External Affairs Division

Cathy Cox Named President of Georgia College & State University

Atlanta — August 19, 2021

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The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) today named Cathy Cox president of Georgia College & State University, effective October 1, 2021.

“Georgia College & State University has long played a special role within USG as the state’s public liberal arts college, and it is gaining a new leader who inherently understands how important that mission is both for students and the state,” USG Acting Chancellor Teresa MacCartney said. “Cathy Cox has deep experience in liberal arts education, and a passion to help Georgia College succeed. I congratulate her on her new role.”

Cathy Cox became dean of Mercer University School of Law in 2017 after serving 10 years as president of Young Harris College.

“I am excited to welcome Cathy Cox into the USG family, and know Georgia College will only keep rising among the ranks of the nation’s best public liberal arts institutions,” Board of Regents Chairman Sachin Shailendra said. “On behalf of the Board of Regents, I look forward to working with her.”

As the 21st president of Young Harris, a private liberal arts college in the north Georgia mountains, Cox led its transition from a two-year college to a four-year institution and oversaw unprecedented growth. Prior to assuming the Young Harris presidency, Cox served two terms as Georgia’s secretary of state, and was the first woman in the state’s history to be elected to the post, first in 1998 and again in 2002. In the spring of 2007, she held the Carl E. Sanders Political Leadership Chair at the University of Georgia School of Law.

“Thank you to the Board and Acting Chancellor MacCartney for this tremendous opportunity,” Cox said. “I am excited to work with an already amazing faculty and staff as we enhance Georgia College as a destination for students seeking a preeminent liberal arts education. I can’t wait to get started.”

Storbeck Search provided consulting services during the president search process.

About Cathy Cox

A native of Bainbridge, Cox worked as a newspaper reporter for three years before entering law school, working for The Times in Gainesville and The Post-Searchlight in Bainbridge. She earned a degree in journalism, summa cum laude, from the University of Georgia and is a 2013 inductee to the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Grady Fellowship. Cox also holds an associate’s degree in agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton.

Cox was a magna cum laude graduate of Mercer Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Mercer Law Review. She practiced law full-time for 10 years in Atlanta and Bainbridge following her graduation. She has remained an active member of the State Bar of Georgia.

Cox served two terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and two terms as Georgia’s secretary of state. In the spring of 2007, she held the Carl E. Sanders Political Leadership Chair at the University of Georgia School of Law. Later that year she became the 21st president of Young Harris College where she served for 10 years. She was named dean of Mercer University School of Law in 2017.

Among her many awards and accolades are the 2011 Traditions of Excellence Award for General Practice by the State Bar’s General Practice and Trial Section and the 2020 Outstanding Woman Lawyer by the Middle Georgia chapter of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers.

Cox is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and the recipient of Leadership Georgia’s prestigious J.W. Fanning Award for progressive leadership and service. She serves on a number of philanthropic and civic organizations and boards and is married to attorney Mark Dehler.

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