Armstrong Merger Updates
Posted on March 11th, 2017 @ 12:19 pm

Sorry, I have seen the latest news, but I haven’t had a chance to write up my opinions.  Because for some silly reason, my tiny opinions do matter.  I have just been busy with work.  That’s a whole another entry I’m not going to write about.

Group OKs recommendation to save Armstrong name, honor athletic scholarships amid Ga. Southern consolidation

I hope the process of keeping the names does happen. The names like Solms and Gamble and Armstrong itself belong to Savannah and the campus.  It will do no good to give them names of people associated with Southern.  If you’re going to kill off the school, leave as much as its legacy as possible. I know if I were to return to Armstrong and didn’t see Victor and Hawes Halls have those names, I’d be upset.

Armstrong State ending athletic programs pending committee approval

This one sucks. I only hope that with the consolidation, they aren’t throwing out all of the athletics faculty. For example, our tennis program. It’s very successful. I remember seeing a billboard about it in Smyrna, GA, when I lived in Atlanta:

AASU Billboard

Southern would be a bunch of fools not to take the success of Armstrong’s programs and try to incorporate those winning thoughts into the “new” school’s programs.

For the athletes losing their programs, I like the fact they are allowing them to continue schooling on scholarships. It’s a no-win situation, but better to still have a scholarship than to lose any monies.

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Armstrong State

My Armstrong Collection of Artifacts
Posted on February 27th, 2017 @ 9:03 pm

I’ve been working on this gallery for a while. It’s been over 9 years since I graduated college, but I still have a few things between my house and my dad’s house. I’m still looking for other stuff. But for now, I think this is quite a collection to start with.

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Armstrong State · Photography

Latest in the Armstrong Fight
Posted on February 27th, 2017 @ 8:37 pm

I haven’t forgotten the Armstrong Fight. I’ve just been living life. I still need to get a few things from my dad’s house to scan. I found a couple of old catalogs with the Compass Rose on them. I need to scan the covers for posterity.

So, this is the latest that I can share. The Alumni Association is putting in requests that attempts to COVER the Armstrong campus with its name even after it becomes a part of GSU. They want it to be called GSU-Armstrong, not GSU-Savannah. They want the Armstrong Center, a convention hall/office complex on the campus, to stay the Armstrong Center. I remember when they turned the old Publix that was next door to the school into the Armstrong Center. Hard to believe it was ever a shopping center with a huge grocery store. The arena on campus that the basketball team plays in and hosted my school graduation is to be renamed Armstrong Alumni Arena. Finally, they want a historical marker about Armstrong on the Armstrong Campus. Most likely one to update the history written in the Armstrong Junior College historical marker.

I don’t find them unreasonable at all. The Board of Regents is killing my school. The least they can do is make sure people know this campus was the Armstrong and should ALWAYS have the Armstrong legacy flowing through its veins.





Savannah Morning News

The Inkwell

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Armstrong State

So they gave Armstrong a interim president, Dr. Jennifer Frum.
Posted on February 17th, 2017 @ 1:08 pm

Found in an e-mail from the Savannah Morning News: UGA leader picked as Armstrong State’s interim president.

Good bye Dr. Bleicken and hello Dr. Jennifer Frum

All I ask of Dr. Frum is that she really listens to the Armstrong Community and fight for us.  We’re losing our school, but we don’t want to see our values changed.  We don’t want to lose the things that make Armstrong Armstrong in the new campus they are turning Armstrong into.  We don’t want our legacy to be ruin.  We don’t want want to be forgotten.

Also, when I get the chance, I have a paper to scan,  a mug to wash and photograph, and a couple of over photos to recover from a compact flash drive.  I have in draft mode an photo gallery of papers and objects from my Armstrong days.  I also have a few Flickr photo sets of my time at Armstrong:

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Armstrong State

The Shed People: A Tale of Savannah
Posted on February 13th, 2017 @ 8:37 pm

Thank you, Sydney, for the title of this post. May you go far in your endeavors!

#LoFi I hate when I can’t figure out a solution.

