Southern Polytechnic State University: Wikis


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Southern Polytechnic State University

Georgia's Technology University
Established 1948
Type Public
President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher
Faculty 107
Students 5,170
Location Marietta, Georgia, United States
33°56′32″N 84°31′15″W / 33.94222°N 84.52083°W / 33.94222; -84.52083
Campus Suburban (230+ acres)
Former names Southern Technical Institute, Southern College of Technology
Colors White and Green          
Nickname "Spoosoo", Southern Tech, Southern Poly, SPSU
Mascot Hornet / The Running Hornets

Southern Polytechnic State University (commonly called SPSU or Southern Poly) is a public, co-educational state university located in Marietta, Georgia, USA just northwest of Atlanta. It is part of the University System of Georgia and known as "Georgia's Technology University". Southern Polytechnic State University, also referred to as SPSU or Southern Poly, was established in 1948 as the Technical Institute in Chamblee, Georgia, United States. The first classes were held with 116 students. It was renamed Southern Technical Institute in 1949 and moved to its present campus in Marietta, Georgia, around 1958. It went through another name change in 1987 and was named Southern College of Technology. Later in the summer of 1996, the university adopted its current name. Today, the university encompasses more than 230 acres and includes approximately 35 buildings. Southern Polytechnic State University is well known for its academic programs in engineering, technology, and computer science.





Founded in 1948 as a two-year division of the Georgia Institute of Technology, SPSU was established at the request of Georgia's business and industry. It first opened its doors as the Technical Institute in Chamblee, Georgia, with 116 students, all but 10 being World War II veterans, and a staff of 12. The campus was previously a part of NAS Atlanta (now DeKalb-Peachtree Airport), and the buildings used were formerly barracks.

In 1949, it became the Southern Technical Institute (STI or Southern Tech), and was recognized as a college-level school by the U.S. Department of Education. Less than a decade later (around 1958), the college migrated to its present campus in Marietta, which was previously part of Dobbins Air Force Base. NAS Atlanta also moved to the opposite (south) end of Dobbins around the same time.

In 1961, Hoyt McClure was named acting director and led the movement to build eight new buildings on 120 acres (48 hectares) of land. Since then SPSU has continued to expand—the campus now encompasses more than 230 acres (92ha) and contains 35 buildings with continuing projects to expand the campus for both academia and student housing.

STI became accredited as a four-year college in 1970, and was one of the first colleges in the nation to offer the bachelor of engineering technology degree. It also earned independence in the University System, separating ties with Georgia Tech. In the summer of 1980, SPSU officially became the 14th senior college and the 33rd independent unit of the University System of Georgia.

The college's first president, Dr. Stephen R. Cheshier of Purdue University, was named in 1980 and served with distinction until his retirement as president in June 1997. He saw SPSU through two name changes -- Southern College of Technology in 1987 and Southern Polytechnic State University in the summer of 1996, when the school also became a university. Dr. Daniel S. Papp served as interim president from July of 1997 to August of 1998, when the university welcomed Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, formerly of Dickinson College, as its president.

SPSU logo, 1996 to 2008

Currently, SPSU also serves in part as a satellite campus for Georgia Highlands College.


  • The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • The Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB)
  • The American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)
  • The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)


Schools and Degrees

The University offers various numbers of undergraduate degree programs as well as several masters degree programs throughout its five schools located on campus.

  • The School of Architecture, Civil Engineering Technology, and Construction
  • The School of Computing and Software Engineering
  • The School of Engineering Technology and Management
  • The School of Arts and Sciences
  • Division of Engineering
  • Extended University

List of presidents

Name Term of office Notes
Dr. Lisa Rossbacher August 1998-Present Served as Interim Vice Chancellor of the University System of Georgia in 2007
Dr. Daniel S. Papp July 1997-August 1998 Served as Interim President. Current president of Kennesaw State University
Dr. Stephen R. Cheshier Summer 1980-July 1997 First President of SPSU
Previous presidents were from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)


Student government

Student organizations such as fraternities, clubs, and the general student body are governed by the Student Government Association of Southern Polytechnic State University. SGA is composed of elected and appointed undergraduate and graduate students. The SGA is designed closely to the U.S. government, where the president has veto power, the vice president chairs the legislative body, and the chief judge has judgment authority over questions of constitutionality.

The SGA is composed of three main branches:

  • Executive (President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Chief Judge, and four committee chairs)
  • Legislative (Ten Councilmen including the four committee chairs, chaired by the VP and recorded by the Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Judicial (Chief Judge and six Associate Judges)

The president of the Student Government Association also serves simultaneously as a representative on the Student Advisory Council of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, a board comprising of student-body presidents of the 34 institutions in the University System. This state-wide duty involves advising the Regents and Chancellor of student-related issues and long-term goals.

Student media


WGHR, a noncommercial college radio station, serves much of Cobb County in the northwest metro Atlanta area on FM from 1969 to 2004 and now via webcast. The station is student- and listener-supported, with diverse and eclectic programming from a wide variety of genres. The student body that runs WGHR is currently pushing the dean to apply for a new FM license from the FCC.


An acronym meaning Southern Technical Institute News Gazette. The student newspaper has been publishing since the school was founded. This media's slogan, in satire form, is "Read By Tens Of People In One Country All Over The World".

The Sting has had particular leanings to the political and social left that has led many to question the paper's fairness on current events and ethical issues. Of particular note throughout the years of 2006 and 2007, a wave of censorship found Conservative writers and editors leaving the paper's staff.

Student organizations

Academic competition teams

SPSU fields a number of academic competition teams, including a robotics team.

For more than a decade, an SPSU student team has competed in the International Aerial Robotics Competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Over the years the SPSU teams have won various awards for their fully autonomous aerial robots. Also, the Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Technology department sponsors a student-run Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) team that competes in an annual AUVSI underwater vehicle competition in San Diego, California. The Civil Engineering Technology department sponsors the Steel Bridge team and the Concrete Canoe team, both of which compete in annual competitions on a regional and national level.

Professional organizations

SPSU students are members of over ten industry- and degree-related professional organizations, further facilitating their knowledge and skills for when they join the workforce after graduation.

Fraternities and sororities

SPSU has eight different fraternities (Kappa Sigma, Sigma Pi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pi Kappa Phi, Kappa Upsilon Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Kappa Alpha Psi) and three sororities (Gamma Phi Beta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Alpha Xi Delta). SPSU Greek organizations are very active on campus on a daily basis.

Social and other clubs

SPSU supports many student-run social organizations along the genres of international cultures, faith, athletics, special interests, etc.


In August 2005, SPSU launched its own wiki on a trial basis with the approval of current university president Dr. Lisa Rossbacher. The SPSU Wiki contains relevant information about the school, an event schedule, and information about the varying policies and procedures at SPSU, edited by the students and staff of SPSU.


SPSU competes in the Southern States Athletic Conference of the NAIA, fielding teams for baseball, men's and women's basketball, and men's soccer.

SPSU's baseball team went 53–10 in the 2009 regular season, won the SSAC conference championship, and finished fifth in the NAIA World Series. Three players from the team were drafted by major league baseball teams (the Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins).

External links

33°56′24″N 84°31′12″W / 33.940°N 84.520°W / 33.940; -84.520Coordinates: 33°56′24″N 84°31′12″W / 33.940°N 84.520°W / 33.940; -84.520


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