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UNG’s New President: ‘We have an opportunity for impact.’

President Shannon poses with Nigel at the Fall 2023 Kickoff on the Dahlonega Campus. Photo by the University of North Georgia.

Impact is one of the University of North Georgia’s president, Michael Shannon’s biggest goals. While he says he wants more students to enroll at the university, it’s not his main priority. “If we grow, that’s great. But if not, it’s still about impact. We are creating leaders who are going out and changing the world.” He also added that “because of our students, faculty and staff, we have a lot going for us. Nobody has all of this. The University of North Georgia has tremendous opportunities.” 

For the first time in 12 years, UNG kicked off a school year with a new president. 

​​During his first couple of months, Shannon says the “pride, tradition, loyalty and prestige” that surround UNG have made an impression. He says that the university’s values of leadership and service are as important as ever, and that “the state, the region and the nation is counting on us to deliver people who are going to go out and serve their communities.”

Shannon, who holds a Ph.D. in nuclear and radiological engineering and is a retired U.S. Army officer, comes to UNG from Georgia Tech where he served as the interim executive vice president for administration and finance. 

“People really love this place… there’s so much legacy here,” says Shannon. He says he believes that each of the university’s five campuses have “intensity.”  He said that one of his goals during the beginning of his role is to “gain knowledge and perspective” of the school, its students and the tradition that surrounds it.

UNG is one of six senior military colleges in the nation, and Shannon is ready to make the Corps of Cadets more distinct. “One of the most special things we have here is the Corps,” Shannon said. As the only regional public school serving as a senior military college, he believes that “we can truly impact America… the Corps makes all of us better.”

As of fall 2022, the UNG Office of Admissions reported that there were 18,046 students enrolled. Shannon says he wants “every student who has an experience at UNG to be a better human being.” He says the university creates leaders and strong individuals. “I think we have an opportunity to rise above and navigate through life in a positive way.”

Shannon said he wants students to come to UNG and graduate from UNG, “Student retention is critical going forward. We want everyone who comes through the front door to leave out the back door with their dreams fulfilled.” 

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About the Contributor
Braydi Burnett, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Braydi and I'm a writer for the UNG Vanguard. I'm a junior communications major with a focus in public relations and after college my goal is to work for the Atlanta Braves on their communications team. I enjoy writing and covering important stories. I'm currently the president of Kappa Delta sorority here on campus and I work for UNG Athletics on their creative services team!
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