A photo posted by Shawn Latta (@peachy92) on

This past Saturday, I attended the RailsBridge Workshop. I am really glad I went. I reconnected with the Languages, Literature & Philosophy administrative assistant from my time at Armstrong. Leona did work for us at the Writing Center we didn’t or couldn’t do. She recognized me when having a déjà vu with the green shirt with white print I happened to be wearing. When she mentioned she worked at Armstrong and the over lap between her employment and my attendance, it hit me where the déjà vu was coming from. When I was attending AASU, the head of my department liked to have pictures of her students on the wall documentation what was being done. In the pictures of me, I had green shirts on; one even had white lettering. The IT, department and the LLP departments shared the same building.

Before the event began, we sat and discussed the Armstrong “merger.” Expressing our memories, fears, and concerns about what will happen to our school. We’re concerned for its legacy.  Its people. Its students.

This encounter is par for the course in Savannah. We’re a small city with a small town feel.  Six Degrees of Separation is usually under 5 degrees of connections in this town.  So it seems.  I was telling her how someone found out that her sister was friends with my sister once and referred to my family as the shed people, since the girls and their other mutual friends liked to hang out in my parents’ shed.

And at the end of the day, Leona, Sydney (a high school girl) and I got to talking. And this is when the Savannah factor came into play.  Leona was describing the hurricane damage of her neighborhood.  As she was describing her local park, the visions of the park across from my dad’s yard took root into my head.  Finally, I asked where this park of Leona’s was.  She literally lives just down the road from my father.

That’s not all.  She also has a cat she loves dearly. Mo is her name.  As she was telling me about her cat, I had a feeling I knew what her cat looked like. Mo is known in my family as Pumpkin the Betrayer. She was originally Jessica’s cat, but chose to abandoned our yard and moved over to Leona’s house.  Leona told me the cat came with the house. We could never figure out why the cat left us, but it does me good to know Leona’s been loving her.

The next day, I went to my dad’s house.  I later went down to say hi to Leona and her husband, Randal.  Add a drop more of the Savannah factor.  Randal went to the same school as Jessica and Matthew.  He was a few grades ahead of them. He remembered Jessica, but only recalled Matthew upon me stating that he wore a dress to school one day.  Seems the dress stunt he pulled at his high school was very memorable.

Just as well.  I can’t remember the name of the kid that wore a cow costume to school on Halloween, but I’ll never forget he wore a cow costume on Halloween and was sent home because of it. We can’t have fake, plastic, cow boobs preventing our kids from an education!

And while I was there visiting them, they caught me up with what they know of the neighborhood since they moved in and I gave them the history of the neighborhood between the time my parents bought the house and the time I moved to Atlanta. I was able to answer the question of the blue house on the alley.

It me, it was an awesome weekend to reconnect and make some more connections.

Oh, doesn’t hurt I got to learn some Ruby, too.  In fact, here’s a small program I wrote tonight for fun:

puts "Hello! Please input a number for me!"
usercount = gets.strip
count = 0
while count < usercount.to_f
puts "...This is the song that never ends.
Yes it goes on and on my friend.
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was
And they'll continue singing it forever just because"
count = count + 1

I will have to try it out again when I have time between work and trivia night(s). I’m trying to become active again in life.

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Armstrong State · Geek · Life · Savannah

Armstrong – Georgia Southern Merger Stories for February 1, 2017. #ForeverArmstrong
Posted on February 1st, 2017 @ 6:51 pm

I haven’t been as into this as I was just after the town hall, but I thought I’d see if there was any news for today. There was.




Savannah Morning News:

Official consolidation site

Representing Armstrong are the following persons on the committee:

  • Linda M. Bleicken, president
  • Allison Belzer, associate professor, college of liberal arts
  • Janet Buckenmeyer, dean and professor, college of education
  • Christopher Corrigan, vice president, business and finance
  • Lee Davis, university counsel
  • Deidra Dennie, director, equity, diversity and inclusion, and chair, staff council
  • Catherine Gilbert, associate professor, college of health professions
  • Joy Hamm, associate vice president, enrollment services
  • Amy Heaston, chief of staff
  • Peter Hoffman, director, government relations and community engagement
  • Wayne Johnson, professor, college of science and technology
  • William Kelso, vice president, advancement
  • Dorothy Kempson, director, Armstrong Liberty Center
  • Georj Lewis, vice president, student affairs
  • Laura Mills, director, institutional research
  • Tim Moody, chief information officer
  • Clifford Padgett, associate professor and president, faculty senate
  • Robert Smith, provost and vice president, academic affairs
  • Lisa Sweany, director, athletics
  • Dustin Stewart, senior and president, student government association

A few thoughts and comments on this Armstrong committee. I don’t have the energy today to research them all, nor tackle the GSU committee. But what I have seen for now:

I see that Dr. Johnson is representing the College of Science and Technology. He was a professor there when I went. I hope he fights for engineering and keeping several tech programs at Armstrong. I really don’t want to see my major go the way of the dodo bird there at Armstrong.

