Following the Civil War, the abandoned U. S. Mint property in the City of Dahlonega was given to the State of Georgia for educational purposes, thus giving birth to North Georgia Agricultural College in 1873.
The university’s iconic Price Memorial Hall, with its gold-covered bell tower, is a nationally registered historic site where the U.S. Mint once stood. The school is Georgia’s second-oldest public institution of higher education and its first co-educational university. From its inception, the institution has had a military education program, and the Corps of Cadets continues today as a signature element.
Founded as a unit of the Corps of Cadets, the marching band at UNG was also formed in 1873. This organization, today known as the Golden Eagle Band, has been in continuous existence for 143 years. The Golden Eagle Band serves as the official musical representative of the university and the ceremonial band for all Corps of Cadets formations, parades, and reviews. The success and longevity of the Golden Eagle Band has enabled many other related instrumental ensembles to be formed over the past 3 centuries. These ensembles include:
UNG Symphonic Band (formed in 1997)
UNG Jazz Band (organized informally in the 1950s, but officially recognized in 1999)
UNG Indoor (organized informally in 2008, officially recognized in 2015)
UNG Wind Ensemble (formed in 2015)
Founded originally as Gainesville Junior College in March 1964, the college was the result of visionary community leaders who sought to fill a need for accessible, quality higher education for Northeast Georgians. While a campus was in development, the college initially held classes at the Gainesville Civic Center and First Baptist Church.
In 1966, Gainesville Junior College moved to its permanent campus. With an aim to prepare students for the local workforce or to transfer on to other senior institutions, Gainesville Junior College experienced high demand from the outset. It promoted an educational experience that included academics, athletics, student activities, and public service.
Though difficult to establish a specific founding date, a concert band on the Gainesville Campus, now known as the UNG Symphonic Band, has been both a student activity and academic course since the mid 1970’s. A jazz band was established in the early 2000’s.