Alumni Relations

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Division of University Advancement

A Strong University Heritage

Alumni are the most dedicated members of the FVSU family and its greatest supporters and ambassadors. The Office of Alumni Relations sponsors programs and activities for alumni to actively support the university and collaborates with the Fort Valley State University National Alumni Association, Inc. to host class reunions, coordinate homecoming activities, and implement fundraising and recruitment campaigns. The Office of Alumni Relations is housed in the historic Anderson House. It is part of the University Advancement division.

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Alumni are among FVSU’s most dedicated and consistent donors. Your support empowers students to carry the Wildcat legacy forward all over the world.


FVSU alumni continue to be highly visible personifications of the value of an FVSU education. Stay up to date with the latest alumni-related news



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Legacy Of Excellence

Photo of Austin Thomas Walden

Austin Thomas Walden

Class of 1902

First African American Judge in Georgia

If you can vote, eat a meal, ride a bus, or attend school in Georgia today, it had a lot to do with Austin Thomas Walden

Photo of Otis Samuel O'Neal

Otis Samuel O'Neal

Class of 1908

Revolutionized rural agricultural education

Taught poor farmers how to diversity crops beyond cotton and acquire land.

Photo of Horace Tate

Horace Tate

Class of 1943

First African American to run for mayor of Atlanta, GA.

Also the first executive director of the Georgia Association of Educators, and first African American to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.

Photo of Leon J.(Stan) Lomax

Leon J.(Stan) Lomax

Class of 1943

Coach of FVSU Wildcat Football from 1963-1976

Member of the Georgia Sports, SIAC, and FVSC Alumni Halls of Fame

Photo of Cleveland William Petigrew

Cleveland William Petigrew

Class of 1945

First alumnus president of Fort Valley State College.

Worked to develop programming that would attract a more diverse student body. Under his leadership, the library and research buildings were completed.

Photo of Josiah Phelps

Josiah Phelps

Class of 1949

First minority president of the Future Farmers of America National Alumni Association

First African-American inductee and charter member of the Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame.

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Photo of Cordell Wynn

Cordell Wynn

Class of 1950

President of Stillman College (1982-1997)

Enrollment at the predominantly black liberal arts school almost doubled under his leadership.

Photo of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson

Class of 1947

Mother of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Robinson led the WPC in advocating for a boycott of the buses in Montgomery after being verbally attacked by a white bus driver.

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Photo of Ulysses Byas

Ulysses Byas

Class of 1950

First president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators

Dr. Byas was also the first African-American superintendent in the South.

Photo of Catherine Hardy Lavender

Catherine Hardy Lavender

Class of 1952

1952 Gold Medal Olympian

Lavender set American records in the 50-yard dash (1951) and 200 meter run (1952)

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Photo of William Alexander

William Alexander

Class of 1954

Forced desegregation of restaurants in Georgia.

William Alexander was a Superior Court judge, state legislator, and civil rights attorney who successfully challenged segregation and discrimination.

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Photo of Howard Nathaniel Lee

Howard Nathaniel Lee

Class of 1959

First African-American Mayor of a Majority White Southern City

When FVSU alumnus Howard Nathaniel Lee, 1959, became mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1969, he made American history.

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Photo of John Wesley Blassingame

John Wesley Blassingame

Class of 1960

Author of the 1972 seminal work, The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South.

Blassingame was chair of the African-American Studies Program at Yale University from 1981-89.

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Photo of Genevieve M. Knight

Genevieve M. Knight

Class of 1961

Co-founder of the Benjamin Banneker Association

Dedicated to mathematics education advocacy for African-Americans.

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Photo of Samuel D. Jolley

Samuel D. Jolley

Class of 1962

President of Morris Brown College

During his term as Morris Brown president, Jolley worked to eradicate a $6.5 million deficit.

Photo of Edith Ingram Grant

Edith Ingram Grant

Class of 1963

Georgia’s first black female judge

Six years after graduating, FVSU Alumna Edith Ingram Grant, became the first African-American woman judge in Georgia

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Photo of Chanchy T. “Enus” Wright

Chanchy T. “Enus” Wright

Class of 1964

President of Cheyney State University (1982-1985)

Photo of Larry Rayfield Wright

Larry Rayfield Wright

Class of 1967

Five Super Bowl appearances and two Championships

Wright was captain of the Dallas Cowboys and is a Pro Football Hall of Fame member

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Photo of Ralph McDaniel Paige

Ralph McDaniel Paige

Class of 1967

The “Champion of Black Farmers”

Secured more than $2 billion for 15,000 black farmers in the largest discrimination lawsuit against the federal government in American history.

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Richard Knight, Jr.

Class of 68

First African-American city manager of Dallas, TX and past chair of the State Fair of Texas

Photo of Cornell McBride, Sr

Cornell McBride, Sr


Pioneer of African-American hair care industry.