I noticed that the Student Government rep is listed as a senior. What’s going to happen when he graduates? Who will be taking over that slot? Will he or she keep the students of Armstrong and their interest at heart? Main thing – will it be replaced or is it a one and done appointment. The student opinion matters.

Armstrong’s counsel, Lee Davis, is a an alumnus of Georgia Southern. Just an interesting fact to take note of. Same goes for Dr. Joy Hamm of Enrollment services.

William Kelso heads The Office of Advancement. This is the office that Alumni Relations falls under. Will he fight for alumni or will we be sold under the bus as this consolidation seems to have done for Armstrong, so far? Many alumni, no matter the name the school was under at the time, are not thrilled about this. Sure, they can say at the moment the Armstrong Foundation‘s fund at solely going to the Armstrong campus. How can we, the public, be certain this will continue?  What if 10 years from now, I can donate; I am going to want my money invested into the campus at 11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31419 and not one with the address of Statesboro, GA

Lisa Sweany is representing athletics. Will she fight hard for our Pirates as the players themselves did in the town hall? Many of those kids want to play, and came to Armstrong to get a chance to play. Are we going to fail them?

I ask and post these questions because they need to be out in the public.  If I can’t ask them, maybe someone else can and will. I think everyone impacted by this merger should be asking questions, even if you are feeling defeated by this all.

I hope this weekend I will get the chance to create the gallery of AASU items I have.  I have some uploaded, but not all, and I probably have things still in storage at my dad’s house.

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Armstrong State · Savannah

Post Armstrong-Georgia Southern Merger Town-Hall Links
Posted on January 23rd, 2017 @ 7:09 pm

Better late than never.  I just hadn’t gotten around to getting these posted:

Tim’s Take: Armstrong students still seeking answers
Georgia Southern officials discuss GS, ASU consolidation at town hall meeting

And not related, but it is related: $15 million awarded to I-16 crash survivor Megan Richards The poor girl was a survivor of the GSU 5 Crash.

Merger meeting heats up at ASU
Armstrong Athletes’ Futures in Jeopardy

School officials hold Town Hall on university consolidation

Armstrong State University holds town hall regarding merger
Georgia Southern community gets answers to merger questions at first town hall meeting

Savannah Morning News:
Georgia Southern students attend Statesboro town hall meeting on university merger
‘A long way to go’: Packed house at Armstrong for consolidation meeting

Connect Savannah:
Armstrong/Georgia Southern town hall leaves many unanswered questions

Statesboro Herald:
Much about GS-Armstrong merger yet to be decided

Town Hall Meetings archives.

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Armstrong State

Post Town Hall Analysis
Posted on January 19th, 2017 @ 8:29 pm

AASU Merger Town Hall

I went to the town hall as I said I would. I mad a lot of observations and about 6 pages of notes from this meeting.

All of the local news stations made it to the meeting. I saw WTOC and WTGS’s cars before I got in. I saw a camerman from WSAV in the auditorium. I drove past WJCL’s car as I was leaving the campus.


At 4:00 the crowd was sparse, but but 4:30, it was a packed house. The Pirate teams sat together and made the biggest noise. They wore their team shirts.

My Calculus professor was 2 rows behind me. I heard him crack a joke. about the irony of the meeting being late because the panel got stuck in traffic. The meeting started on time, but I got what he said.

For a brief moment, a girl was sitting behind me with a maroon shirt that said TREASURE SAVANNAH in gold writing.  I remarked about the irony of the shirt.  Basically, that’s why she wore it.


