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GS to name planned center for Jack Hill, wife
Jack and Ruth Ann Convocation Center will be ‘signature’ building on South campus
Jack and Ruth Ann Hill are shown at the 2017 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards banquet at the Georgia Southern Nessmith-Lane Conference Center. The Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center, for which $36.7 million construction funding is in the state budget awaiting Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature, will be the new home of Georgia Southern University basketball as well as some future graduation ceremonies, GS President Kyle Marrero told Statesboro business leaders Thursday. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Georgia Southern University’s planned convocation center in Statesboro will be named in honor of the late Senator Jack Hill and his wife of 46 years, the late Ruth Ann Hill. Both graduated from Georgia Southern.

The Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center will be the signature building on Georgia Southern’s south campus. It will be located on university-owned land on the southwest side of the intersection of Lanier Drive and Veterans Memorial Parkway (US 301 bypass). The University System of Georgia approved the center Tuesday,

“This will be a tremendous addition to our Statesboro campus, for our local community, and for our students,” said Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero. “We are grateful to the governor and the Legislature for supporting this project, which will be a permanent reminder of the generational impact made by Jack and Ruth Ann Hill.”

A prominent resident of Reidsville and a 1966 Georgia Southern graduate, Hill was the longest serving Georgia senator when he died in April 2020.

He was a senator for 30 years, serving as chairman of several crucial committees, including Appropriations, which has broad jurisdiction over legislation involving budgeting and spending state and federal funds.

With Hill’s support, Georgia Southern reached new heights as an institution serving the southeast region and the state of Georgia. Hill was instrumental in helping the university expand its programs and build several new state-of-the-art facilities, including the Engineering and Research Building, which opened for classes in January.

His wife of 48 years, Ruth Ann, focused her life on public education and retired as principal of Reidsville Elementary School. She was a triple Eagle, earning degrees from Georgia Southern in 1973, 1990 and 1991.

“Together, Ruth Ann and Senator Hill left an indelible mark on this institution, southeast Georgia and the state,” Marrero said. “I am very proud to be part of the effort to recognize and honor these special alumni and public servants.”

Funding for the project will come from a combination of state and privately raised funds. Gov. Brian Kemp’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget recommendations to the General Assembly include more than $12 million for construction.

Final designs and a groundbreaking schedule will be completed once funding has been secured.


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