Distinguished Alumnus Award: This is the highest honor given by the Alumni Association and recognizes an individual who has distinguished themselves in an outstanding manner and has brought honor to themselves and to GMC. It is presented for service to humanity and dedication that exemplifies the core values of “Duty, Honor, Country” and the regimental accolade of “Character Above All” in their personal and professional life.
Mr. Mike Couch HS 1971, JC 1973
Mike Couch credits GMC for setting a strong educational and professional foundation that has led to all the good things in his life.
Couch graduated from GMC High School in 1971 and GMC Junior College in 1973 where he was a Distinguished Military Graduate. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia College and State University and studied in the Graduate Business Program at Georgia State University. Couch was commissioned into the U.S. Army Field Artillery in July of 1973, serving our country on assignments throughout the world, including nine years in West Germany.
He retired at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana in July 1994 as a Major and immediately transitioned to the Department of Defense to begin the process of closing and transitioning the Fort to be redeveloped as the new city of Lawrence. He served as the first Executive Director of the Fort Benjamin Harrison Development Authority with oversight by the State of Indiana, and the cities of Indianapolis and Lawrence.
From 2001 to 2010, he developed multiple residential and commercial projects in and around downtown Indianapolis and on Fort Benjamin Harrison with his wife Sherri and her company, From The Ground Up.
In early 2011, Mike and Sherri moved back to Milledgeville and he quickly began impacting the local community. With the support of the county, city, local state delegation, and Office of the Governor, Couch replicated the Fort Benjamin Harrison model legislatively for the Central State Hospital Campus in Milledgeville. With the strong support of Governor Nathan Deal, the Central State Hospital (CSH) Redevelopment Authority was created in August 2011.
Over five years, with the support of the Georgia Legislature and the Governor’s Office, four additional pieces of legislation were passed to support and enhance the redevelopment of the Central State Hospital Campus. During the ten years that Couch served as Executive Director of the CSH Redevelopment Authority, over 25 public and private projects were completed, including GMC acquiring the CSH Auditorium and other properties to support the school’s growth.
In 2021, Couch, with former Mayor of Dublin Phil Best and Robert A.B. Reichert, formed Rural Public Affairs of Georgia, LLC, a company focused on assisting public and private entities in rural Georgia with their future economic development goals.
Since moving back to Milledgeville, Couch has given much of his time and talent to enhance his local community. He has served as a trustee of the GMC Foundation for the past eight years and served on the Executive Committee as Chair of the Real Estate Committee. He also served on the Board of Directors for Central Georgia Technical College for seven years and as the Board Chairman for three years. In addition, he was appointed and served as a member of the Baldwin County Board of Education Board of Directors for two years.
For Mike, Georgia Military College is a family affair. His brother Garry and sister-in-law Marilu both served as members of the faculty, spending most of their careers working at GMC. Couch Field is named in honor of his Mom, Ouida, and his Dad, T. Windall. His Dad took on the task of assisting during the construction of the field, and for over a decade was a daily fixture helping maintain Couch Field and Craig Field.
Mike and his wife Sherri are parents to Marcia (Nathan), Scott (Ashley), and Michelle (Kirthi) and proud grandparents to Stella (9), Everleigh (5), and Micah (6).