AIDS Quilt Memorial

  Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey and a Representative of the Names Foundation exchange words after the AIDS quilt ceremony on Wednesday,   Oct. 22, 2015.

Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey and a Representative of the Names Foundation exchange words after the AIDS quilt ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2015.

By Erin Broomell | Copy Editor

In June of 1987 a group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to remember the lives they feared history would forget. Over the course of 28 years their efforts were woven into a 54-ton handmade tapestry. The memorial containins more than 41,000 panels and includes over 94,000 names. The endeavor goes by, “The NAMES Project: AIDS Memorial Quilt.” 

The College of Coastal Georgia hosted the Quilt Exhibit inside the Campus center Oct. 22-23. In an ode to The Quilt’s beginnings, friends and strangers gathered to remember those who succumb to the disease.  Among these friends were Brunwick Mayor Cornell Harvey (D) and College President Dr. Gregory Aloia who reminded those attending of the memorial’s importance.

“(The reason is) to increase our awareness at the individual level of those who have died from AIDS and related AIDS causes and what that means to families in our society. We have to reflected on the dignity of all individuals and to true diversity we have on our campus in our community and celebrate the society we have and everyone who is represented in it,” Dr. Aloia continued, “It is also to reflect on the memory and spirit of those that we know personally and have known that are represented in this quilt and flag, as well as those who are not. It is to recommit ourselves to things that make life as rich and as important as it can be.”

The Quilt has been designated a national treasure by the United States Congress. The foundation coordinates displays of portions of The Quilt worldwide with the bulk of the quilts now stored in Atlanta, the foundations headquarters. 

PFLAG of Brunswick, Psychology Club and Gay-Straight Alliance were among the sponsors which made bringing the Quilt to CCGA possible. The gathering attracted students, club members, staff, administration and members of the community. A reflection of the events intended message: we are all affected. 

Professor of Psychology Social Sciences Dr. Karen Hambright was among the attendants. 

“I think there is a greater social importance to break down some of the stigma about sexuality and homosexuality. To help people understand that we are all in this together. Anybody can be affected by it.  We’re all affected by it. I think it’s important that people face that sexuality is as much a part of life as death is and there is no shame in it.”

The AIDS Memorial Quilt display is brought to CCGA each year in October. This year was the third year of its display. For more information on PFLAG of Brunswick visit For more information about The NAMES Project Foundation or the AIDS Memorial Quilt visit

Under the Oaks Run

By Sara Lloyd

Jekyll Island hosted the 5th annual Under the Oaks Run during Columbus Day weekend. Over 900 runners provided their time and energy to further the efforts of Saint Simons Christian School in educating and enriching the lives of our local youth. The benefit run attended by runners ranging from casual to competitive, offered a 13.1 half marathon, 10K and 5K race. 

Jessica Grant, a second year water station coordinator, said the proceeds from the event benefit the non-profit school in numerous ways. 

“There are a lot of students who cannot afford to come to our school. The funds raised by the event will help to provide financial assistance for tuition for those students. The proceeds also help with some of the upkeep of the school and provide new computers and supplies for the students,” Grant said.

The College of Coastal Georgia was represented at the event by student volunteers from various clubs and organizations. Both CCGA Serves and Rotaract Club members demonstrated Mariner spirit with great success at this year’s race. Avid appreciation for the student’s efforts was expressed by organizers and runners during the event and in the following weeks on various social media sites. 

Students interested in local service events to build and further benefit our community should contact CCGA Serves via email, Students who desire to become involved in student organizations and serve in the community can contact CCGA’s Office of Student Life at 912-279-4511 for information and resources. 

40th Annual Turkey Trot

By Erick Bermudez | Advertising Manager

A campus tradition since the mid-1970s, the Annual Turkey Trot is turning 40 this year. The party isn’t just limited to the 1.5-mile race; the recently completed CCGA Fitness Trail will be christened on Nov. 19 as well.

According to Teresa Peeples, Assistant Professor of Physical Education, the annual race began in the 1970s with Scott Staples, Department Chair of Physical Education and Dr. Debbie Dowdy, Physical Education Fitness Instructor.     

Joe Peeples, Associate Professor of Physical Education, took over the race in the 1980’s. His wife Teresa joined the faculty in the 2000s, and since then the pair have mastered organizing and hosting the event. Mariner Recreation began supporting the race several years ago. 

“It’s being held all these years for the purpose to celebrate fitness and have a time of fellowship between the faculty, the staff and the students of the college,” Teresa Peeples said. 

