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New AASU presidents meets community
bleicken and studnet
Dr. Linda Bleicken presents a scholarship certificate to AASU student Christina Nieves at Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon. - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
Dr. Linda Bleicken, Armstrong Atlantic State University’s new president, spoke at the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday to introduce herself, provide an update on the main and Liberty campuses and give
one local student a special gift.
As Bleicken, who previously worked for Georgia Southern University for almost two decades, begins her first semester as president, she said she’s thrilled to be at the helm of a rapidly growing university.
Despite budget constraints, she said growth is evident and enrollment is up at both campuses.
“We’re up in enrollment by five or six percent, bringing it to about 7,500 students,” Bleicken said. “We have demand that’s growing.”
She said more students will mean expansion in other areas, including infrastructure.
“We’re making a $20 million addition to a student services center. It will be the first true student union,” she said, explaining that the investment was one the students made. “The student center will be paid for with student fees, but the students are the ones who voted to do this. They are very excited about it.”
She announced plans for a new housing project, Winward Commons, that will house about 567 students.
“We will be able to house all of the freshman,” Bleicken said.
Bleicken also mentioned that the university is expanding some of its medical programs, which are some of the most popular programs at AASU.
Although there is a lot happening on the main campus in Savannah, Bleicken said the Liberty Center is seeing just as much progress.
“The Liberty Center is up,” she said. “We’re very interested in supporting what’s going on here at the Liberty Center.”
Before Bleicken left
the luncheon to spend the rest of her day at the Liberty Center, she proudly presented AASU student and local resident Christina Nieves with a scholarship from the Georgia Board of Regents.
“They gave only nine scholarships throughout the whole system,” she said, mentioning that there are more than 290,000 students enrolled in the system. “This is a really big deal.”
Nieves, who got a full scholarship, plans to graduate from Armstrong in 2013 with a criminal justice degree.
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