FVSU’s first lady holds reception for alums during Homecoming

First Lady Griffith

November 7, 2014 –The university’s first lady, Francille Waveney Griffith, recentlyhosted a special reception to thank alums for their support during President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s first year leading Fort Valley State University. The inaugural  invitation-only reception was held on Oct. 22 in the C. W. Pettigrew Center and was underwritten with private funds from the Griffiths.

“This is an opportunity not only to welcome alums to campus during homecoming, but to thank alums for their support and great work for their alma mater,” the first lady said.

During the ceremony, Francille Griffith received tributes from alums, her husband, and local politicians.

“I enjoyed the friendship and the first lady since serving as mayor of the city,” said Fort Valley Mayor Barbara Williams. She thanked the couple for being there for her, after her grandson was shot and killed in Alabama. Additionally, the mayor thanked the Griffiths for their efforts to promote economic development within the city of Fort Valley.

President Griffith thanked the first lady for the initiative she launched.

“No university is run alone by its president,” Dr. Griffith said. “There are constituencies called alumni, faculty, staff and community.” He said part of the work at the university involved bridging communication between the groups, and resolving the campus’ issues to help it move forward.

Dr. Melody Carter, vice president of external affairs and executive director for the FVSU Foundation, Inc., introduced the first lady to the Pettigrew audience. Griffith is a registered nurse with a 30-year career. She earned her associate degree in applied sciences in nursing from the New York City Technical College. Later, she matriculated at the University of St. Francis, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in health arts in nursing, and a Master of Science degree in health services administration.

Griffith worked in medical and surgical geriatric nursing in New York, and medical/surgical step down nursing in Florida. Starting in 1996, she worked in specialized perioperative nursing and began a new professional journey as an operating room nurse in Virginia and, once more in New York.

The first lady also served as a long-standing member of the ear, nose and throat/plastics team at Baptist Hospital in Miami, Fla., and was a preceptor for that service and later as a coordinator.

She has received several professional recognitions, including the Certificate of Special Recognition for Quality Patient Care in 1993, while serving at New York’s Brooklyn Hospital. In 2000, she became the first African-American woman to be named Unit Nurse of the Year at Baptist Hospital in Miami. 

The first lady enjoys the challenges of Plastics and ENT surgery, and currently works in Houston County as an operating room nurse.

For details, contact the President’s Office at (478) 825-6315.





Christina D. Milton,writer/Social Media Specialist

Fort Valley State University
Office of Marketing and Communications

(478) 822-7589, miltonc@fvsu.edu