JWDLS with Dr. Larry E. Rivers

You’re invited to attend the 2012-2013 John W. Davison Lecture Series featuring FVSU’s president, Dr. Larry E. Rivers, at 6 p.m., Nov. 7 in the C. W. Pettigrew Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more details, please call the Office of Development, (478) 825-6959.

Dr. Larry E. Rivers currently presides as Fort Valley State University’s eighth president. Thanks to his energized leadership, the 2013 U.S. News and World Report recognized FVSU as the top public historically black college and university in Georgia. Dr. Rivers has earned numerous awards, and was featured in state and national publications such as Georgia Trend and Smart Money magazines.

The future president was born in the Philadelphia suburb of Sharon Hill. As a young man, Dr. Rivers traveled to the Peach State to enroll at Fort Valley State College (now University). He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social science education.

Following his matriculation at FVSC, Dr. Rivers entered Villanova University, where he earned a master’s degree in history. In 1977, Carnegie-Mellon University awarded the academician a doctorate degree in history and curriculum development. He earned a doctorate of philosophy in history from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2002.

For more than twenty years, FVSU’s current president taught history at Florida A & M University. FAMU named Dr. Rivers as a “Distinguished University Professor.” Additionally, the leader served in a series of administrative appointments that lead to his selection in 2002, as FAMU’s College of Arts and Sciences dean.

In 2006, Georgia’s Board of Regents named Dr. Rivers as the eighth president of Fort Valley State University. He brought to the institution a solid record of scholarship, excellence in teaching, administrative experience and business success.

Dr. Rivers and his administration have succeeded in tackling many challenges at FVSU. He has launched many capital project initiatives including the construction of a $16.8 million Academic, Science and Classroom Building; a $9 million Wildcat Stadium; a $6 million Student Amenities Building; the renovations of Huntington and Ohio halls, and a State Animal Facility for Emergencies (SAFE) Center.

Dr. Rivers is also the author of several books. His work, Slavery In Florida, Territorial Days to Emancipation, published in 2000, garnered three national awards. He subsequently co-authored two additional volumes – Laborers in the Vineyard of the Lord: The Beginnings of the AME Church in Florida and For a Great and Grand Purpose: The Beginnings of the AMEZ Church in Florida – that have received scholarly acclaim. President Rivers also co-edited another three volumes – The Varieties of Women’s Experiences: Southern Women in the Post Civil War Century, John Willis Menard: Lays in Summer Lands and The African American Experience.

The father of two sons, Larry Omar and Linje Eugene, Dr. Rivers is married to the former Betty Jean Hubbard.