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Governor’s Honors Program in Georgia celebrates 50 years

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358,
Dorie Turner Nolt, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 656-5594,

Dale Lyles, Governor’s Honors Program manager,

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July 9, 2013 – The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP), a summer residential experience for gifted high school students across the state.
Nearly 700 rising high school juniors and seniors arrived at Valdosta State University last week ready to for intensive classes in their selected major – everything from foreign languages to the arts to engineering. The program runs through July 20.
“These incredibly talented students are the future leaders of this state and nation,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “I am honored that the Georgia Department of Education is part of such a fantastic program, and I hope the state is able to support Governor’s Honors for many years to come.”
The four-week Governor’s Honors Program is the longest continuously running summer enrichment program in the nation. GHP alumni include actors Jack McBrayer and Donald Glover, as well as multiple state lawmakers, authors and musicians. Jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon attended in 1983, and MIT biological engineer Linda Griffith completed the program in 1977.
“The students of the Governor’s Honors Program are among the best and brightest of our state,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. “I look forward to learning of their continued success and achievement in the years to come.”
Schools nominate about 3,000 students each year for the program. Students go through an intensive interview process in January and February before the final pool of students is chosen.
Students choose one of 17 majors: biotechnology, environmental science, communicative arts, dance, architectural & graphic design, executive management, French, German, Latin, mathematics, music (strings, piano, woodwinds, brass, voice, percussion or jazz), science (biology, chemistry or physics), social studies, Spanish, technology & engineering, theatre (performance or design) and visual arts.
Students spend six days a week in classes in their major and minor, with extracurricular activities like seminars, art shows, concerts and academic tournaments in the evenings and on the weekends.
Learn more about the Governor’s Honors Program at