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Rededication set March 1 for ABAC's historic front campus

Three landmark buildings which first opened to the public in 1908 will get new life on March 1 when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College hosts a rededication ceremony and open house for Tift, Lewis, and Herring Halls. The front campus rededication is at 1:30 p.m. on the front steps of Tift Hall in Tifton.

Three landmark buildings which first opened to the public in 1908 will get new life on March 1 when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College hosts a rededication ceremony and open house for Tift, Lewis, and Herring Halls. The front campus rededication is at 1:30 p.m. on the front steps of Tift Hall in Tifton.

TIFTON, Ga. -- Three landmark buildings which first opened to the public in 1908 will get new life on March 1 when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College hosts a rededication ceremony and open house for Tift, Lewis, and Herring halls.

Visitors are invited to the 1:30 p.m. ceremony on the front steps of Tift Hall as a part of the Celebrate ABAC Alumni Weekend. The event marks the culmination of the Historic Front of Campus project, which includes the rehabilitation of the three buildings, the front lawn and the pedestrian mall behind the buildings.

The institution was an area high school in 1908 called the Second District Agricultural and Mechanical School. Tift Hall was the classroom and administrative building, and Lewis and Herring were dormitories. Tift Hall was closed from 2007 until May 14, 2012, and Lewis and Herring have been shuttered since the mid-1980s.

The renovated Tift Hall includes the addition of the George T. Smith Parlor in honor of the 1940 graduate who became the only person in the history of Georgia to win contested elections to all three branches of Georgia state government. A new Tift Hall History Room details in wall panels the growth of the college for the past 105 years.

An open house will be held from 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. in Herring Hall, the new home of the college's admissions office, the human resources office and personnel from operations and planning.

The dedication ceremony for the newly-renamed Stafford School of Business will begin at 3 p.m. in Lewis Hall. One highlight of that event will be the unveiling of a painting by world-renowned artist Steve Penley. A limited edition of signed and numbered prints of Penley's ABAC piece will be available for Stafford School of Business donors who contribute at the $500 level or above.

Business deans Susan and Dill Driscoll said the funding will assist the business school in national and international internships, a professional speaker series, networking opportunities, student community life and other necessary educational supplements which better position ABAC students for promising futures.

Rededication events will also include a concert in the meadow in the center of the campus featuring the MainStream Band at 6:30 p.m. The festivities will end with a bang as fireworks light up the night sky at 8:30 p.m. over Tift Hall.

For more information on the rededication events, interested persons can contact Director of Public Relations Ashley Mock at (229) 391-5055.