The panel for the meeting were:

  • Shelley C. Nickel, Executive Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Fiscal Affairs, Board of Regents
  • John M. Fuchko, III, Vice Chancellor for Organizational Effectiveness, Board of Regents
  • Dr. Linda M. Bleicken, Armstrong State University President
  • Dr. Jaimie Hebert, Georgia Southern University President

They have the AASU stream on You Tube, so you can watch it all in its glory:

My remarks aren’t going be in order of the meeting.  I’m just trying to keep the thoughts all together.

Bleicken is well loved by the school.  Personally, I’m not a fan of hers.  I can’t pinpoint it. It’s a gut feeling. In her opening remarks, she states this is a scary time.  She asks the crowd to be welcoming.

For the start of the Q&A, Nickel was asked about when this merger began.  She didn’t have an answer as to when THIS merger was decided.  Her answer was the entire BOR process started in 2010. She gave a standard spiel about the history of mergers, but when it came to when this specific one started, she didn’t answer it. That irritated me.  I don’t care about your history of merging 8 other schools into 4.  I wanted the history of THIS one.

There was the question about this being a consolidation or acquisition. Fuchko remarked it’s a consolidation and he has a specific meaning for that word.  What that is, I don’t know. Nickel remarked it’s a 18 month process and the U.S. Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will be involved.

There will be a Consolidating Committee developed that will have to listen to BOR.  It will consist of 20 members from Armstrong and 20 members from Georgia Southern.  There will also be a board member from Savannah State to keep SSU’s interest respected and accepted during this process.

For the name Armstrong and its legacy, Bleicken gives a brief history of the school’s start.  Mentions how Don Waters, the local member of was vocal about BOR keeping the legacy alive. Then, she deferred to Hebert.  Hebert supports keeping the name, in some ways, wants Southern to be like Armstrong. He doesn’t want to close the campus.  He likes the way Armstrong has its Liberty Center campus and what it goes for the military.

Later, there was a question about the impact on the GI bill.  Bleicken answered, but it was so convoluted, she never answered the question at all! It was one of those non-answer answers.  Hebert and Fuchko did answer the question that they will do their best and  all they can to promote and keep the relationship Armstrong has with the military community and Fuchko essentially implied he would be personally invested in this part of the merger consolidation.

No answers on programs moving and causing commutes. Hebert says this should bring comfort to the students.  They replied with a big fat NO.  But, the won’t know where departments will be until they get further into the merger. There was a question about transportation, but Hebert said their goal is not to have shuttling.  They are want to bring engineering into Savannah.

If a student has an out-of-state waiver for in-state rates, the merged school will honor them. For monies from the Armstrong Foundation, Fuchko said since the donors wanted the money to be invested into Armstrong, they have a fiduciary duty to keep the money at Armstrong.  Most like this means the money will stay at this campus.

Bleicken said if there were any cuts to faculty and staff, it will be on the upper levels of management. Herbet came across as not wanting to lose staff and faculty at the Armstrong Campuses.  He wants the standards are Armstrong to remain, but acknowledges that the committee will need to determine the new standards.

In terms of fees, there was discussion about how the Hinesville Only students don’t pay some of the fees that Savannah students pay since they do not use those facilities and programs.  They are going to try to look into it seeing if it works that Savannah Only students do not have to pay Statesboro fees.  That’s been one of the biggest concerns for Savannah students in that they don’t want to pay for Statesboro’s campus and not get to indulge in the facilities and programs.

Both school have master plans to rebuild and refresh their campuses.  Most likely, they will take both those plans and consolidate them into one using the best course of action for both campuses.

All credits will transfer between the current schools and the new school.  Alumni degrees, like mine, will forever be Armstrong.  There will be no change there.

GSU and ASU families both asked about student life and Greek life.  Herbert has no clue as to what it going on, but understanding that these 2 school’s don’t know each other and have different walks of life, they need to get the student governments together and find out what can be consolidated as one unit and what can be broken into 2 units.  Herbert said he can see the emotions in the crows, understands out emotions, but said he owned the response into how Armstrong’s community is impacted in this all.

Athletics seems to get the biggest response. Whenever talking about them, the student-athletes were loud.  Blecken said they would honor all scholarships.  Herbert effectively said that it’s wait and see just like the Greek life. When discussion Greek life, from what I overheard, the Girls’ Basketball Team walked out. They had enough.  Students were yelling about what happens to the coaching staff.


As people were leaving the meeting, many people had the same thoughts I did.  Half the meeting seems to be a meeting of platitudes and non-answers.  For answers, it was mainly “I don’t know.”

