Why Athens? A closer look into why Piedmont College has two campuses


Living/Athens Editor

Piedmont College’s Demorest campus was established in 1897. 

Years later, in 1996, Piedmont expanded its campus to a location in Athens, Ga. Today, Piedmont is known as a college with two locations, though many don’t know why that is. 

Piedmont College isn’t the only school that has multiple campus locations. The University of North Georgia is located in Dahlonega and Oakwood, and the University of Georgia has multiple campuses as well. 

Usually this is so that more students have access to the school, regardless of their location or academic need. 

Piedmont, in particular, did so in order for students that aren’t considered “traditional” or maybe want the college town experience, but don’t want to move to the hills of Habersham, to still benefit from a small college atmosphere. 

In Athens, the larger, more famous college campus is, of course, the University of Georgia, or UGA. However, UGA does not offer evening or weekend classes for students who may have full-time jobs or families. If a student wants a small college feel in a busy city, Piedmont Athens serves as a solid alternative. 

Piedmont’s Athens campus caters to those needs specifically.

Ellen Briggs, professor of education and chair of the physical education department, has worked for Piedmont College since 1991. She teaches on both the Demorest campus and the Athens campus.

“We are meeting the needs of students in Athens and the surrounding area, besides just having one major university in Demorest,” Briggs said.

Since it’s opening in 1996, the Athens campus has served over 6,000 students. The campus can be found in a residential neighborhood, sizing about two times smaller than the campus in Demorest.  

Its size allows for a much smaller student body than the one located in Habersham and provides a very different demographic of students as well. The Athens campus is made up of mostly non-traditional students that are primarily seeking a degree in education, nursing or business. 

When asked what the benefit of the college being located on two campuses is, James Mellichamp, President of Piedmont College and professor of music, wrote by email, “We believe it advances the college mission to serve students in our region- not just in one city or area.”

Piedmont College offers many benefits to its students that can only be found when attending a small college.

 Whether on the Demorest campus or the Athens campus, students will experience small, more intimate classroom settings and will get a chance to know each other, as well as their professors.

Though separated by miles, together, the Demorest and Athens campuses work to achieve success for Piedmont College.