ASU tradition slips away

I now am a homeless Augusta College/Augusta State University alumna. Georgia Regents University took away our alumni house.

It’s the Maxwell House, a big, beautiful house behind ASU in a charming Summerville neighborhood. On Dec. 20, we held the last ASU graduation celebration there. The grads, their families and friends come to the house to pick up their diplomas. It is a big party, with food, drinks, happy people with diplomas and great cheer. I will miss these celebrations and the other great events at the Maxwell House.

Our wonderful house now will belong to the lobbyists for GRU. For me, this is not a slap in the face – it’s a punch. Maybe we members of the Alumni Board of Directors of ASU will be able to pitch a tent or find some unused basements to hold our meetings after the lobbyists take over our former Alumni House.

Are the graduates of Augusta College, ASU and the Medical College of Georgia a dying breed? Are we still alumni when GRU-A finishes the takeover this month? After all, isn’t GRU the “new U”? Can a “new U” have alumni from the old “us” from MCG and ASU? Apparently we, the alumni, can’t have our house. That’s just it, I think – nothing is ours anymore. I wonder if the Maxwell family would approve.

We know, because Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz essentially told us that we can’t comprehend the grand plan for the “new U.” The new regime does not seem to comprehend tradition, and that is not a good thing for the schools and the people who make them work.