Alumni class of 1964 makes record-setting donation to Fort Valley State University

May 5, 2014– The Fort Valley State University Class of 1964 made a record-setting donation of $70,000 on Saturday as part of its 50-year reunion and celebration.

Tommy McMullins, a member of the FVSUGolden Class of 1964 and the group’s fundraising chair, said he hopes the gift inspires other alums to give back to Fort Valley State.

“We understand that there is a great need for student scholarships and support of the university and we wanted to set an example and as alumni, someone has to step up to the plate and hopefully we did,” said McMullins of Alta Dena, California. “If $70,000 is the largest gift then that means something. It means that it’s going to challenge other classes to do similarly and if they do, then we’ll come back and beat them.”

President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith said the 1964 class should be proud of its pace-setting accomplishment because it sets an example of the kind of support that will make a major impact on Fort Valley State’s ability to thrive in today’s climate of dwindling state and federal resources.

“The generosity exhibited by the Class of 1964 not only demonstrates a tremendous level of university pride, it also sends a statement that our alums are willing to make a financial commitment to support their beloved alma mater. Their altruism will impact future Wildcats for years to come.”

Ethelene Ashford of Atlanta, Georgia, also a 1964 FVSU graduate, said her golden reunion class was looking forward to working with President Griffith to use some of the funds for increasing the number of students seeking a future as educators.

“We love the progress in terms of buildings and programs,” Ashford said. “When we graduated there were more graduates from the School of Education than any other. We were shocked to find there were so few students in early childhood, elementary, middle grades and high school. So we want to do some things to encourage a change in terms of the numbers in education.”

Ashford said the 1964 class also is making plans to increase its donation by homecoming in the fall.

“We are blessed with long life and in supplication we pray we can do more,” Ashford said.

The chairperson of the Wildcat Class of 1964 is Dr. Marian Williams Smith. The group leaders chair is Isom Peavy.

For details about alumni giving, contact the FVSU Foundation, Inc., (478) 825-6474.

From left:  Dr. Melody L. Carter, FVSU external affairs vice president and FVSU Foundation, Inc. executive director; Tommy McMullins, Class of 1964 fundraising chair; Lois McKellar, Class of 1964 reunion treasurerLawrence Marable, National Alumni Association, Inc. president, and  Dr. Marian Williams Smith, Class of 1964 reunion chair




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