Georgia State University will create a large lawn in the center of campus by tearing down 80-year-old Kell Hall, President Mark Becker said in his annual State of the University address Wednesday (Oct. 2).
The lawn will be a part of a green corridor that is included in the university’s newly created campus master plan. It will transform the core of the university and create a gathering place for students, faculty and staff, Becker said.
“This park-like area will connect Woodruff Park through campus to the courtyard that will lie at the center of the research complex anchored by the Petit Science Center,” he said.
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Becker also announced plans to start the Georgia State Institute for Biomedical Sciences in January. The institute will build on the university’s existing health care strengths and grant degrees in the biomedical fields. Key areas include inflammation, immunity and infection, microbial pathogenesis, oncology, and therapeutics and diagnostics.
New student initiatives include the introduction of a cooperative education program for students in fields including computer science and computer information systems, Becker said.
“The addition of cooperative education provides an outstanding opportunity for students to both gain valuable work experience and earn money to help finance their educations while pursuing their degrees,” he said.
The university also will introduce a campus-wide entrepreneurship program aimed at helping students turn their ideas into companies. Becker said the cooperative education and the entrepreneurship programs will position students to be innovators and leaders in areas of economic growth in the region.
The university broke records in a number of areas in 2013, Becker said, including research funding, fundraising, freshman class size, applications and six-year graduation rates.
To read the full transcript of the speech, visit the president’s homepage.