First District Agricultural & Mechanical School
Location: Southern Drive, Statesboro, GA. Located on Sweetheart Circle across from the Marvin Pittman Administration Building.
Coordinates: 32.426344, -81.782728
Dedicated: February 18, 2013
Marker Type: Bulloch County Historical Society
FIRST DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL SCHOOL
Georgia Southern University was founded as First District A&M in 1906. Bulloch County won a bidding war with Tattnall and Emanuel counties offering cash, 300 acres of land, and utilities worth $125,500. Often referred to locally as the “College or the Culture,” FDA&M was a boarding high school. The three buildings located at the top of the circle, an administration/classroom building flanked by a girls’ and a boys’ dormitory, constituted the original campus. On the first day of classes, February 5, 1908, there were 34 boys and 8 girls enrolled. Typically, half the day was spent in core subject classes and half was devoted to practical learning in the fields, shop, orchard and labs of the farm. By the 1920s, the region had established more high schools and FDA&M was converted into a teachers college named Georgia Normal School (1924 – 29), Southern Georgia Teachers College (1929-39) and Georgia Teachers College (1939-50). It expanded its curriculum as Georgia Southern College in 1959 and as a University in 1990. Having survived skeptics, Depression, and politics the University reaches out to the world, but remains grounded in its community origins.
Supported by the Jack N & Addie D. Averitt Foundation
The Bulloch County Historical Society’s historical markers are funded by the
Jack N. & Addie D. Averitt Foundation.