Fort Valley State University is home to thousands of students discovering the genius within themselves and exploring their extraordinary potential for leadership under the guidance of highly-accomplished faculty. The family that is FVSU shares a love of invention, innovation, and collective progress, and embraces a culture where discovery is celebrated. Founded in 1895 as Fort Valley High and Industrial School by a group of visionaries led by John W. Davidson, the university has always operated under the belief that education is the surest way to make a difference in the world and achieve your dreams. Today, almost 3,000 students are provided with both classroom and real-world opportunities to pursue their passions and actualize their leadership potential through nearly 40 majors, more than 80 academic and co-curricular clubs and organizations, and internships and study abroad opportunities around the world.
FVSU is Georgia’s only 1890 land-grant institution, which means that our mission is to not only empower students to use education to pursue meaningful careers, but also to use our scholarship, research, and outreach to make lives better for the communities around us. Faculty at FVSU, often assisted by students, conduct more science, technology, engineering, and math-related federal research than at any other teaching college in the state of Georgia. FVSU is also recognized as one of the most affordable colleges in the country, because our goal is to make sure anyone with talent and desire can use education as a stepping stone.
FVSU’s graduates have transformed the nation as pioneers and leaders. Notable alumni include Austin Thomas Walden, Georgia’s first African-American judge after Reconstruction; Jo Ann Robinson, the visionary behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott; Howard Nathaniel Lee, the first African American ever generally elected mayor of a majority white city in the South; Dr. Ulysses Byas, the South’s first African-American school district superintendent; Calvin Smyre, the longest-serving member of the Georgia legislature; Thomas Dortch, chairman of 100 Black Men; and Larry Rayfield Wright, whose five Super Bowl appearances are the third-most in NFL history.
Our overriding goal is to equip people from all backgrounds with the knowledge and skills to impact the world as leaders in meaningful fields. Recent FVSU accolades include recognition as:
- The most affordable online school in the nation for student economic mobility.1
- The nation’s top producer of African Americans in mathematics and related majors in 2 of the past 4 years.2
- The only college in Georgia with a four-year veterinary technology program. 2
- Georgia’s #1 producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in agriculture and the #10 institution nationally. 2
- Georgia’s #2 producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in family and consumer sciences/human sciences.2
- Georgia’s #3 producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in history. 2
- Georgia’s #5 producer of African Americans with degrees in computer and information sciences and the top institution among Georgia HBCUs. 2
- Georgia’s #6 producer of African Americans with degrees in physical sciences. 2
- Ranking as #8 nationally on the list of “Best Value Historically Black Graduate Schools in the U.S., 2017-2018.”3
“A miracle did unfold, your history took hold.”
-From “A Centennial Hymn” written by former first lady Jacqueline Prater in 1995
Since 1895, Fort Valley State University has empowered people to use education as a pathway to maximize their potential through invention, intellectual fulfillment, civic leadership, and meaningful careers. It was founded 122 years ago as a bridge to prosperity for the first generations of free black men and women in America and has a continuing legacy of producing leaders in a broad range of fields critical to human advancement. FVSU’s legacy is built on the belief that every human being is entitled to limitless learning, regardless of the circumstances of its birth. As expressed in its first academic catalog as a college, the institution exists to give students “a better chance in life” and help uplift people, “wherever the college can, through its graduates.”
- November 6, 1895: Eighteen men, at least half of whom were former slaves, petition the Superior Court of Houston County for a charter which would legalize Fort Valley High and Industrial School (FVHIS). The group is led by John Wesley Davison, a former child slave.
- January 6, 1896: FVHIS is incorporated by the Superior Court of Houston County. Davison becomes its first principal.
- 1904: Henry Hunt, Jr becomes FVHIS’s second principal.
- 1916: Otis O’Neal begins the world-famous Ham and Egg Show.
- 1918: FVHIS agrees to control by the Episcopal Church.
- 1928: FVHIS achieves junior college status.
- 1932: FVHIS changes its name to Fort Valley Normal and Industrial School to reflect its role in teacher training.
