“May the years ahead grant the Society the same kind of leadership it has had in the past, and that the organization my continue to grow and prosper…”

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History of Georgia Gerontology Society

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Complete History of GGS (PDF)


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The Georgia Gerontology Society was established in 1955 as a result of gerontology forums held in the U.S. State of Georgia. The Society was one of the first state voluntary gerontology organizations in the country, made up of people who shared a common interest in aging. The first decade of the Society resulted in the establishment of Annual Meetings (history of our annual meetings) which served as the primary activity of the organization and remains the focus even today. more about the next GGS Annual Meeting...


1955 to 1965...
Original Goals & Objectives

The original goals and objectives of the Society included: promoting the scientific study of the aging process; fostering the development and dissemination of information related the aging; and affording a common meeting ground for representation of the various scientific fields interested in aging and those responsible for the care and treatment of the aged. Two of the major accomplishments of the first decade were the publication of Georgia: Fact Book on Aging and the formation of a state Coordinating Committee on Aging, which was the forerunner for the Georgia Commission on Aging.


1965 to 1975...
Defining the Role of GGS

During the second and third decades of the Society, considerable thought was given to defining the role of the organization. Legislative activity began via the establishment of a legislative committee. This was also during the time period of the enactment of the Older Americans Act and Medicare, important legislation which added credibility and scope for the Society.


1975 to 1985...
The Awards Program

The awards program, recognizing outstanding service or achievement in the field of aging, was developed during this time and remains in existence today. (more about the GGS Awards program...) At the 1969 Annual Meeting, there were 42 cooperating agencies and organizations listed on the program, demonstrating the beginnings of the Society’s membership diversity.


The Scholarship Fund

In defining its role, the Society’s primary purpose was to serve the professional needs of people who work to improve the quality of life for older persons in Georgia. In keeping with this purpose for future professionals, a scholarship fund was established during this time. GGS's first President, Louis Newmark compiled a complete history of the Society - (large PDF file) and remarked, “May the years ahead grant the Society the same kind of leadership it has had in the past, and that the organization my continue to grow and prosper…”

Louis Newmark

1985 to 1995...
Working With Other GA Organizations

Throughout the fourth and fifth decades, the Georgia Gerontology Society focused on promoting and coordinating its work with other state and national organizations and programs serving the aging, thus creating renewal, growth and advancement throughout the Society. As a result of this involvement, the Society continues as one of the leading state organizations for aging adults in the United States.


1995 to 2005...
National Collaboration

Among the major achievements were the establishment of a permanent statewide office and staff; collaboration with national organizations like the National Council on Aging and the American Society on Aging; co-sponsorship of statewide events like the Georgia Older Worker Luncheon, Senior Week at the Capitol, the Georgia Conference on Aging, and AARP training; and operation of the Senior Advocacy Project to monitor the Georgia General Assembly and publish the Senior Issues Newsletter. The Society has sponsored and conducted forums and training workshops throughout the state, illustrating that the Georgia Gerontology Society has indeed continued to grow and prosper. GGS established special interest Sections to enhance networking and training opportunities which often found permanent homes in other organizations or served a short-term purpose.


2005 to NOW
Moving Forward

As the Georgia Gerontology Society embarks on a new decade, the achievements and accomplishments of the past can be looked on with pride, but they will also serve as a guideline in efforts to meet the challenges facing the Society in the 21st century in promoting quality leadership in the field of aging.



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Amanda James
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Georgia Gerontology Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 7905
Atlanta, Georgia 30357