Tuesday May 28th, 2024 4:25AM

UNG Blue Ridge building to be named for David Ralston

By Caleb Hutchins Assistant News Director

The University of North Georgia has announced that it is naming a building on its Blue Ridge campus in honor of late Georgia House Speaker David Ralston.

A release from UNG Thursday said a new academic building that is currently under construction will be named the David E. Ralston Hall after approval for the naming was granted by the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents this past week. The 22,300-square-foot building is set to open in spring of 2025 and will house classes for the school's College of Education and College of Health Science and Professions.

Ralston, an Ellijay native, graduated from what was at the time North Georgia College before getting his law degree from the University of Georgia. He practiced law for many years in Blue Ridge.

The school also said Ralston was a key part of the construction of the school's Blue Ridge campus, and President Michael Shannon said he had a lasting impact on the area.

"Speaker Ralston was a staunch advocate for the north Georgia region, and the second-longest serving speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives. He played a pivotal role in shaping legislation that has had a lasting positive impact by promoting economic development and enhancing the overall well-being of Georgians," Shannon said. "His visionary leadership was instrumental in expanding access to mental health resources and championing rural economic development."

Ralston served in the Georgia State Senate from 1992 to 1998 before being elected to the State House of Representatives in 2002, serving the 7th District that, at the time, covered Fannin, Dawson and Gilmer counties. He became Georgia's 73rd House Speaker in 2010, where he served until his death in November 2022.

A portrait of Ralston commissioned by the UNG Foundation in July 2023 is displayed outside the State House chamber in Atlanta.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Fannin County, University of North Georgia, David Ralston, Blue Ridge
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