- June 1939: Fort Valley Normal and Industrial School is acquired by the state of Georgia and becomes Fort Valley State College.
- 1939: Dr. Horace Mann Bond becomes president.
- 1945: Dr. Cornelius Troup becomes president.
- 1946: First graduate programs authorized.
- 1949: Fort Valley State College becomes Georgia’s only 1890 land grant college to emphasize training in fields where there is great need—which in 1949 included mechanical arts, science, and agriculture.
- 1952: Student Catherine Hardy wins a gold medal as a member of the 400-meter women’s relay team at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
- July 1, 1966: Dr. Waldo Blanchett becomes president.
- 1973: Dr. Cleveland Pettigrew becomes president.
- 1983: Dr. Luther Burse becomes president
- 1983: The nationally-renowned Cooperative Developmental Energy Program is launched to increase the number of minorities and women working in the energy sector.
- 1990: Dr. Oscar Prater becomes president.
- June 12, 1996: Fort Valley State College achieves university status and becomes Fort Valley State University.
- October, 2001: Dr. Kofi Lomotey becomes president.
- 2003: Warner Robins, GA campus is opened.
- 2004: FVSU wins Trumpet Award for “Higher Education Institution of the Year.”
- March 14, 2006: Dr. Larry Rivers becomes president.
- July 22, 2013: Dr. Ivelay Griffith becomes president.
- December 15, 2015: Dr. Paul Jones becomes president.
- 2014-2016: FVSU is listed as the nation’s top producer of African-American students in math-related majors.
FVSU graduates and attendees have gone on to be transformative and towering figures in virtually every field of human endeavor.
Notable alumni include:
- The Honorable Austin Thomas Walden ‘1902*: Georgia’s first black judge since Reconstruction.
- Georgia State Representative Calvin Smyre, ‘1970: Elected at age 26 as the youngest member of the Georgia House of Representatives, becomes first African American chairman of the Democratic state legislative caucus, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, and president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Voted as the national “legislator of the year” in 1985 and 2005. Now the longest serving member of the Georgia General Assembly.
- Thomas Dortch, Jr., ‘1972: Founder, National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, 2-time chairman of 100 Black Men National Board of Directors, and chairman and CEO of the TWD, Inc. consulting firm.
- Rayfield Wright, ‘1967: Captain of the Dallas Cowboys, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and selected by ESPN as one of the top 10 Dallas Cowboys of all time. He is tied for #2 on the list of NFL players who have played in the most Super Bowls, with five appearances and two championships.
- Jo Ann Robinson, ‘1934: President, Women’s Political Council, board member of the Montgomery Improvement Association, and civil rights activist central to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- Tyrone Pool, ‘1995: Two-time Super Bowl champion as a starter on the New England Patriots NFL team (2003 and 2004).
- Nick Harper (attended**): Super Bowl champion with the Indianapolis Colts (2007).
- Greg Lloyd, ‘1987: Selected for the NFL Pro Bowl five times with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Chief Judge Willie Earl Lockette, ‘1971: Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Dougherty County, GA.
- Therman McKenzie, Sr. ‘1970: Inventor of the Sta-Sof-Fro formula, the first product to soften black hair. With Cornell McBride, Sr., founded M&M products, creator of the Curly Perm and marketer of Sta-Sof-Fro.
- Cornell McBride, Sr. (attended): Pioneer of African-American hair care industry. With Therman McKenzie, Sr., founded M&M products, creator of the Curly Perm and marketer of Sta-Sof-Fro. Later created Wave By Design.
- Dr. John Wesley Blassingame, ‘1960: Historian and chair of the African-American Studies program at Yale University (1981-1989).
- Casey Bethel, ‘2000: 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
- Dr. Cynthia Hammond: 2017 Georgia National Distinguished Principal.
- Catherine Hardy Lavender, ‘1952: Set American record in the 50-yard dash (1951), anchor of world-record setting women’s 4 x100 meter relay team at the 1952 Olympics, and member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
- Mayor Barbara B. Williams, ‘1971: First African-American female mayor of Fort Valley, GA and Georgia’s first female band director (Dooly County High School).
