GMC-Valdosta Alumnus Tommy Fountain Credits Promotions in Career to GMC Education 

Tommy Fountain lives the Georgia Military College slogan –– “Start here… Go anywhere!” He credits his associate degree from the GMC-Valdosta campus with advances in both his education and profession.

Fountain graduated from GMC-Valdosta in 2013 with an associate degree in criminal justice. He went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice studies at Georgia Southern University and a master’s in public administration from Columbus State University.

In 2018, Fountain was promoted to County Prison Coordinator where he now oversees 21 county prisons throughout the state of Georgia. But before he would reach his current position, Fountain would return to school and find that his education was the stepping stone to success.

Fountain joined the Georgia Department of Corrections in 1994 at the Valdosta State Prison. He worked his way up from sergeant to lieutenant and later served as business manager and unit manager for the prison. While moving up in leadership positions, Fountain felt that there was something missing for him in terms of his education.

 “Being a part of a professional organization, such as GDC, has taught me the great value in education. We strive to be a highly educated department, leading the way in Correctional Professionalism across the country,” he said. “As a leader, it is important to realize there is always more to learn, goals to achieve, and examples to set.”

With this in mind, Fountain made the difficult decision to return to school to gain a college education. When Fountain first enrolled in college at GMC, he was trying to refocus on school after dedicating his time to the military, career, and family. “I found that going back to school was not as easy as I had hoped it would be,” he said. “It was GMC that made the difference and defined my success.”

The GMC slogan “Start Here, Go Anywhere” provided a way for Fountain to begin his journey. “GMC was a starting point for me, a place for me to regain my footing in my educational journey,” Fountain said. “Gaining my associate degree gave me the confidence that other goals were achievable.” 

By graduating from GMC, Fountain was able to place himself above his competitors through his education and leadership qualities. He attributes his successes to GMC.

“It was GMC that made the difference and defined my success. Without the encouragement and support of several professors and GMC teachers who took the extra time to show me that I could adjust, I would have not made it through,” he said.  “I will never forget that extra mile that others took to invest in me. It wasn’t necessary for anyone to do it, and I don’t think you find that at many other schools.”