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One Space Many Stories: Front Campus History
Item 6 of 6
Miller Hall, also known as the Business Building, was completed in 1959. The building was originally built to house the Education Department. The school built a facade on Miller Hall in the 1990s or early 2000s, but originally it would have looked more similar to the Anthropology Building with its stark, International Style. The University of West Georgia renamed the building Miller Hall in 2014, after Dr. J. Mark Miller, the first dean of what was called the West Georgia College School of Business.

Miller Hall, 2021

Brick building, paved path, trees, blue sky

Education Building, c. 1960

Black and white photo of building, sky, tree, and grass

White students pose with West Georgia College sign, 1946

Sign, students, grass, sky

Our last stop is Miller Hall, also known as the Business Building, which was built around 1958 or 1959. The building was originally built to house the Education Department. By 1935, W.G.C. had a formal Education department, and classes were taught at that time by Asst. Professor Zoe Cowen.

As you have probably gathered from this tour, the early history of West Georgia and this region is complicated. West Georgia’s involvement in the community was always important but often unequal. The A&M School was established to bolster the rural communities in the area, but only for white students. West Georgia College partnered with the Rosenwald Fund to improve rural schools and hired a Black supervisor, even though the college remained segregated in a Jim Crow state. And we are ending the tour at Miller Hall, which is part of the story of education training at West Georgia, in addition to its story of African American histories. In 1963, the first African American student to attend West Georgia and graduate was Lillian Williams, who graduated in 1968 with a Masters in Elementary Education and took classes here at Miller Hall. Though she along with other Black faculty and staff helped break the mold of exclusion at West Georgia, she was also part of the college's tradition of improving the surrounding community at a regional university.

I ask you to take a look on the map of the stops where this tour has taken you. The area that you toured pretty much compromised the majority of campus through the 1950s. The stories and histories that you learned primarily occurred in this area. Like all histories, the history of this university is not monolithic, but the different communities of people who all have stories here make the history of West Georgia complex, rich, and important to talk about. West Georgia, for better or for worse, has impacted the community as a regional school, and each person with their unique perspective continues to impact West Georgia and this community today.

Click the links below to learn more about the Center for Public History and the University History Project at the University of West Georgia.

“The Administration.” Chieftain 2 (1935): 16. 

Hand, Edith. "West Georgia College Boasts New Buildings."The West Georgia (Carrollton, GA) 30, No. 2 (October 26, 1959): 7.

“Health Institute Now in Progress.” West Georgian (Carrollton, GA) 29, No. 2 (October 31, 1958): 1.

“Lillian Williams.” Public History Program, University of West Georgia. Accessed December 3, 2020.

“Post War Plans,” West Georgian (Carrollton, GA) 12, no. 4 (November 28, 1944): 1.

White, J. L., “Gov. Talmadge Speaks At West Georgia College.” West Georgian (Carrollton, GA) 20, No. 8 (April 30, 1954): 1.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia

University of West Georgia, Ingram Library, Special Collections

University of West Georgia, Ingram Library, Special Collections