John W. Davison Lecture Series begins with guest Dr. Steve Perry

Dr.Steve Perry

Educator, author and national speaker Dr. Steve Perry will headline a long-standing Fort Valley State University lecture series as part of the upcoming inauguration festivities for Dr. Paul Jones.

Jones will be installed as the 10th president of Fort Valley State during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. in the C. W. Pettigrew Center. Other scheduled activities throughout the week of Oct. 5-9 include a spirit day, day of community service and football tailgating with Dr. Jones and First Lady Sylvia Jones.

Perry, known for being a national icon in the educational K-12 arena, will be the guest lecturer for FVSU’s John W. Davison Lecture Series at 5 p.m. Thursday, October 6, 2016 in the C. W. Pettigrew Center.

Dr. Stevie Lawrence, executive director of FVSU’s Center for Retention Services and a member of the inauguration committee, said Perry’s message of empowerment is in line with the university’s historic mission.

“His entire message will be centered around educational opportunity and access,” said Lawrence. “Being that Fort Valley State University is marked by our commitment to educating underserved and underprivileged populations, what better person should come and provide some information and knowledge as we inaugurate our 10th president.” 

Perry’s passion is closing the educational inequalities that plague youth and families in low-income communities. Using his national platform as a speaker and former TV-show host, he works to ignite an urgency to save the children through educational reform.

Perry’s advocacy also has included CNN’s “Black in America” series, serving as an education contributor for CNN and MSNBC, Essence magazine columnist and the host of the docudrama for TVONE called “Save My Son.”

The published author also has a best-selling book, “Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve – Even if it Means Picking a Fight.”

“He has a wealth of knowledge that he is going to share for the community,” Lawrence said.

 As the former principal of what U.S. News and World Reports cited as one of the top schools in the country—Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford Connecticut—Dr. Perry was noted for sending 100 percent of his predominately low-income and minority, first-generation high school graduates to four-year colleges since 2006. The feat resulted in Perry starting Capital Preparatory Schools in 2012 with the focus on providing a high-quality educational experience for more low-income students.

Established in 2002, FVSU’s John W. Davison Lecture Series honors the life of John Wesley Davison, leader of the founders of Fort Valley State College and the first principal of the Fort Valley High & Industrial School.

 The event is free and open to the public. For details, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at (478) 825-6319.

For a complete listing of inauguration-related events, visit


Steve Perry JWDLS