With Therman McKenzie, Sr., founded M&M products, creator of the Curly Perm and marketer of Sta-Sof-Fro.

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Photo of Therman McKenzie, Sr.

Therman McKenzie, Sr.

Class of 1970

Inventor of the Sta-Sof-Fro formula

With Cornell McBride, Sr., founded M&M products, creator of the Curly Perm and marketer of Sta-Sof-Fro.

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Calvin Smyre

Class of 1970

Longest-serving member of the Georgia State Legislature

The Honorable Calvin Smyre was elected at age 26 to the Georgia House of Representatives and is now its the longest-serving member.

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Photo of Barbara Williams

Barbara Williams

Class of 1971

Crushed gender stereotypes in music, education, and politics

Barbara Williams was the first African-American female mayor of Fort Valley, Georgia.

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Willie Earl Lockette

Class of 1971

Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Dougherty County, Georgia

An ordained minister, Lockette was the first recipient of the Dan Bradley Award for Public Service.

Photo of Freddie Powell Sims

Freddie Powell Sims

Class of 1972

Georgia State Senator representing the 12th District

Freddie Sims entered politics to serve the public and to provide a voice for those citizens who do not have one

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Photo of Thomas Wesley Dortch, Jr.

Thomas Wesley Dortch, Jr.

Class of 1972

Chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Dortch leads an organization that touches over 100,000 lives each year. He is also founder of the Black College Alumni Hall of Fame

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Jerome Johnson

Class of 1973

Retired Deputy Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Forces Command

Major General Jerome Johnson, is as important to military history as he is to African-American history.

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Photo of Robert J. Jones

Robert J. Jones

Class of 1973

Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Member of the Grammy-award winning group Sounds of Blackness.

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Photo of Larry Eugene Rivers

Larry Eugene Rivers

Class of 1973

President of Fort Valley State University (2006-2013)

Oversaw dramatic increases in enrollment and construction. Capital projects increased by more than 600% compared to the previous 30 years.

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Photo of David Hankerson

David Hankerson

Class of 1973

Former Cobb County, GA county manager

FVSU Alumnus Led Cobb County to Greatness Over 24 Years

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Derrick Schofield

Class of 1982

Former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections

Photo of Lonnie Bartley

Lonnie Bartley

Class of 1983

Winningest coach in the history of HBCU women’s basketball.

Bartley's teams had 27 consecutive winning seasons and won 11 titles.

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Photo of Ira Foster

Ira Foster

Class of 1984

Interim Executive Director and General Counsel of the Georgia Legal Services Program

Photo of Cynthia Hammond

Cynthia Hammond

Class of 1985

2017 Georgia National Distinguished Principal.

And named Georgia’s Outstanding Assistant Principal in 2009 by the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals.

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Photo of Greg Lloyd

Greg Lloyd

Class of 1987

Selected for the NFL Pro Bowl five times with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Alumnus and Former Pittsburgh Steeler is now a Black College Hall of Famer

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Brian Prince

Class of 1987

Georgia state legislator representing 127th District

Brian Prince was elected to office on December 19, 2013. His current term ends on January 9, 2023.

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Wendi Copeland

Class of 1994

Senior Vice President for Strategy and Advancement at Goodwill Industries International

Photo of Nick Harper

Nick Harper


Super Bowl XLI champion with the Indianapolis Colts (2007).

Played three seasons as a Fort Valley State University wildcat.

Photo of Krystal Conner

Krystal Conner

Class of 1999

CEO of Enviro AgScience, Inc

FVSU alumna oversees strategy development and execution as the company grows.

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Photo of Casey Bethel

Casey Bethel

Class of 2000

2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year

A passionate educator, an accomplished scientist, and a mentor to students of all ages

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Photo of William Lee Talton

William Lee Talton

Class of 2007

Georgia’s first black Republican legislator since Reconstruction.

Willie Talton was elected in 2005 to represent Warner Robins in Georgia's House of Representatives.

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Photo of Marquette King

Marquette King


Only black punter in the National Football League.

In 2014, King led the NFL in punting yards and total punts, with 4,930 on 109 punts.

Photo of Ricardo Quantaye Lockette

Ricardo Quantaye Lockette


2013 Super Bowl XLVIII champion with the Seattle Seahawks

Lockette also won the NCAA Division II 200-meter dash in 2008.

Photo of Tyrone Poole

Tyrone Poole

Class of 2018

Two-time Super Bowl champion as a starter on the New England Patriots.

Poole considers finishing his degree at FVSU as part of his lifelong dedication to finishing what he begins.

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Get Connected

National Alumni Association, Inc.

The independent FVSU National Alumni Association, Inc. coordinates alumni connection and university support across the nation.

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