- Dr. Cleveland William Pettigrew, ‘1945: First alumni president of Fort Valley State College.
- Stanley Edward Rutland, ‘1947: President of Paul Quinn College (1969-1976).
- Dr. Cordell Wynn, ‘1950: President of Stillman College (1982-1997).
- Dr. Samuel D. Jolley, ‘1962: President of Morris Brown College (1993-1997, 2004-2006).
- Dr. Chanchy T. “Enus” Wright, ‘1964: President of Cheyney State University (1982-1985).
- Dr. Larry E. Rivers, ‘1973: President of Fort Valley State University (2006-2013).
- Leon J. (Stan) Lomax, ‘1943: Coach of FVSU Wildcat football team from 1963-1976. Lomax’s teams won four SIAC championships and was the first HBCU football team to be featured on a national television network (ABC-televised game versus Fisk University, 1972). Member of the Georgia Sports, SIAC, and FVSC Alumni Halls of Fame.
- Dr. Horace Tate, ‘1943: First African-American mayoral candidate for the city of Atlanta (1969), Georgia State Senator, first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky; first African American president of the Georgia Association of Educators.
- Georgia State Senator Freddie Powell Sims, ‘1972: Has represented the 12th Senatorial District in the Georgia State Senate since 2008, which includes Albany, Georgia and nearby areas. Serves as vice-chairman of the Interstate Cooperation Committee and serves on the Appropriations and Natural Resources and the Environment Committees
- The Honorable William Alexander: Fulton County, GA Superior Court judge, state legislator, and civil rights attorney who successfully challenged segregation and discrimination.
- Curtis Lee Atkinson, : First African-American to serve on a U.S. senator’s official staff (Sen. Herman Talmadge) and, first African-American Assistant Secretary of State for the State of Georgia.
- Josiah Phelps, ‘1949: First minority to be president of the Future Famers of American National Alumni Association, Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame charter member and first African-American inductee.
- Dr. Genevieve M. Knight, ‘1961: Virginia (1980) and Maryland (1993) College Mathematics Teacher of the Year, 1987 recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award for Mathematics and Mentoring of Minority Youth from the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Dr. Clinton H. Dixon, : Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (awarded by President George W. Bush, 2001)
- Georgia State Representative Brian Prince, ‘1987: Has represented the 127th House District in the Georgia Legislature since 2013, which includes Augusta, Georgia and nearby areas. Serves on the Appropriations, Defense and Veterans Affairs, Motor Vehicles, Special Rules, and Transportation Committees.
- Lonnie Bartley, ‘1983: Winningest coach in the history of HBCU women’s basketball.
- Richard Knight, Jr. : First African-American city manager of Dallas, TX.
- Georgia State Representative Valencia Stovall (attended): Has represented the 74th House District in the Georgia Legislature since 2013, which includes Riverdale, Forest Park, and College Park, Georgia and nearby areas. Serves on the Economic Development and Tourism, Education, Interstate Cooperation, and Small Business Development Committees.
*A name followed by an apostrophe followed by a year notes the year an alumnus graduated from Fort Valley State University.
** “Attended” identifies people that attended but did not earn a degree. May have graduated from another institution.
The chains of physical slavery were broken in the United States by the Civil War, but the chains of mental slavery could only be broken through education. On November 6, 1895, an interracial group of 18 men, at least half of whom were former slaves, petitioned the Superior Court of Houston County, GA to legalize the creation of a school to “promote the cause of mental and manual education in the state of Georgia,” and the Fort Valley High and Industrial School was born. The group’s leader, John Wesley Davison, himself a child slave, was hired as its first principal after its incorporation on January 6, 1896. The school’s popularity was overwhelming, and enrollment pushed the boundaries of its capacity. The two original instructors, Principal Davison and his wife Hattie, were undaunted, however, as were the students, who built many of the campus’s original buildings with their own hands. Much of the funding for the school came from its neighbors, uneducated African Americans who sacrificed their own meager finances to make possible the education of others. The institution’s first goal was to enable the proliferation of education to the masses, and set about training teachers who could then spread knowledge. Teachers were not the only professionals the institution produced, however. One of the first graduates of the young school was Austin Thomas Walden, who graduated in 1902 and became Georgia’s first black judge since Reconstruction.