The Turkey Trot has different categories that allow racers of all ability levels the opportunity to earn prizes. As with most races, the top three male and female participants with the fastest times will earn trophies. The uniqueness of the Turkey Trot is apparent in the other way winners are determined. All racers must run with a partner and estimate the combined time it will take both racers to finish in seconds. Participants are not permitted to run with any timing devices (watches, phones) and the top three teams that finish closest to their estimated times will win special Thanksgiving prizes sponsored by Mariner Recreation. 

Director of Student Activities Andrew Smith expects significant involvement for the event’s big anniversary. 

“It’s a great event for our campus because it brings together students, faculty and staff,” Smith said. “Some years are stronger than others but we always have a really solid turn out and we hope with the Fitness Trail ribbon cutting ceremony, this year will be biggest yet.” 

The CCGA Fitness Trail ribbon cutting is set for 12 p.m. and the Turkey Trot will begin at 12:15 p.m. Both events will be on the West side of the Coffin Building. For more information check your student email and register early.  

Last Ride Ghost Tours

By Drew C. Miller | Editor-in-Chief

Dreadfully daunting and horrifically haunting, The Last Ride Ghost Tours of Historic Downtown Brunswick offers a night unlike any other. The Crow’s Nest staff embarked on a tour recently. Guests enter the doom buggy, a 1994 Cadillac Hearse and wager a grim bet with hosts Bernie and April Hann; can you make it through the entirety of the tour without being completely spooked?

Riders are greeted and bestowed with a toe tag naming your cause of death; your ticket to ride. Upon entering the hearse and sitting atop one of the custom built pews inside, you’re informed your hitching a ride in a vehicle that delivered 6,600 silent souls to the afterlife. 

Once mobile, the cool wind dances through your hair and the ghastly blue hue of the interior light creates an eerie effect for passengers. However, the night breeze is not what sends chills down your spine. 

Riders are taken on a tour through the Historic District of Brunswick, frequenting stops that give a macabre history of the area; phantasmagorical stories filled with bloodshed, heartbreak and all things that go bump in the night.

The appeal of the Last Ride Ghost Tours does not solely reside in the stories told. Funny anecdotes and side jokes are peppered into the legends, the Hanns warmly greet riders and all in all tourists get a glimpse of the silent beauty Historic Brunswick offers under the shade of nightfall. 

The Last Ride Ghost Tours give riders a new knowledge base and appreciation for the spanning history of Brunswick. Last Ride Ghost Tours offer discounts to CCGA students. For more information call 912-265-2666.

Cracking Down On Frat Beach

By Alvin Fernando | Design Editor

The precursor to college football’s largest tailgate, “Frat Beach”, is getting recoil from The Glynn County Board of Commissioners. No longer will the County tolerate the infamous underage boozing, littering and “other illegal behavior”. 

In preparation for the big game on Saturday, Oct. 31, many young adults including a large group of undergrad students from UGA visit Saint Simons Island and gather on East Beach to... well, party. And for many Glynn County members, that partying has created concerns for the safety of themselves and those who visit the Islands and Brunswick.

In an attempt to curtail and eliminate all unlawful behavior the County will be enforcing the law at this year’s event for the health and safety for both citizens and visitors. 

The measures being taken are creating ripples of conversation among those in and around the sphere of what happens on Frat Beach. 

According to a recent polll by The Crow’s Nest, many Coastal Georgia students thing the County’s proactive approach will prove beneficial, including Freshman Owen Kimball.

“They’re making sure you’re 21 to even get on frat beach,” says Kimball. “So that’s definitely going to reduce the number of underage drinkers and drunk drivers for sure. I think what they’re doing this year is great.”

Others rebut the action, doubting its need or effectivness. Sophomore Ronald Tran believes the strategy will be ineffective.

“There are so many access points onto East beach that it’s pointless to stop everyone from getting on the beach,” Tran says. “I think it’s kind of annoying what the county is doing, but at the same time I understand what they’re trying to accomplish. I think they shouldn’t be too strict about it.”

Mariner Melody Wilkins shares a similar view. 

“I believe people will still try to sneak on the beach,” Wilkins admits. “Regardless of the (police) presence on Frat Beach, even in their off time… people are still going to do what they want to do without guidance.”

What do you think? If you are a first-timer or a seasoned veteran attending Frat Beach, tweet us your thoughts and photos to @ccga_crowsnest on Twitter.

Chef Raiford

By Drew C. Miller | Editor-in-Chief

The food produced at The Farmer and the Larder represents this philosophy. 

