Provost celebrates 35-year career with live-stream celebration

By Madeline Burgin |
Staff writer

Gretchen Caughman, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, celebrated her retirement with a virtual live-streamed celebration on Thursday, August 27.

Hosted by President Keel, the night of celebration, memories and accolades kicked off with a poignant video about Caughman’s 35-year career at Augusta University (AU).

Caughman watched a touching video of co-workers, colleagues, mentors, friends and family congratulate her.

LaDarius Scott, former Student Government Association president, stated a popular sentiment in the video, “A lot of things we accomplished was because of you.”

Caughman was a leader at AU through many milestones from grand openings and academic program expansion to the consolidation of legacy universities.

She postponed her first retirement date in June to remain a leader through the COVID-19 crisis.

After the video, Keel revealed his recommendation and awarded Caughman professor and provost emeritus. Stating, “best of teaching, research and service.”

Keel then announced the plans for the Gretchen B. Caughman Student Welcoming Center, which would “reflect the warm welcoming spirit of Dr. Caughman.”

Caughman then gave a thank you and retirement speech to the 157 online attendees.

While she “didn’t plan to be provost,” Caughman grew into her leadership role and was happy that she created a lasting impact on the students of AU.

She said, “While it doesn’t directly impact the students in the day-to-day…There was a way I could make a difference.”