Davison’s successor was Henry Alexander Hunt, Jr., a graduate of Atlanta University who was an expert carpenter as well as a teacher whose contributions to Georgia include work building the state capitol building. He taught at Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University) before coming to Fort Valley High and Industrial School in 1904 to mold it in the model of Hampton Institute and Tuskegee University.
From the beginning, Fort Valley High and Industrial School was not only committed to the well-being of its students, but that of the surrounding area as well, where agriculture was then the root of the local economy. This commitment was personified by Otis Samuel O’Neal, who made a mission of improving nutrition for families in rural Georgia, many of whom were the poor descendants of slaves. O’Neal created the Ham and Egg Show, began in 1916 as a way to encourage local farmers to produce more food by showcasing examples of high quality meat. The show became a national sensation, first growing to a week of agriculture education sessions for farmers from all over the country, and later mushrooming into a full-blown folk and blues festival, profiled in Readers Digest and Life magazines and CBS radio, among other national media. Like O’Neal, Hunt’s wife Florence was greatly concerned with the health of the people in the areas surrounding the school. Because the area did not have a hospital, Mrs. Hunt raised the funds to construct an infirmary which served as the central treatment location for both black and white local residents.
In 1918, the institution received perhaps life-saving financial support after it agreed to the control of the Episcopal Church, which raised much of the funding for the academic building now known as Founders Hall. Under Henry Hunt’s leadership, much of the physical footprint of the campus took form and the curriculum was radically transformed. Hunt took a deep interest in the plight of local farmers, and instituted numerous outreach efforts to help farmers increase their skills and knowledge. Hunt used the growth of the school, which earned junior college status in 1928, to promote social and economic progress for African Americans, and became a nationally-recognized champion of their advancement and progress. He was awarded the NAACP’s highest honor, the Spingarn Medal, and was appointed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as assistant to the governor of the powerful Farm Credit Administration and as an adviser on the “special problems of Negroes.” Hunt was FVSU’s longest serving leader. He and Mrs. Hunt are entombed on the campus in tribute to their invaluable contributions to the school.
Fort Valley High and Industrial School changed its name to Fort Valley Normal and Industrial School in 1932. A “normal school” was then a commonly used term to identify schools which trained teachers. In 1939, the state of Georgia acquired Fort Valley Normal and Industrial School and designated it a four-year senior college named Fort Valley State College. The action came as the state ended its support for Forsyth County, GA’s State Teachers and Agricultural College, founded by William Merida Hubbard. That school, also in middle Georgia, had been designated as Georgia’s “school for agriculture and mechanic arts for the training of Negroes,” by the state legislature in 1922. After the creation of Fort Valley State College (FVSC), the state’s higher education efforts for African Americans in middle Georgia were concentrated there.
In 1939, Dr. Horace Mann Bond was chosen to lead the newly restructured institution, and its first administrative leader to hold the title of president, not principal, in concert with the school’s new designation as a four-year college. Dr. Bond earned his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University, and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago. He came to FVSC after serving as chair of Fisk University’s Department of Education. Bond was a national leader in the fight for adequate financing for African American education, arguing in national publications like Harpers and The Nation that the lack of educational opportunities for African Americans fueled racism that resulting in crimes like lynching. Bond brought a greater degree of focus to the college. In 1941, Harriet Barfield (Black) became the first person to earn a degree from the new college.
The U.S. Office of Education noted in 1942 that FVSC was one of few black colleges with a “clear statement of purposes.” After leaving FVSC, Bond went on to become the first black president of Lincoln University, the first degree-granting historically black college. Bond’s scholarship attracted visits to FVSC from other notable thought leaders of that time, including W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson. That Bond was a respected voice in the social justice dialogue should come as no surprise; his son, civil rights icon, Julian Bond followed in his footsteps. Julian Bond spent his early childhood living with his parents on FVSC’s campus before becoming a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a Georgia state legislator, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and chairman of the NAACP.
