A Short History of the Georgia Philological Association
After conducting research that determined that the state of Georgia could not lay claim to the existence of a philological organization, the Arts and Letters faculty at Brewton-Parker College, a private, four-year institution in Mount Vernon, Montgomery County, met to organize the Georgia Philological Association (GPA) in October 2005. The officers of the Philological Association of the Carolinas (PAC), then headquartered at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, granted the fledgling group permission to use its constitution as a template upon which to build their own.
At the inaugural meeting, representatives from such fields as English, communication, modern languages, fine arts, history, political science, and religion ratified the GPA constitution and elected officers. With Ruth Ellen Porter, Arts and Letters division chair, presiding, Harry Bayne (English), Vicki Hill (English), and Lee Cheek (Political Science) were nominated and elected by acclamation as GPA's first president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, respectively. Dr. Porter named Thom Brucie (English) as editor of the GPA's journal; Dr. Brucie subsequently tapped George Mosley (English) to serve as managing editor.
Those participating in the founding made clear their desire to see the word "philology" interpreted broadly in order to encourage the involvement of academics and laity from across the broad spectrum of the liberal arts. At each of the annual meetings—held at Brewton-Parker College (2006-2009); Vidalia, Georgia (2010); Waycross College (2011-2012); and the Waycross Campus of South Georgia State College (2013)—those attending have heard presentations on such subjects as business communication, music, film, history, psychology, mathematics, languages, technology, art, mythology, religion, political theory, pedagogy, literature, popular culture, drama, sociology, linguistics, journalism, architecture, philosophy, biography, and photography. Also from its beginning, GPA has included among its presenters college faculty, independent scholars, retired educators, professional writers, graduate students, and undergraduate students.