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Georgia Southern holds Centennial Celebration
London Ryles, center right, and other members of the Georgia Southern track team dance to the sounds of the Chris Mitchell Band during Friday's Centennial Celebration at Sweetheart Circle.


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    More than a thousand people gathered at Sweetheart Circle Friday for Georgia Southern's Centennial     Celebration.
    People of all ages came together on the lawn for an afternoon of fun and celebration.  Clubs, organizations, sports teams, children, adults, townspeople and former students took part in the festivities.
    Georgia Southern University was founded in 1906 as an agricultual and mechanical school. One hundred years and four name changes later, Georgia Southern has been and is home for many people.
    Chester Williams, a former Georgia Southern student, sat at the "Celebrating a Century of Student Life" booth and enjoyed discussing GSU with those around him.
    "I came to school here in 1931," said Williams. "I spent part of my life here and met many wonderful people. In 1931, Georgia Southern only had three buildings, and now, I couldn't even count them all."
    As for how the school has changed, Williams said he can tell the dress code and the manners of the students have changed a lot.
    The celebration included a snow playground, laser tag, free food, live music, games, face painting, tightrope walking, a dunking booth and free frisbees distributed by GSU cheerleaders. GUS, the Georgia Southern mascot, walked around greeting the kids while a live band sang "Sweet Home Georgia Southern" in the background.
    Justin Kane, 7, was impatiently standing in line to play laser tag.
    "I've never played laser tag before," Kane said, "but I'm real excited to."
    Alisha Salo from Phi Mu sorority enjoyed the afternoon with her sisters.
    "This celebration is important to the school and the community because everyone comes together for once," Salo said. "It's not just the Greek, it's not just the sports teams,  it's not just the clubs or community people, it's everyone. We're all here together to celebrate Georgia Southern."
    Faculty and staff of Georgia Southern took part in the celebration. Many worked booths that provided information and assistance when needed.
    Theresa Hackle from the Alumni Relations Office was working at the information booth passing out pamphlets about Georgia Southern's history and the celebration.
    "This celebration continues the town and school relationship that has been going on for a hundred years," Hackle said. "It's good for the community and it's good for the school."
    Carole Brown, a tutoring coordinator at the Academic Success Center, was enjoying watching the celebration from her booth.
    "It's important to remind people of what has gone on for the last century," Brown said. "This will hopefully bring the community closer."
    Many students from the university were there to participate in the celebration.
    Kendal Duresky, a junior, was working with the College of Education booth that provided old and new games for children to play.
    "The celebration is a fun event," Duresky said. "It gets everyone together to celebrate Georgia Southern, and it is fun to see all the diversity. Everyone comes together here."
    When the evening was over, a fireworks show lit up the sky.
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