Fort Valley State University
TypePublic HBCU
PresidentDr. Larry Rivers
Admin. staff400
Students4,250 (August 2011 Enrollment)
LocationFort Valley, GA,
United States
CampusRural 1,365 acres (5.52 km2)
ColorsRoyal blue and Old gold
AthleticsNCAA Division II [2]
Nickname"The Valley""FVSU"
AffiliationsSouthern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference [2]

Fort Valley State University (FVSU) is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Fort Valley, Georgia. It is also a unit of the University System of Georgia and a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Fort Valley is approximately 100 miles (160 km) south of Atlanta, 25 miles (40 km) south of Macon,18 miles (28 km) west of Warner Robins, and 15 miles (24 km) north of Perry.

As the only 1890 land-grant university in Georgia, Fort Valley State University is a comprehensive institution that provides an education to over 4,000 students. The student body is currently approximately 91% of African-American descent. The average age of undergraduates is 24 and the average age of graduates is 33. Roughly one-third of the students live on-campus and 85 percent of the student body are full-time students.The University is located in the town of Fort Valley in Peach County, the original site of the nation's peach industry. Its 1,365 acre (5.52 km²) campus is the second-largest in area for a public university in the state.



Founders Hall

Fort Valley State University (formerly Fort Valley State College) began with the 1939 consolidation of the Fort Valley High and Industrial School (chartered in 1895) and the State Teachers and Agricultural College of Forsyth (founded in 1902).[3] The Fort Valley High and Industrial School, previously affiliated with the American Church Institute of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was transferred to state control and operation. Under the agreement, the work formerly carried on at the State Teachers and Agricultural College was consolidated with the work at Fort Valley High and Industrial School to form the Fort Valley State College.

In 1947 the state Board of Regents adopted a resolution moving the Land-Grant designation from Savannah State College to Fort Valley State College. In response to the Regents’ resolution, in 1949 the Georgia General Assembly officially designated The Fort Valley State College as the Land-Grant College for Negroes in Georgia. (Public education was segregated.)

In 1957, the college received full membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and was one of the first of the HBCUs admitted.[citation needed] The college was accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) (1971) and the American Association of Veterinary Medicine (1979).

The school became Fort Valley State University, a State and Land-Grant University, in June 1996.


The university offers bachelor's degrees in more than 50 majors, as well as master's degrees in education and counseling. FVSU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award associate, baccalaureate, master's and specialist degrees.

Accredited degree programs include:

The university also offers the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP).

Outreach services include Fort Valley State's Cooperative Extension Service Program, where extension service specialists operate in 42 Georgia counties, and the Pettigrew Conference Center, which hosts more than 500 courses and events for 51,000 patrons each year. In an effort to accommodate graduate and non-traditional students, external degree program courses are also being offered at off-campus sites in Macon, Cochran, Warner Robins and Dublin.

A growing list of online courses, offered via WebCT are being offered allowing students to pursue a number of majors, including the English Department's, Technical and Professional Writing Degree Program, in the comfort of their own home.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences, at Fort Valley State University, is the oldest and the largest college at FVSU, housing 12 academic units, offering nearly 80 percent of the courses taught at FVSU, servicing the University System of Georgia’s Academic Core, and providing over 20 undergraduate major fields of study. The faculty and staff of the CAS are committed to excellence in teaching, research and service that advances human knowledge and prepares future leaders. Whether you are interested in mathematics, the fine or performing arts, forensics science, or mass communication, the College of Arts and Sciences offers a wide variety of programs that you can choose to explore. Traditional subjects, such as: Psychology, Biology, Computer Science, Chemistry, Sociology, Criminal Justice to Business Administration and Economics are available as well. Because FVSU is a teaching and a research institution, you are given the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on a wide variety of research projects, while benefiting from top quality classroom instruction.

College of Education

The College of Education is an educator preparation program offering degrees in Middle Grades Education undergraduate and graduate, Agriculture Education, undergraduate and post-baccalaureate, Early Childhood / Special Education undergraduate, and School Counseling, Early Childhood / Special Education graduate, Health and Physical Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, and an MAT degree in the secondary teaching areas.

The College of Education is committed to the preparation of “proficient educators” who are competent in content, pedagogy, and technology, as well as educators who possess a caring disposition while understanding and appreciating diversity.

The following are the standards of a Proficient Educator, and the core of our teacher preparation program: 1. The Proficient Educator demonstrates competence in content knowledge; 2. The Proficient Educator uses effective pedagogical skills; 3. The Proficient Educator uses technology appropriately to enhance learning; 4. The Proficient Educator evidences a caring disposition; and 5. The Proficient Educator has an understanding of and appreciation for diversity

College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology

The College of Agriculture, Home Economics & Allied Programs is ranked 25th nationally in the production of African American agriculturist and the university’s leader in placing first time applicants into medical, dental, veterinary and pharmacy Schools/Colleges since 2001. The College has some of the most modern and well-equipped laboratories in the state and scientist are securing grant funds and conducting cutting edge research. [1]


Pettigrew Center

Named in the honor of the late former President Dr. C. W. Pettigrew who served from 1973–1980, The C.W. Pettigrew Farm and Community Life Center is a full-service conference, convention, and fine arts facility where unforgettable occasions are created. As an outreach program of Fort Valley State University

Anderson Museum and Welcome Center

The Anderson House is Fort Valley State University’s oldest building and houses the Biggs Collection. The Museum and Welcome Center is located on the corner of University Drive and Wright Street, across from Saint Luke Episcopal Church. The Center provides an official reception area for visitors to the university.

