AASU officially has a new President

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For the seventh time since 1935, Armstrong Atlantic State University now officially has a new president. Dr. Bleicken is no stranger to AASU, in fact for the last year she's been acting President.

Faculty, staff, alumni, students and members of the community packed Armstrong Atlantic State University's Fine Arts Auditorium for Dr. Linda Bleicken's inauguration ceremony. She tells WTOC she chose not to have the ceremony right away because she wanted to tend to her duties, which included some tough decisions.

"As we all know this last year was filled with some challenges, particularly fiscal challenges. But you know, whenever I feel bowed down by the enormity of these I think back to those early people at Armstrong who lived though the Great Depression and dark days of World War II," said Bleicken.

It was 75 years ago on Friday that the University held its first class in Savannah making it a fitting day for Dr. Bleicken's official first day as president.

"I pledge this day as many have throughout our 75 year history to recommit myself to the ideal of our founders. To recommit myself to the great city which founded us and to recommit myself to the hopes and dreams of our nation," said Dr. Bleicken.

Looking to the future, Dr. Bleicken told the crowd she will continue to cherish the legacy of Armstrong.

"Students admitted to Armstrong can count on us to deliver the quality of instruction which we've been known since our inception," said Bleicken.

"As this city and region prosper, so will we. We are linked. A commitment to nuturing the partnerships that will sustain us and help us build for the future," Bleicken told WTOC.

"I firmly believe our best days are yet to come," she added.

AASU is holding several events following Fridays's inauguration, includingSaturday's Day of Service where more than 400 students will spend the day helping 10 non-profit organizations throughout the city.

For a list of inauguration events visit www.armstrong.edu/Departments/inauguration/inauguration_welcome.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.