One of ASU President Bill Bloodworth's prized possessions is a plate signed by his sixth grade students from back in the '60s. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 17, 2011)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, June 28, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In a short time, Augusta State will become half of the "New U."
It will have a new name, a new identity and a new leader, but the man in charge for almost two decades has left his mark.
At Thursday night's reception, State Rep. Barbara Sims said it best: Bloodworth's name is fitting for the blood, sweat and tears that's been invested into the university.
Just beyond the stained glass windows at Sacred Heart, you'll find years of stories, memories and lessons.
Retired Richmond County teacher, Helen Mulholland, said, "I remember the first day that I walked into your office."
Georgia Health Sciences University President Dr. Ricardo Azziz said, "You know, I met Dr. Bloodworth right when I arrived here."
Paine College President Dr. George Bradley said, "He's my idol and he's a role model for all presidents around."
After 19 years, Bloodworth is retiring.
"I am just honored that so many people would show up," he said.
Bloodworth, who became president of Augusta State in October of 1993, isn't going too far.
"It's easier for me to get out of my office then it is to get my office out of me," he said.
That is because he will be doing something he started to do 47 years ago: teaching.
"I am also pleased that I will be able to part of that new university but as a college professor," Bloodworth said.
Mulholland said, "He's going to be really good because in his role as president of the university, he really was a teacher and I saw him in my own classroom."
Ask some of Dr. Bloodworth's colleagues, and they will tell you they have been learning from him.
"Dr. Bloodworth's idea, he said to me, 'Ricardo, you know if I were you, I'd get these two universities together,'" Azziz said.
On that note, we couldn't let Bloodworth go without having him weigh in on the name for the "New U," and he said he'd rather not choose.
"Augusta would be fine, Georgia would be fine."
He also knows the school he loves so much will be fine, too.
At Thursday night's reception, they proclaimed June 28 as William A. Bloodworth Day and a scholarship has been established under his name.
News 12's Sheli Muniz asked Bloodworth for some pointers for his soon-to-be students. He encourages them to sit in the front, read carefully and pay attention.