External Affairs Division

Dalton President John O. Schwenn to Retire this December

Atlanta — May 5, 2014

Dr. John Schwenn thumbnail
Dr. John Schwenn

John O. Schwenn, who has served as president of Dalton State College since March 2008, has announced that he will retire this December 31, 2014.

During his six-year tenure as president of Dalton State, Schwenn has driven the expansion of bachelor degree programs offered from 6 to 17, led efforts that have increased retention and graduation rates, expanded the College’s physical presence into Gilmer County and developed the College’s first residence hall, which opened in 2010. Also during his tenure, faculty and student research has increased.

“President Schwenn has provided productive leadership for Dalton State College,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “He has worked to ensure the College’s critical access mission while also balancing the region’s workforce needs through the identification and development of targeted bachelor degree programs. His tireless efforts on behalf of the College and its students have served northwest Georgia well and his leadership will be missed upon his retirement.”

While maintaining Dalton State’s mission as one of the USG’s 13 access institutions, Schwenn’s presidency has resulted in a significant increase in the number of full time students and the number of students pursuing bachelor’s degrees. Currently half of Dalton’s approximately 5,000-student population is enrolled in one of the institution’s bachelor programs.

The region’s Hispanic population has been on Dalton’s State’s radar under Schwenn’s leadership. The percentage of Hispanic students enrolled at the College has increased from 10.8 percent in fall 2007 prior to his arrival as president to 19.3 percent in fall 2013.

Dalton State students now have access to theater and music programs as well as athletics, with nine teams competing in nine sports, plus the addition of men’s and women’s soccer in 2015.

Under Schwenn’s leadership, the campus has seen major changes in its appearance. In addition to the introduction of residential housing, Wescott Hall has been renovated, a bell tower named for former president Jim Burran was privately funded and constructed, a parking deck was constructed, a facility for athletics was purchased and renovated, a recreational gym was renovated and a new science building will open this May. This summer, renovation will begin on the Tech Building for use by the health professions program.

Prior to being named Dalton State’s president, Schwenn was vice president for academic affairs at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan.

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