It’s the kind of place where you walk through the doors and feel at home.  Opening this for First Friday (Sept. 4), The Farmer and Larder is the brainchild of former College of Coastal Georgia Executive Chef, Matthew Raiford.

Located in the Historic Downtown District of Brunswick, Raiford’s space hosts local fare with a belief in bringing food straight from the farm to the comsumer. Food comes directly from his family’s Gilliard Farms, which has been in operation since 1874. Most products in The Farmer and the Larder have a direct connection to the local community, much of the fare is derived in The Golden Isles. 

The Farmer and the Larder hosts cooking classes twice a week, grab-n-go lunch, full dinner, Sunday brunch and full retail which is supplied solely from local vendors. Raiford’s food draws influence from 100 years of different cultural impacts on the Golden Isles; Dutch, Irish, Spanish, French, etc. 

Aside from being the former Executive Chef in the College’s culinary program, Raiford’s connection to CCGA began 35 years ago when he was part of the model United Nations hosted on campus. Although he isn’t on campus anymore, he “totally believes in the Mariners.”

When asked about what makes the most impact in his life, Raiford responded, “Dream big, and resolve that life is life-long learning. Never settle for good. Strive for great, and if you don’t make it to great, at least you’ve been good this whole time.” 

This wisdom and viewpoint applies to his business and work ethic; running a tight ship while maintaininga commitment to promoting healthy and sustainable living.

Brunswick Stewdio

By Drew C. Miller | Editor-in-Chief

Brunswick Stewdio has open arms for Mariners. Associate Professor of Fine Art, Jeff LeMieux will be teaching CCGA courses ARTS 1010, and Drawing 1 at the downtown Brunswick Studio. LeMieux explains the Stewdio will facilitatate interaction of CCGA arts students with practicing artists and the growing arts community within the Golden Isles.  

In an interview with LeMieux, he says “A drawback of college arts programs is their insularity from the real-world dynamics of arts practice.  By interacting with members of the arts community, CCGA students will benefit in three main ways: first, they will directly witness the degree of effort and investment required to live and work as an artist in the community. Second, they will naturally form relationships with individuals in the larger arts community, and third, they will increase their own awareness of ongoing and potential collaborative projects within that community.”

He adds, “Currently the only course we’re running is the Drawing I class, which is held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.” 

“Most recently the drawing students completed an exercise known as “blind contour” in which they drew without looking at their paper in order to develop a kinesthetic awareness of their hand/arm/body in the act of drawing. It also produces unusually free looking drawings that have a unique character.  This demonstrates the hidden depth that can be found when artists move past standard approaches and practiced formulae,” says LeMieux. 

In addition to earning 3 college credits in the ARTS, students gain exposure to local arts professionals and get a real world view of demands of art practice,”  LeMieux adds. “As an academic, I can recommend, explain, exhort and even demonstrate by example, but the real test comes when art students have to put their discipline into place in the real world.  The Stewdio gives us the ability to see firsthand from arts authorities who are living and working in that world already, not just isolated in a classroom at the college. For this fall, the plan is to involve associated arts professionals at the Stewdio in the regular critique sessions found in the drawing class. This has two purposes: to help students (and the college) form relationships in the local arts community,

Mary Ross Makeover

By Drew C. Miller | Editor-in-Chief

Mary Ross Waterfront Park sits lonely at the edge of the East River in Downtown Brunswick. Students may know it as that place with the vacant building that showcases punk and metal shows from time to time. Most know it as the place that hosts the Brunswick Bazaar and Farmer’s Market Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m .to 5 p.m. 

Others know it as the place with the xylophones and the scale model of the World War II Liberty Ship. Public events such as the Brunswick Stewbelie, Rhythm on the River and other small festivals take place in the lot. The renowned travel magazine, Travel and Leisure voted Brunswick, Ga; specifically Mary Ross Waterfront Park as the 10th-best town to experience the Fourth of July. 

Despite having events, the low frequency of such events taking place creates a space that ismostly vacant. This is due to change in the near future. Years of planning are about to pay off: according to an official report released by, Mary Ross Waterfront Park is due to receive an epic overhaul. 

An extensive list of the planned updates has been made available through a preliminary master plan on the website. The list includes: a dockside observation deck, children’s spray ground interactive water feature, a promenade, pier, rain garden, tabby pathways, waterfront dining, covered event stage, covered seating, kayak/canoe launch a tackle shack, bocce ball, daytime boat parking, new lighting, swings, learning kiosks, shade structures and a nautical park.

Having such a place is one way to bring more attention to Downtown Brunswick, and provide new opportunities and access to the community.