by Bryan Lindenberger

New developments are ahead at University of West Georgia Newnan. Thanks to the generosity of individuals within the Coweta County community, UWG Newnan has made great strides in increasing educational opportunities for those who may not otherwise have access.

Steve and Marie SwopeCurrent UWG Newnan growth entails a major renovation of the structure’s undeveloped portion of the historic hospital building that once served as a nursing dormitory. The renewal effort will add classroom, office, and flexible learning areas to address the educational needs of a growing student body and allow for future expansion of academic offerings to the region.

This endeavor provides greater access for community members with varied educational needs and helps meet workforce demand in the region. However, such endeavors necessitate investment. The key capital project requires approximately $3.5 million in philanthropic support.

Many community members have heard the call and are stepping up with generous donations.

“The development of UWG Newnan is a shining example of what can happen when local government and private donors come together on behalf of a good cause,” said Steve Swope, a recent contributor. “This type of collaboration is a model for other similar developments within our community.”

Steve and his wife Marie have a history of service to their community. Steve, founder and CEO of the Rubicon Group providing pricing intelligence to travel firms, serves as a Catholic Relief Services Global Fellow Ambassador and is a member of the Newnan-Coweta Airport Authority. Marie, a retired analyst from Delta Air Lines, works on the board of Stepping Stones and the Samaritan Clinic.

Their previous donation to UWG Newnan in 2014 helped turn the hospital building, a cornerstone in the downtown area, into the innovative educational center we see today. When word of further renovation and classroom expansion reached Steve and Marie Swope, they did not hesitate to pitch in.

“UWG’s investment in Newnan will bring greater economic prosperity to the area,” Marie and Steve said in a joint statement. “We were excited to see the beautiful results of this renovation.”

Community funding will also assist in the renovation of existing public areas. To better serve a growing student population, the second phase will address logistical opportunities to better meet the needs of students and academic programs.

“Expanding the educational space in the historic Newnan Hospital at UWG is essential to the future of UWG Newnan and the community,” said Dr. David Jenks, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of criminology. “We hope to combine philanthropic dollars with other funding to complete this project expeditiously, and Steve and Marie Swope’s gift is greatly appreciated. It will contribute to transformational education in Coweta County for years to come.”

Marie and Steve Swope are deeply aware of the impact UWG Newnan has on individual lives and on their community. They see that such development is no small undertaking and requires cooperation across the board.

“Making a college education accessible to all of the citizens of Newnan should be a high priority for our community,” said the Swopes. “An educated citizenry creates a ready base of potential employees and customers for our local businesses.”

The plan for renovation was officially shared in April with the Newnan advisory board, a collective of key supporters throughout Coweta County.

For more information on charitable efforts at UWG Newnan, please contact Executive Director of Development Nichole Fannin at or call 678-0839-5035.

Posted on October 12, 2018