Fort Valley State University is making good on its commitment to honor donors who contributed to past fundraising campaigns. At an outdoor ceremony held near the LottieB. Lyons Student Center, Dr. and Mrs. Larry E. Rivers gently pulled back a golden brocade cover revealing, for the first time, 215 names inscribed on FVSU’s Wall of Honor. Each person gave a $1000 donation. The applause of onlookers at the ceremony that also commemorated the 4th Annual Wildcat Brick Installation kicked off a weekend of celebrations that included the reunion of FVSU’s class of 1958 and the spring 2008 commencement activities.
FVSU National Alumni Association President Charles Robinson welcomed donors, alumni and guests; then Dr. Melody Carter, vice president of external affairs and executive director of the FVSU Foundation, recapped the history of the campaigns.
Dr. Rivers congratulated the alumni class of 1958 who were on campus for the 50thanniversary of their commencement. The president hopes similar ceremonies take place every year, as contributions pour in. State representative Calvin Smyre, a 1979 alumnus and chairman of FVSU’s Foundation Board of Directors, commented about the university’s growth. “There’s nothing more important than intellectual capital, so keep giving,” Smyre said. “And I’d like to remind people that just like it takes coal to run a train, it takes gold to run a campus. It takes money.”
At the conclusion of the wall program, the crowd moved a few feet to the square that surrounds the Wildcat statue for another unveiling. Eighteen new donors’ names are now inscribed on bricks for their contribution of $500 toward student scholarships.
Nearly 4,200 applications for fall 2008 are now being processed according to Dr. Rivers, compared to 800 applications received this time last year. He stressed the importance of giving. “Sometimes, students come with financial aid except for maybe $100 – $200. That feels like $2 million to students who don’t have the money. Hopefully, by giving to campaigns like this, you will help keep students in school.”