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The Marvin McTyeire Parks-Ruth Vaden Parks Alumni Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Dorothy Parks Beall in memory of her parents Marvin and Ruth Parks. Her father, Dr. Parks, served as president of Georgia College, then Georgia Normal & Industrial College and later Georgia State College for Women. Dorothy was born in the octagonal room of the Old Governor's Mansion during Dr. Parks' presidency. The students held a competition to name the baby, and her brothers and sisters helped to select the name Dorothy Virginia Parks. She graduated from GSCW in 1929 and did graduate work at the University of California at Berkley. Her ties to Georgia College, and the Old Governor's Mansion, were strengthened when she was married in the mansion. Throughout her lifetime, she remained very active in the Georgia College Alumni Association and received the Alumnae Heritage Award in 1989.

The information below comes from the GC Library web pages.

Dr. Marvin McTyeire Parks was Georgia College's longest serving president, having served for twenty-one years (1905 - 1926). He was the University's second president, taking office from Dr. J. Harris Chappell who was in poor health when he left the office. Dr. Marvin Parks was born in Marietta, Georgia in 1872. He graduated from Emory University in 1892 and later received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Georgia in 1915. Parks began his career at Georgia Normal & Industrial College in1903 as a professor of pedagogy and was soon after named acting president of the college in 1904. Parks took one leave of absence while he was serving as president when he traveled around the world from 1909-1910.

Parks was known as "the builder" president. Under his direction the college constructed eight new buildings including Chappell Hall, Terrell Hall, Parks Hall, Ennis Hall, Russell Auditorium, and Lanier Hall. One major tragedy struck the campus while Parks was president. In December of 1924 the Main Building, the heart of campus, which housed administrative offices, an auditorium, and classrooms, was destroyed by fire. While the fire could have destroyed everything Presidents Chappell and Parks had worked to build at GN&IC, Parks was able to gather support and funds from the Milledgeville community and college alumni. With this support, and Parks sharp eye on spending, the college was able to rebuild buildings and reestablish the college community after the devastating 1924 fire.

In addition to the numerous building projects, academics and student involvement prospered during the Parks' presidency. The first issue of the student newspaper, The Colonnade, was released in 1925; The Spectrum, the college's yearbook, was issued for the first time in 1917; and the literary magazine, The Corinthian, was founded in 1927. Under his administration, the college worked to raise standards and began offering summer school in 1917. Parks, after working tirelessly with the GN&IC Board of Directors and the state of Georgia, was able to convince Governor Hardwick to sign a law in August, 1922 giving the college the status of a four year degree granting institution. Along with the change in status, the name of the school was changed from Georgia Normal & Industrial College to Georgia State College for Women. Parks also worked to restructure the college, creating five distinct areas of study: The College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Home Economics, The School of Education and Practice Teaching, The Division of College Extension, and The Summer School (Bonner 84).

In December 1926 Parks was attending an Alpha Tau Omega convention in Tampa, Florida, and was struck by a car while he was crossing the street. After the accident and his subsequent death, Parks was returned to Milledgeville and buried on Jan. 2, 1927. His death was a shock to the college and Milledgeville community and was reported widely in papers through out Florida and Georgia.

Sources of Information:

A Centennial History of Georgia College by William Ivy Hair with James C. Bonner, Edward B. Dawson, and Robert J. Wilson III. Milledgeville: Georgia College, 1989.

Marvin Parks
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