Dr. Bond was succeeded in 1945 by Dr. Cornelius V. Troup, who served as president for 21 years. The noted author and poet was also a powerful leader. Before becoming president, Troup held a number of positions at FVSC, including associate professor of education, registrar, and director of the summer school. The noted academician, author, and poet earned a bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College, a master’s degree from Atlanta University, a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, and L.L.D. degrees from Wilberforce University and Morris Brown College.
During Troup’s tenure, the number of buildings on campus doubled, including the first ones financed through state funds. Enrollment grew by almost four times and the first graduate programs were launched. Student Catherine Hardy won a gold medal as a member of the 400-meter women’s relay team at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
Dr. Waldo William Emerson Blanchet is credited with steering the college through the turbulent civil rights era. He became president on July 1, 1966 after serving as FVSC’s administrative dean, academic dean, and head of the science department. The New Orleans native obtained a bachelor’s degree in science from Talladega College and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Michigan. Blanchett encouraged political and economic engagement on the part of the students and faculty, and historic gains in local elections were made by African Americans elected in large part through student votes.
By 1972, Georgia’s segregation practices were under full-scale assault, and, in an ironic historical twist, 29 white parents filed a lawsuit to help integrate FVSC. The lawsuit was one of many which affected the end of single-race educational environments in the state. After Blanchett’s retirement, Dr. Cleveland Pettigrew was installed as president in 1973 and worked to develop programming that would attract a more diverse student body. Under his leadership, the infirmary, library, and research buildings were completed.
Dr. Luther Burse became president in 1983, the same year the college launched its nationally renowned Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP). The program works to increase the numbers of minorities and women working in the energy industry, both in the private and governmental sectors. The program works through alliances between energy companies, government agencies, FVSC, and other colleges to provide extensive academic programming, internships, and career opportunities for the stand-out students enrolled in the program.
In 1990, Dr. Oscar Lewis Prater assumed the president after serving as vice president of Hampton University and set forth a vision for FVSC to become a national educational leader. At the graduate level, the school was granted authorization to offer specialist-level degrees in addition to master’s degrees. On June 12, 1996, the institution obtained university status. Prater retired in 2001, and later became president of Talladega College, one of his alma maters. Later that year, Dr. Kofi Lomotey became president, and expanded the institution’s global focus, particularly in the area of Africa studies. He opened FVSU’s Warner Robins, GA campus. Under his leadership, the college was awarded the Trumpet Award for “Higher Education Institution of the Year.”
Alumnus Dr. Larry E. Rivers became president on March 14, 2006 after serving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. During his tenure, enrollment and construction increased dramatically. The value of capital projects on the campus increased by more than 600% during the six years of Rivers presidency when compared with the previous 30 years combined. The $44 million Wildcat Commons student apartments and residential complex opened in 2007, and a new Wildcat Stadium opened soon after. Student enrollment grew to 4,000 students before Rivers stepped down in 2013.
Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith took office as president on July 22, 2013 and served until 2014. Griffith previously served as provost and senior vice president at York College of the City University of New York. His scholarly leadership included a national reputation as an expert on Caribbean security, drugs, and crime.
Today, Fort Valley State University continues to help talented students access opportunity through education under the leadership of Dr. Paul Jones, who became president on December 16, 2015 after holding numerous senior leadership roles within the University System of Georgia, including serving as interim president of both Darton State College and Georgia College & State University. FVSU continues to garner a national reputation for educational excellence, producing more bachelor’s degree graduates in math-related majors than any other school in the country during 2 of the past 3 years. In Georgia, FVSU is the number one producer of African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in agriculture, agriculture operations, and related sciences and a top 5 producer of African-Americans with degrees in engineering technologies and engineering related fields, family and consumer/human sciences, and computer and information sciences and support services. The school also ranks in the top 10 of schools in Georgia in producing African Americans with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and physical sciences. One hundred percent of education major graduates pass the state certification exam, and 90% find teaching positions, are enrolled in graduate school, or become gainfully employed in careers related to education within one month of graduating. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked in the top ten nationwide by various publications and ranking organizations.
