Where Did Georgia State University Come From?

 First Graduating Class
Group portrait of the first class to graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Evening School of Commerce. Back row: Floyd Fenn, A.C. Keise (president), Lib Goodman. Second row: P.L. Clower, Sidney Dunn. Front row: W.L. Trussell, G.J. Blake

Do you ever wonder about the history of Georgia State University, the place you spend so much time?

Advertisements first appeared in the Atlanta Constitution in 19131 touting the Georgia School of Technology Evening School of Commerce – “Developer of Efficient Executives.”

“Take our collegiate courses in Commerce, Accounts, Finance and Commercial Law. Class hours don’t conflict with your work or pleasure. Number of students limited. Your future life and happiness may be in the balance. Decide right. Enroll now. Work begins September 15th.”2

So began the history of what is now Georgia State University. In 1914 the school moved downtown to the 7th floor of the Walton Building.

“Professor Kell says that the Georgia School of Technology was actuated by several important reasons in deciding to move the evening School of Commerce down town. The school is designed particularly for the benefit of men who work inthe day time, and are not able to pursue commercial courses during the day. By having the school down town, instead of out at Tech Flats, it gives the pupil plenty of time to get his supper and reach the class room by 6:45 p.m., even on days when he has to work a little later than usual. It also allows pupils from West End and other parts of the city “across town” to attend the school with much more facilty.”2

Times sure have changed! Over this centennial year, the University Library will be bringing you a series of posts covering the history, both anecdotal and historic, of Georgia State University.

References are from Historical Newspapers: The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945), a resource you can use to research Atlanta history and accessible from the A-Z List of Databases.

1“Display Ad 23 — no Title.” The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945): A4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). Aug 31 1913. Web. 25 Jan. 2012 .
2ibid
3“School of Commerce Quarters are Changed.” The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945): 10. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). Sep 06 1914. Web. 25 Jan. 2012 .

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One Response to Where Did Georgia State University Come From?

  1. Karen Cook says:

    Nice seeing this photo. However, the names are a bit mixed up. G. J. Blake is the guy in the lower right hand corner. That’s my grandfather, George John Blake, who grew up in Atlanta. His dad was the founder of the old Southern Belting Company. The building is still standing on Forsyth St. SW.

    Karen Cook