Alumni Spotlight: Calvin Smyre, ’70

Longest-serving member of the Georgia State Legislature

Apr. 9, 2018

The Honorable Calvin Smyre, ’70 was elected at age 26 as the youngest member of the Georgia House of Representatives and is now its the longest-serving member. The alumnus was also the first African-American chairman of the state Democratic Party. He authored the legislation to make Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday a state holiday and the bill to create the Georgia Dome. He serves on the Appropriations Committee, responsible for specifying allocations from the state’s $20 billion budget. He also serves on the Rules Committee and is chairman of the House Minority Caucus.  Smyre was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1974 as its youngest member when he was 26 years of age.

Representative Smyre is president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and was selected in 1985 and 2005 as the national “Legislator of the Year.” He serves on numerous foundation boards, including the Fort Valley State University Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also executive vice president for corporate affairs for Synovus and president of the Synovus Foundation. With 39 banks and over $32 billion in assets, Synovus is a diversified holding company for financial services including banking, financial management, insurance, mortgages, and leasing.

Smyre graduated from Fort Valley State College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a minor in accounting. He began his career as a community organizer and director of the “War on Poverty” program in Columbus, GA.

Learn more about Representative Smyre through the Georgia House of Representatives.

Fort Valley State University