My View:

Basically, the take away from the meeting was they are basically clueless as to what’s going to happen. Which I find hard to swallow since they had to have had a clue about some parts of consolidation to even get this far.

Let me just say this: if I had been a professor, the questions given to the panel was their homework, they would have failed. They couldn’t answer most of the questions without some form of the phrase “I don’t know.” Not very reassuring to the students, faculty, and staff losing Armstrong.

I am still not happy about this merger at the moment. I think what angers me the most is that was so hidden from the public and the staff and faculty.  Many of them didn’t know until it was announced. It just comes across as if the Armstrong community’s input BEFORE the vote was not important.  It was a slap to the community’s face.

To be honest, Nickel, when giving answers, she gave the most vague answers of the night. The crowd did not respect her.  And Bleicken?  She just came across with pageant queen answers.  Half the time, my mind is thinking “I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket” as she talked. I really wished these women had not spoken at all. There was nothing from them that seems to satisfy the crowd. Their answers lacked substance.

However, Fuchko and Herbert were promising.  Fuchko said that two of his alma maters, which are the surviving Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University, have been through this.  Herbert talked about what can they take from Armstrong and apply to Southern. They may not have had the answers, but they were engaging with the crowd and taking in the thoughts and concerns the questions were about. I only hope that it wasn’t just platitudes, but real feelings that will keep Armstrong live post merger.

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Armstrong State · Politics & Current Events · Savannah

Armstrong Alma Mater
Posted on January 19th, 2017 @ 4:30 pm

Alma Mater

Alma Mater through the ages,
Singing thy undying fame,
Will thy sons and daughters cherish
And defend thy golden name?
To each heart thy noble story
And thy calm and stately grace
Herald thine immortal glory.
Armstrong, hail, all hail to thee!
Alma Mater, those before us
Left thine honor great and strong;
We who follow take their banner,
Raise it with a fighting song!
Consecrated is thy teaching,
Sacred is thy marble height,
Glorious thy spirit reaching
Ever upward to the light.

Words by Margaret Spencer Lubs and Doris Falk, Class of 1939


I thought this would be a fitting post as the Town Hall is starting.

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Armstrong State

Armstrong students and Armstrong alumni – Today is the big town hall.
Posted on January 19th, 2017 @ 8:31 am

Today is the big town hall where they try to explain way the merger.

At the moment, I plan on going to the meeting. I plan on wearing a maroon shirt I have. I urge others going that support Armstrong to wear maroon and gold, too. I have an old AASU notebook with paper.  I might take that to take notes on the following questions I submitted:

  1. Who suggested this merger? I’m not taking about the announcement from a few days ago. I am talking about the VERY first day this came up.
  2. When was it decided it was to be Georgia Southern and Armstrong to merge? Again, I’m not taking about the announcement from a few days ago. I am talking about the VERY first day this came up. We know it didn’t take less than a week to do the study on this merger.
  3. How long has this merger been in the works without public input? Be honest with us. The dishonesty shown in this merger so far has led to a lot of anger.
  4. When did the faculty and staff of both school find out about this merger?
  5. What will happen to the student athletes of Armstrong? I think they are getting the worst deal in this all.
  6. Why are we waiting until AFTER the official vote to perform town halls and meetings to perform the merger with a deadline of 1/1/18 for the merge? Look, I understand wanting to keep people from ruining this for the BORUSG, but the way this has been handled has been poor. Instead of trying to get us to to rally behind this, all this has done is foster anger and worry that this is a dirty deal.
  7. What are the benefits for Savannah? Are classes moving? Will both campuses be offering classes for a major? Not every student who goes to Armstrong wanted to go to GSU. Not every student going to Armstrong has the capacity to handle a school the size of GSU. Not every person in Savannah wants to drive to GSU.
  8. How will tuition costs be handled? Are you going to increase the fees at Armstrong to subside GSU. How do we know if the money for Armstrong will be reinvested into Armstrong? I think this is a major factor that should have been addressed as trying to pass this merger along.

We’ll see if any of them get answered. As for anyone that can’t make the meeting, they are live streaming it at I’ll try to post later, when I can, to summarize the meeting.

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Armstrong State · Politics & Current Events · Savannah

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