During a ceremony to honor alumnus Thomas W. Dortch Jr., Fort Valley State University (FVSU) recently named the Thomas W. Dortch Jr. Ballroom in Bishop Hall. The ballroom is named after the 1972 graduate and trailblazer for his contributions to FVSU, the state and the nation.
Dortch, author, entrepreneur, and community activist, is the National Chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TWD, Inc.
“This is a phenomenal honor for me,” said Thomas W. Dortch Jr. “To be able to have the University that I love recognize me means a lot.”
Dortch is the recipient of numerous awards and honors that celebrate his efforts. A partial list includes Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2022 Leaders in Corporate Citizens Ann Cramer Lifetime Achievement Award; listed in editions of Ebony Magazine as one of The 100 Most Influential African Americans; listed in the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of The 100 Most Influential Atlantans.
Dortch is the founder of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., and co-founder of the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (GAME) to fill a void as an advocacy organization for minority business development. Also, he co-founded the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance, which was created as a capacity-building and business development organization for the construction and transportation industries.
During the ceremony, FVSU President Paul Jones announced the Thomas W. Dortch Jr. Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series, an annual event that will feature successful leaders from various industries. President Jones thanked Dortch for his many contributions to the University and the nation.
“We are honored to name the Thomas W. Dortch Jr. Ballroom after such an impactful alumnus,” Jones said. “Mr. Dortch has not only been a tremendous supporter to FVSU, but the investment he has made to HBCUs and the African American community deserves to be celebrated.”
Dortch earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Pre-Professional Social Work from Fort Valley State College in 1972 and a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Clark-Atlanta University in 1986. He attended Georgia State University as a Ford Fellow in the Urban Administration Program. Dortch received honorary doctorate degrees from Fayetteville State University, Jarvis Christian College, Fort Valley State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Livingstone College.
Bishop Hall, erected in 1932, served as a dining hall for 39 years and was named after philanthropist Samuel Henry Bishop. Home of the University’s radio station and television studio, Bishop Hall was renovated in March 2019 and is in the historic quad.
To view photos from the event, visit https://fvsu.smugmug.com/2022-Events-/Thomas-W-Dortch-Jr-Ballroom-Naming-Ceremony/.