Dedication, legacy, compassion, and determination—each of these words are attributes to describe someone who exemplifies the characteristics of a leader. Some are born with it, and some aren’t. That may sound cliché, but it definitely speaks volumes when describing UWG’s President Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna.
As June 30, vastly approaches, UWG and the Carrollton community will not say goodbye, but rather thank and honor Sethna as he transitions to retirement after serving UWG and the Carrollton community for 19 years.
After being a student at UWG for two years, I had the honor of meeting Sethna in August 2012. Sethna had announced his retirement to the community, and The West Georgian was back in print to cover the story for the return of its print edition. As any journalist would be, I was honored and excited. I was nervous, but the nervousness wore off after hearing several stories from fellow students about their experiences and meetings with Sethna.
I asked questions regarding his reflections on the university and his accomplishments and the progress that the university has made since he came to UWG in 1994. Sethna always answered with a passionate and yet humble answer. He believed highly in teamwork, students at the university and the creation of a brighter, stronger and better university.
There is proof within all areas of the university that Sethna has exemplified dedication to UWG. It is all around. During the interview with Sethna, he told the story of when he first arrived on the campus that there would be no future for the university to grant degrees higher than a Bachelor’s Degree. In 2012, the university granted its first doctoral degree.
The university has seen several changes throughout Sethna’s growth and. UWG transformed from a small liberal arts college to a university that is now home to over 11,000 undergraduate students majoring in over 40 degree programs. The college changed its name from the State University of West Georgia to its present day name of the University of West Georgia. This change has created a legacy that will live on as the university continues its progress over time.
As a student in high school, I visited UWG and learned about the school’s culture and campus. It was great to know that Sethna played such an integral part in the campus life of the university. Students shared that he could often be seen eating in the Z-6, teaching a class or even riding the university buses and striking up conversation with students. This not only shows Sethna to be an approachable president, but also one who cares enough about his students to actually talk with them and care enough about the products of the university.
Sethna put so much work into this university for it to stand where it is today. In 2012, UWG was declared a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Level VI university