Warwick, Dan Rather, Jane Fonda and Maria von Trapp, Sally Ride, Mary Matalin and James Carville, Rory Kennedy, and Khaled Hosseini all have spoken or performed in Pearce. The Arts Council has welcomed additional guests in recent years as part of its Pearce Series, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the New York City Opera, the Joffery II Ballet, the Vienna Boys Choir, Ramsey Lewis, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Mann, Chuck Mangione, Steve Allen, and Loretta Switt.
During the 1970s, James and Francis Mathis started collecting artifacts from the early days of those who settled in Northeast Georgia. A number of items were soon displayed at Gainesville’s Home Federal Savings Bank. As others in the community started to express an interest in remembering the past, a nucleus began to be formed with plans to start a museum.
The City of Gainesville made available to the group a vacant fire station building downtown. Volunteers then began collecting objects that would relate to the history of this area. The Georgia Mountain History Museum was underway. School children, tourists, and home-folks were soon attracted to the museum.
By the early 1990s, it was realized that the future of the museum had to include its own building in a more accessible location. The turning point came in 1995 when Brenau University President John Burd committed a tract of campus property for the History Museum, the White Path Cabin, and a blacksmith shop donated by Hoyt Herrin. Volunteers started soliciting the community for contributions and, after some years of stop and go, architectural plans were finally completed and all stood in readiness for its grand opening, held in May 2004.
The Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute offers non-credit classes for mature adults looking to stimulate their thinking and expand their knowledge. A variation on common Elderhostel programs, BULLI is made available to and oriented towards adults in the Northeast Georgia community who are seeking academically oriented continuing education.