This abridged history was adapted from Light in the Valley: A General History of Fort Valley State University Since 1895 by Dr. Donnie D. Bellamy, among other sources.
The mission of Fort Valley State University is to advance the cause of education with emphasis upon fulfilling commitments that our community members have undertaken collectively. As an institution of the University System of Georgia, Fort Valley State University naturally embraces the principles articulated by the Core Mission Statement for State Universities as approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The university’s primary commitments include, among others, enhancement of teacher training programs grounded upon a liberal arts foundation, as reflective of over 110 years of experience and tradition. Additionally, the university recognizes with great pride and desires to further its responsibilities as Georgia’s only 1890 Land Grant institution by offering programming excellence in agriculture, agribusiness, family and consumer sciences, extension, technology and military science and leadership, as well as to further its traditions of excellence in programs in the liberal arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences.
The university’s primary commitments extend, as well, to:
- community outreach through the concept of the communiversity, an approach that highlights the interdependence of community and university;
- expanding service beyond the campus, as well as within, so that the institution addresses in a meaningful manner the broad diversity—human and technical—of needs in our home region and state as well as nationally and internationally;
- sparking within our students an enduring interest in learning and providing the tools and skills necessary to maintain that interest through life;
- preparing students through a mentoring approach for the opportunity to serve their fellow man while enjoying the opportunity provided by hard work and achievement to live the quality of life inherent in the American dream;
- encouraging and supporting creative expression, innovation, honesty, and integrity as endeavors of lasting and intrinsic merit;
- providing a productive environment for cutting-edge academic and practical research in, among other fields, agriculture, aquaculture, animal science, biotechnology, energy, environment, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities; and
- otherwise acting to enlighten, enrich, and inspire by example those whom we serve.
The vision of the Fort Valley State University community centers upon its commitment to illuminate the rich heritage, influence, and educational opportunities inherent in the historically black college and university experience in a manner that applies and adapts that experience successfully for a diverse twenty-first century.
The University grounds include approximately 1,365 acres of cleared, wooded, and developed land, of which about eighty acres are used for the main portion of the campus. Most of the remaining acreage provides for agricultural research and future expansion. The University has thirty-six main buildings, six of which provide comfortable residential accommodations for students.
The campus buildings form a pleasant blend of architectural styles from the early 1900s and features of succeeding decades. Initially, the campus was built around an oval which is now the Quadrangle. It serves as the focal point of the main campus area and the setting for many outdoor activities.
- Founders Hall, overlooking the campus quadrangle, was named in memory of the eighteen men who signed the original charter in 1895 establishing the Fort Valley High and Industrial School. Founders Hall, once called the Academic Building, houses the Department of Fine Arts and Humanities. The clock tower on the roof of Founders Hall is a distinctive campus landmark.
- Huntington Hall, originally a women’s residence hall built with the assistance of student labor, has been completely restored as an office building and now home to the Office of the President, Office of Marketing and Communications and Office of External Affairs.
- The Carnegie Building, constructed in 1925 as a gift of the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, houses the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.
- The Benjamin S. Anderson House, residence of founder F. W. Gano, is the oldest building on the campus. The Biggs Collection of period furnishings dating from 1860-1900 is housed here.
- The Royal C. Peabody Building, named as a memorial to the brother of George Foster Peabody serves as home for Career Services and University College.
- The F. W. Gano Building, previously known as the Training School, houses the Department of Military Science and the Head Start program.
- Samuel Henry Bishop Hall, named for the philanthropist who contributed funds toward its original construction in 1932, served as the college dining hall for 39 years. After a second complete renovation and addition, it provides up-to-date facilities for the Media Studies Department.
- Patton Hall, named for Mr. Robert W. Patton, was erected in 1937 to house the Department of Home Economics. Renovated in 1969, it now provides office, studio and classroom space for programs in the areas of voice, instrumental music, band, and chorus.
- The Leroy Bywaters (Sr.) Building, built in 1952, was originally the Hunt Memorial Library. Remodeled in 1979 and named for one of the institution’s first athletic coaches, the Bywaters Building houses the Department of Business Administration and Economics and Campus Police and Safety.
