News and Updates

SGSC hosts Dr. Wayne Clough to share how his passion for learning is helping educate others

Posted on Sep 03, 2019

Dr. G. Wayne Clough has always been inquisitive. His passion for learning was strong from his early childhood, growing up in Douglas, Georgia. However, little did he know it would take him on many journeys and afford him positions to turn that passion into helping educate others through his book Things New and Strange: A Southerner’s Journey Through the Smithsonian Collections.


In 2018, when Dr. Clough served as the commencement speaker for South Georgia State College (SGSC), he shared, “I will always treasure growing up in a place where I was encouraged to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning, to enjoy nature and help protect our natural heritage and to appreciate the importance of family.” He also shared his book was nearing completion, and agreed to return to his hometown to share firsthand the many treasures he found during his research that have national significance and make rural Georgia so special.


On August 15, with over one hundred people in attendance in SGSC’s William S. Smith library, Dr. Clough gave an enlightening presentation rich with examples of plant, fossil and cultural artifacts that could be traced back to south Georgia. He shared how some of these artifacts led to the discovery of unknown groups of people who had been a part of the region’s history, many of which had not been revealed until now.


Mr. Frankie Snow, SGSC’s Learning Services Coordinator in the School of Sciences, is a lifelong friend of Dr. Clough and a local resource for him because of his knowledge of the area. He comments, “It was a great honor to be able to assist Dr. Clough with his new book that highlights connections between holdings in the Smithsonian Institution and people, places, and things from South Georgia.  It was especially rewarding to help him in discovering and visiting the location of the old lost Clough farm where his father grew up and where his mother, as a child in 1904, first entered Coffee County at Rocky Hammock Landing on the Ocmulgee River.”


Clough is already established as a prominent figure in the education field. Prior to serving as the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian, he held several high-profile positions as an esteemed faculty member and college administrator before serving as the 10th president of the Georgia Institute of Technology for fourteen years.


As the readership of his book grows, Clough’s opportunity to teach will only continue. SGSC President, Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, adds, “I applaud Dr. Clough for his commitment to education illustrated through his book. He is a valued supporter of SGSC, and it was heartwarming to have him return to campus to demonstrate how learning can most often be engaging.”

Dr. G. Wayne Clough spent time during his recent presentation at South Georgia State College to sign copies of his book Things New and Strange: A Southerner’s Journey Through the Smithsonian Collections.

SGSC President Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers welcomes Dr. G. Wayne Clough back to campus for a presentation and book signing.