STATESBORO, GA (WSAV) – Following the announcement from the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents on the approval of the merger of Armstrong State and Georgia Southern University, GSU President, Jaimie Hebert, Ph.D. released the following statement to the Eagle community:

“I hope you share in the excitement and optimism this opportunity presents for current and future students of both institutions. The consolidation combines the best of both universities and reinforces the student-centered commitment of each school throughout their long histories. With more than 27,000 students, Georgia Southern will be the fourth largest public university in Georgia.

The consolidation process will take approximately 18 months and will be a joint effort led by representatives from both Georgia Southern and Armstrong.

As we move forward, I – with the help and leadership of Armstrong State University President Linda Bleicken – will lead an implementation team that will work closely with leadership at the University System of Georgia.

We will hold Town Hall sessions on Thursday, Jan. 19 at each institution so our entire community – on and off-campus – will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the consolidation. We welcome your input. If you are unable to make it to the Town Hall, the sessions will be streamed live on the new consolidation website: I encourage you to visit this site often for updates.

It is important to me that you feel included in this process as we move forward. Each of you are an integral part of this process and a part of the Georgia Southern University family. “

With the merger, the schools will be known as Georgia Southern University and will be led by Hebert.