By Jordan West

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Truett-McConnell College (TM) welcomed the community of Cleveland to campus on Thursday, March 17, as the college broke ground on The George Blaurock Student Wellness Center, scheduled to open January 2017.

Marking down moments in history

Dr. John Yarbrough, TM’s Director of Public Policy and Alumni Relations, opened the ceremony, stating, “This is a historic day for our campus, for our city and for White County.”

As the campus prepares to celebrate its 70-year anniversary this summer, TM President Dr. Emir Caner reminded the crowd of the SWC’s significance in the school’s longtime dream. “It’s not the beginning of a project, but the continuing of a dream that was begun on July 23, 1946.”

Honoring a heroic namesake

The George Blaurock Student Wellness Center gained its namesake from 15th century Anabaptist hero George Blaurock. Caner explained, “He was one of the founding members of the Baptist and Evangelical Movement today.”

Blaurock was unashamed in the sharing of his Christian faith and allowed his life and death to be a testament to his God.  He was burned at the stake in 1529.

Caner urged, “The call of Blaurock is our call – simply to serve the Lord Jesus Christ wherever He calls you.”

Blaurock’s legacy is a reflection of his commitment to sharing the Gospel. Caner added, “If there’s one thing this campus stands for, it is the fulfillment of the Great Commission in its entirety.”

Becoming TMU

TM is moving into exciting times, as Truett-McConnell College will become Truett McConnell University when the school’s first Master’s graduate walks across stage on May 14, 2016. Caner said, “He’ll be the first student, almost 70 years after this campus was formed, to walk across that stage of Truett McConnell University.”

Support from Truett-McConnell students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors and members of the community flooded the campus on the day of the groundbreaking.

TM Senior John Thomas Justus said, “I’m looking forward to how this building will be a way to minister to new students. The SWC will give an excellent opportunity for them to stay on campus and to congregate on campus. It gives the community opportunities to know each other and I think that will be very beneficial.”

The SWC is set to include an aquatic center, fitness center, aerobics room and an indoor walking track, amongst other state-of-the-art wellness amenities.

Surrounded by support

TM Board of Visitors member Chip Brooks, Owner of Omega Technology Group, LLC in Cornelia, Ga., added: “I believe that sports plays a big role in building community and I believe that this new facility will greatly assist Truett-McConnell in doing that.”

Truett-McConnell’s Director of Financial Development, Dr. Gary Jarnagin, stated that the campus looks forward to the SWC taking shape as the concrete is set to be poured in April, steel beams to be put up this summer and plans to open the facility to students and the community in January 2017.

Caner concluded, “Our hope here at Truett-McConnell is to build a community of faith who encourages each other and enjoins our hearts together. The George Blaurock Student Wellness Center provides the pivotal step of giving students a greater opportunity for such a community, a place in which they can fellowship, evangelize and equip others.”


Jordan is a senior English major and is an intern for the Communications Department.

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