About the Anderson House

Anderson House was the residence of F.W. Gano, one of Fort Valley State University’s founders. It is the oldest facility on campus. Fort Valley State University historian, Dr. Donnie Bellamey, places the building’s construction in the late 19th century. This colonial Dutch revival style was a popular architectural design for rural cottages of that era.

The house was renovated in 1918 and served as the family home for principal Henry A. Hunt, President Horace Mann Bond, and President Cornelius V. Troup. It was named in memory of Benjamin S. Anderson, who served as Professor of Agriculture during the institution’s early years.

The main exhibits and displays come from the Biggs Collection of period furnishings, silver, glassware, china, quilts, linens and civil war memorabilia. The majority of the items date from about 1860 to 1900. The English Victorian furniture outfitted the parlor, dining room and bedrooms of an antebellum home in Box Springs, Georgia, which still stands today.

The contents of the home were bequeathed by the plantation owner to Mr. Biggs’ grandmother, who was a slave.

The Smithsonian Institution sought to obtain the quilts and antiques for its permanent anthology of historical collectibles, according to Mr. Biggs. However, he chose to donate the entire collection to Fort Valley State University in 1991.

Student activities

FVSU students have several opportunities for extracurricular involvement at the university, including NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics, marching band, concert choir, Baptist Student Union Choir, forensics (intercollegiate speech and debate), and cheerleading. There are more than 70 clubs and chapters of major Greek-letter organizations and social organizations on campus.

Student media

FVSU also has a radio station (WFVS-LP 104.3 FM) and a television station (FVSU TV) as well as a college newspaper called, The Peachite.




Athletic opportunities include intramural sports and intercollegiate men's basketball, cross country, football, tennis, and track and field and women's basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, volleyball, and track and field. The school currently competes as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Notable athletes

In 1952, Fort Valley alumna Catherine Hardy won a gold medal as a member of the winning 400-meter women’s relay team at the Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland. In 1969, the Fort Valley State football team set the modern-era record for most points scored against a college opponent, with 106 points against Knoxville College (Oct. 11, 2011). In 1995 Tyrone Poole became the first football player from Fort Valley State University to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. In 2006 alumnus Rayfield Wright was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame. 11 Wildcats have played in the NFL.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Eddie Anderson 1986 former NFL Safety for the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders [4]
Lonnie Bartley 1983 Current head women's basketball coach at FVSU. He has a record of 594 - 204 (74% winning percentage) all at FVSU. He has won 10 SIAC Tournament Championships and took his team to the NCAA Tournament 18 times.
John W. Blassingame 1960 Professor and Chair of African Studies at Yale University for 29 years.
Alvin J. Copeland Athletic Director and Girls High School Basketball Coach at Northeast Health Science Magnet High School in Macon, GA where he has won over 800 games and 5 State Championships.
Tommy Dortch 1972 Former president of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
Nick Harper 2001 former NFL cornerback for the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts [5]
Samuel D. Jolly, Jr. 1962 14th President of Morris Brown College
Marquette King 2012 NFL Punter for the Oakland Raiders
Genevieve Madeline Knight 1961 Educator; 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 [6]
Ricardo Lockette NFL Wide Receiver for Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers
Greg Lloyd 1987 Former NFL Pro Bowl player for the Pittsburgh Steelers [7]
L.J. "Stan" Lomax 1962 Head football coach at Fort Valley State 1963 - 1978. He spent 15 years at the Wildcat helm, amassing a 86-33-7 record with 4 conference championships. Led FVSU to first national television game against Fisk University on ABC in 1972. Inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
Tyrone Poole 1995 1st Round Pick by Carolina Panthers. Earned 2 Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots as starter on the 2003 and 2004 teams
Peppi Zellner Former NFL Player
Derrick Wimbush Former NFL Player
Charles Robinson, Jr. 1970 President and CEO of Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta; The first African American to become certified by the American College of Healthcare Administrators
Calvin Smyre 1970 Elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1974 as its youngest member at 26 years of age. Current Executive Vice President of $34 Billion Financial Corporation (Synovus Foundation).
Peyton Williams, Jr. 1964 Highest-ranking African American official in the US Department of Education for 25 years [8]
Rayfield Wright 1967 NFL Hall of Fame inductee [9]

Notable faculty


Presidents of Fort Valley State University
Dr. Horace M. Bond (1939–1945)
Dr. Cornelius V. Troup (1945–1966)
Dr. W. W. E. Blanchet (1966–1973)
Dr. Cleveland W. Pettigrew (1973–1982)
Dr. Luther Burse (1983–1991)
Dr. Oscar L. Prater (1991–2000)
Dr. Kofi Lomotey (2001–2006)
Dr. Larry Rivers (2006–Present)

The President of Fort Valley State University is the chief operating officer of the university. The position is sometimes called the chancellor or rector at other American colleges and universities.

The current president of Fort Valley State University is Dr. Larry Rivers, who has held the position since 2006.


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