- The Alva Tabor Agriculture Building was constructed in 1954. It houses office, classroom, and laboratory space. It was named for Mr. Alva Tabor, Sr., who served as Head Itinerant Trainer for Negroes and who played a key role in the formation of the Negro FFA and the development of Camp John Hope.
- The William Merida Hubbard Education Building houses office and classroom space for the College of Education. Two electronic teaching laboratories, a media center, two spacious conference rooms, a photographic darkroom, space for a curriculum center and a counseling assessment center are housed in this building. It was dedicated in October 1957 in honor of the founder of the State Teachers and Agricultural College of Forsyth.
- The George N. Woodward Building was constructed in 1958 and named in honor of long-time university physician Dr. George N. Woodward. This facility houses a gymnasium/auditorium, a natatorium, nautilus center, weight room, football program offices and classroom space.
- The Isaac Miller Hall was built in 1962 to accommodate the Department of English and Learning Support Program. It is named in honor of one of the founders of the institution and contains a large lecture room, classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices.
- Myers Hall, constructed in 1965, houses the Department of Family Sciences. The 30,337-square-foot structure accommodates offices, classrooms, laboratories, a nursery, and an auditorium. The building is a memorial to Henrietta Walden Myers, long-time teacher of arts and crafts at the institution.
- The Lyons Student Center, erected in 1966, was named for Miss Lottie M. Lyons, who served as dean of women from 1944 to 1957. Currently, the post office and the bookstore are located here.
- The Cozy L. Ellison Building was constructed in 1967 and named in honor of the long-time faculty member, professor of agronomy and chairman of the Division of Agriculture. Classrooms, laboratories, and shop areas provide space for the Agricultural Mechanics Program.
- The Horace Mann Bond Building, named for the first FVSU leader to carry the title of president, was constructed in 1976. Housed in the Bond Building are the Departments of History, Geography, Political Science, and Criminal Justice; Behavioral Sciences; Learning Support Services; and English and Foreign Languages.
- The O’Neal Building, constructed in 1979, along with the adjacent O’Neal Annex, houses the Veterinary Technology Program. Mr. Otis S. O’Neal, for whom the building was named, was a county agent in Houston County, and also taught agriculture at FVSU from 1910 to 1950. Recent additions to the O’Neal Building have resulted in state-of-the-art facility of approximately 21,000 square feet. Also has an Animal Safe center.
- The Stallworth Agricultural Research Building was named in honor of Dr. Houston Stallworth, a former professor of agriculture who served the Division of Agriculture in many capacities, including chairman of the division. The facility, constructed in 1983, houses scientific research laboratories and other support areas.
- The C. W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center, completed in 1987, is a conference, convention, and performing arts center in which the University sponsors a variety of outreach programs. The facility houses the center’s administrative offices, the Fort Valley University Cooperative Extension Program, the Extended Education and Outreach Office, and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service district office. The building also houses ten fully equipped seminar rooms; a specially designed media room; a demonstration kitchen for home economics and food technology workshops; a 600-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art systems for sound, lighting, and a video projection system; a video distribution system with computer/video projection systems in most of the rooms; a spacious lobby; a second-floor balcony, and a snack bar and holding kitchen that will accommodate 260 people.
- The C. V. Troup Administration Building, completed in 1988, houses the administrative offices of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Business and Finance, and the Office of the Provost.
- The Hendricks House, a showcase, post-antebellum home, near the intersection of Camp John Hope Road and Highway 341, was purchased by Fort Valley State University in 1989 and is now The Agriculture Technology event center.
- The Extension Service Communications Production Center, a one-story structure, was completed in 1991. It is a 12,450 square foot facility well equipped for audio-video production, production-print layout and design, television production, and dial-access information.
- The Computer Technology and Mathematics (CTM) Building, completed in 1995, houses the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, the office of the Dean of the College of Arts Sciences and Education, the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP), and the University Computer Center. The CTM Building features an auditorium with a seating capacity of 295.
