Nick Burnett, Gainesville traffic operations superintendent, installs the new Golden Tiger Way signs on at the ends of the former Centennial Circle on Brenau's Gainesville historic campus.
Nick Burnett, Gainesville traffic operations superintendent, installs the new Golden Tiger Way signs on at the ends of the former Centennial Circle on Brenau's Gainesville historic campus.

Brenau University Celebrates Golden Tiger Way

Apr. 22, 2016
Brenau Staff

The heart of Brenau University’s Gainesville campus has a new name, and in coming months, it could also have a new look.

Although the angled drive is not a city street, Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan, whose wife is a Brenau alumna, joined Brenau President Ed Schrader to officially christen Golden Tiger Way on the historic campus April 21. The ceremony also served as a pep rally to send off the Golden Tigers track & field team and tennis team to conference championship play in Mobile, Alabama.

The drive in front of Yonah Hall, Pearce Auditorium, the Simmons Visual Arts Center and Bailey Hall, which houses university administration, connects Boulevard and Washington Street on the inside angle of the historic campus front lawn. For the past 38 years, the street had been known as Centennial Circle. As Schrader noted, however, the old namesake was a problem because there is now another Centennial Circle, a public street just south of Browns Bridge Road, in Gainesville. Confusion over the similarly named addresses, a bane for GPS users and emergency responders alike, prompted Gainesville Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough to suggest the name change.

Schrader said the Golden Tiger Way moniker is meant to pay tribute to Brenau’s student athletes. About a third of the Women’s College student body is involved in one of the university’s 10 current National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-recognized programs. That number will get even bigger as Brenau prepares to add two additional sports, indoor track and lacrosse, over the next two years.

Several Brenau student-athletes were on hand to celebrate the dedication, including members of the university’s No. 6 nationally ranked tennis team and the defending Southern States Athletics Conference champion outdoor track & field squad. Both teams left shortly after the ceremony for Mobile, Alabama, where they will compete for their respective Southern States Athletic Conference 2016 championships. The track team, only four years old, will compete for its fourth consecutive SSAC outdoor track & field title. The tennis team has a more difficult assignment, competing in a tournament with No. 1 nationally ranked conference rival Auburn University at Montgomery.

“It’ll be a tough competition,” Schrader said, “but we’re in the right shape and the right position to take it.”

The event also featured a performance by the Brenau University Band and the No. 10 nationally ranked Golden Tigers competition cheer squad.

Schrader said merely changing the campus street’s name, however, will not mark the Golden Tiger’s home turf well enough. He also proposes decorating the pavement with enormous painted paw prints and the distinctive black and gold Golden Tiger logo to finish the job.

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