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Reflections from President Fowler on Wesleyan's 185th Birthday

On December 23, 1836 – 185 years ago – the governor of Georgia signed the charter creating Georgia Female College – later to be known as Wesleyan College – the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. When I think about that day—just two days before Christmas—I marvel that Governor William Schley was in his office signing bills and charters, and not at home trimming his tree. But aren’t we glad he did! Shortly thereafter, construction commenced on a hill overlooking the new town of Macon, GA, and young girls began to consider the reality of what had previously been only a dream—to earn a baccalaureate degree equal to what was then only available to men.

Here we are 185 years later, a few miles north of the site of the original college, but still drawing young women to Wesleyan to make their dreams come true. They are drawn to Wesleyan for the promise of an excellent education, a supportive and inclusive academic community, and for generous financial aid provided by years of generous donors and strong fundraising. How grateful we are to each of you for your support over the years.

On December 23, as you go about your holiday chores and celebrations, I hope you’ll whistle a Happy Birthday tune to Wesleyan, or sing the alma mater, or whisper a prayer of thanks for our past and our future.

Hail Wesleyan!



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