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This Day in Georgia History

March 24, 1841

Gustavus Alonzo Nunnally Born

Educator, college president, minister Gustavus Alonzo Nunnally was born at Good Hope, Georgia. Entering the University of Georgia at age 14, Nunnally graduated four years later. He became a teacher in Monroe, Georgia., and then president of Hamilton College. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he joined the 9th Infantry Regiment of the Georgia State Guards, in which he rose to the rank of first sergeant. Nunnally was stationed at Rome for part of the war, but with Lee at his surrender at Appomattox. After the war, Nunnally returned to Monroe to resume teaching, also becoming a farmer, newspaper editor, and - on Sundays - a Baptist preacher. He would serve churches in Rome, Newnan, Memphis, and Alabama. In 1883, Nunnally was awarded an honorary D.D. degree from Mercer University and a LL.D. from the University of Georgia. From 1889 to 1893, he served as president of Mercer and of the Southern Female College in LaGrange. Nunnally reestablished the Mercer system of Baptist education at various secondary schools and at Georgia’s three Baptist colleges - Mercer, Shorter, and Tift. He also wrote a number of religious works and was active in many different field before his death on Aug. 14, 1917.