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Year in Review: 2021 at Augusta University

This was another historic year for Augusta University. From new academic programs to new personnel, 2021 was jam-packed with moments that make us want to say, “Jag Yeah!”

Here are some of the top moments from 2021:


Dr. Neil MacKinnon began his role as the university’s new provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Since beginning in the the spring semester, MacKinnon has been busy listening, learning and contributing to the university’s podcast, In the Wild.

Also, the Office of Academic Admissions was busy at work in January. Augustus made time to surprise newly admitted students.


After a year of social distancing and virtual events, the university’s annual Homecoming Week welcomed the newly crowned royalty.

February also marked the time most Georgia residents were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The students at the Medical College of Georgia were eager to receive the vaccine.


MCG students were also eager to get dressed up for Match Day 2021 at SRP Park.

Held on the third Friday of every March, Match Day is when thousands of graduating medical students learn where they will be training for their residency for the next several years.


After a two-year hiatus, the university passed the Mr. Augusta University crown to Zyare Orr.


On Thursday, May 13, the university gathered at Lady A Pavilion in Evans Towne Center Park to congratulate spring 2021 graduates.

This was the first outdoor commencement ceremony in the university’s history.


The university celebrated Pride Month along with the city of Augusta at the return of the Pride Festival in downtown Augusta.


To meet the evolving educational needs and professional career imperatives of its students, MCG developed a novel curriculum to allow medical students to complete their degree in three years. This summer, MCG welcomed the first cohort of students in the program.

Orientation leaders went to work this summer welcoming new students and their families to campus. They also operated a virtual orientation experience.


Before the new semester began, Augusta University’s Communications & Marketing launched the university’s new brand campaign, Like No Other.

Students were celebrating during Weeks of Welcome. The first week of classes ended with the inaugural Color Run.


Wesley Walters, an MCG student, received attention for the publication of The Virus That Came To Town, his children’s book about coronavirus.

Also, the university announced the Jaguar Nation collaboration, a partnership with local businesses.


The College of Science and Mathematics celebrated the opening of its new building on the Health Sciences Campus. The state of Georgia invested $60 million into the $70 million project, which features four stories with 22 teaching labs, a tutoring center, more than 80 faculty offices and a top floor dedicated to research.

Chelsea Paulding, a graduate student in public health from Columbus, Georgia, was crowned Miss Augusta University 2022 on Oct. 1. She is the successor to Maisy Welsh, who reigned for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Roberson sisters (from left, Meghan, Brianna and Quishawna) were honored during Alumni Weekend. With their degrees in hand, all three have gone on to succeed in different fields: Quishawna is a media specialist, Brianna owns a coffee shop and Meghan works for Christ Community Dental.

More than 50 years after becoming the first African American in a professional position at Augusta University, Dr. Roscoe Williams was honored Nov. 4, when the Jaguar Student Activities Center ballroom was named after him.


Augusta University’s Fall 2021 Commencement was held Dec. 10 at the James Brown Arena. The ceremony honored nearly 900 graduates in more than 50 majors.

Days of Service, Augusta University’s annual community service project, was held from Nov. 1-19. This year, over 1,300 volunteers registered to participate. The impact from this year’s projects was felt by thousands in the CSRA.

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Written by
Raysean Ricks

Raysean Ricks is a writer for Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144 or email him at

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Written by Raysean Ricks

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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