- The Georgia Goat Research and Extension Center is one of the most modern research facilities in the Southeast. The 15,000 square feet facility, which houses animal science research, teaching and extension programs, was completed in 1999 and provides an abattoir, a large classroom, and three well-equipped laboratories.
- Wildcat Stadium is home to NCAA Division II SIAC Conference championship football teams, the 10,000-seat stadium features a quarter-mile track, natural turf football field, press box, and skyboxes. A fieldhouse/team dressing area is located at the south end of the stadium, and the Student Center
- The Health and Physical Education Complex is a state-of-the-art facility that provides support for the Health and Physical Education major, as well as for major and basic programs and recreational opportunities for the university. This facility houses classrooms, seminar and conference rooms, laboratories, an eight lane swimming pool, a 5,000 seat arena, courts for basketball, and badminton, and an indoor walking track.
- Other Land Areas and Facilities: There are 450 acres of fertile land with sections or pockets of most major soil types found throughout the State of Georgia. Approximately 200 acres of this land is open, relatively flat and suitable for experimental plots. Irrigation is available on approximately 150 acres.
Other buildings which provide support services are the Wilson-Roberts Building constructed in 1969 and named for Mr. A. T. Wilson, Sr., teacher of industrial arts, and Mr. Timothy Roberts, who served in the area of custodial services for many years. The Florence J. Hunt Health Center, built in 1973 in honor of Florence Johnson Hunt, wife of Mr. Henry A. Hunt, Sr. (the original Hunt Infirmary was constructed in 1934), is the university’s health center. The Food Service Center, built in 1971, offers the appropriate atmosphere for regular dining, special luncheons and banquets.
Fort Valley State University has modern, comfortable living spaces for students who prefer on-campus housing.
- Ohio Hall, was built in 1930 as a residence hall and recently remodeled. Its construction was made possible through gifts from the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, the American Church Institute, the General Education Board, and other friends of the University.
- Wildcat Commons, provides apartment-style living for students. Phase I and II included five dormitory buildings and a clubhouse and was completed in 2007. Phase III added two more four-story buildings in 2009.
The University System of Georgia (USG)
The University System of Georgia is a part of the community in each of Georgia’s 159 counties and provides services across the state. Also included, is the Georgia Public Library System, which encompasses approximately 389 facilities within the 61 library systems throughout the State of Georgia. Additionally, the University System includes the Georgia Archives which identifies, collects, manages, preserves, and provides access to records and information about Georgia. The University System consists of twenty-eight higher education institutions including four research universities, four comprehensive universities, 10 state universities and 10 state colleges. These institutions offer programs of study and degrees in various fields. Students can choose a range of programs according to their talents and interests, from one-year certificate programs to doctoral degree programs.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia State University
University of Georgia
Georgia Southern University
Kennesaw State University
University of West Georgia
Valdosta State University
Albany State University
Armstrong State University
Clayton State University
Columbus State University
Fort Valley State University
Georgia College & State University
Georgia Southwestern State University
Middle Georgia State University
Savannah State University
University of North Georgia
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Atlanta Metropolitan State College
Bainbridge State College
College of Coastal Georgia
Dalton State College
Darton State College
East Georgia State College
Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Highlands College
Gordon State College
South Georgia State College
Members of the Board of Regents (USG)
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia was created in 1931 as a part of a reorganization of Georgia’s state government. With this act, public higher education in Georgia was unified for the first time under a single governing and management authority. The governor appoints members of the Board to a seven year term and regents may be reappointed to subsequent terms by a sitting governor. Regents donate their time and expertise to serve the state through their governance of the University System of Georgia – the position is a voluntary one without financial remuneration. Today the Board of Regents is composed of 19 members, five of whom are appointed from the state-at-large, and one from each of the state’s 14 congressional districts. The Board elects a chancellor who serves as its chief executive officer and the chief administrative officer of the University System. The Board oversees the public colleges and universities that comprise the University System of Georgia and has oversight of the Georgia Archives and the Georgia Public Library System
For more information about Fort Valley State University, please visit www.fvsu.org.
1 SR Education Group’s Guide to Online Schools
2Diverse Issues in Higher Education analysis of U.S. Department of Education reports for the most recent years