Miss Fort Valley State University is charged with being the walking embodiment of the values and traditions of the institution. As the 81st Miss FVSU, Tanzania Walker, ’19, knows she has big shoes to fill, representing not only the students but also the faculty, staff, and alumni as well. She sees herself as the university’s global ambassador, and wants everyone to know why she loves the university where she’s chosen to bring her dreams for the future.
Walker said that she believes students are nurtured at FVSU, but are taught not to take anything for granted. They learn to work together. As queen, she wants to inform more people about the university’s initiatives, such as the research and outreach which support the institution’s land-grant mission.
FVSU is a family, she said, with a warm and welcoming environment. Being a Wildcat has shown her that she can accomplish much more with the support of others.
“I want to show people what it means to be a Fort Valley State University student, which is excellence and integrity,” said Walker. “It really doesn’t matter what your background is. You can go anywhere from FVSU. I’ve never had a class where I had to call on a student or faculty member and they weren’t there for me.”
Walker, a biology major, plans to pursue a career in dentistry and ultimately wants to open a non-profit dental office. She is working to “show herself approved,” she said, which means that she wants to be known as someone who does what she says she will do. She knows that she is highly visible, and is committed to showcasing the power of a strong black woman. She’s worked hard to bring more students out to events on campus, and off campus, she’s traveled all over the country to help recruit students and represent the university well through her presence and the way she carries herself.
It’s a role she takes seriously, but she doesn’t take herself so seriously. Being a “down to earth” queen is very important to her. She’s known for shying away from being doted upon as if she were royalty. She wants people to know that she’s a regular person, and if she can do it, they can do it too.
“I always let anyone I know or come in contact with that Miss Fort Valley State University is my position, but I am still a student first,” she said.
Ironically, Walker is not a natural extrovert, but said that FVSU pulled her out of her shell. She started as a Golden Ambassador, and then got involved in campus activities and organizations like SGA and the NAACP. She feels that she has been able to accomplish the things she has because, at FVSU, she can count on others to push her past her comfort zone, and that’s what she would tell prospective students thinking about enrolling.
“At Fort Valley State University, I broke out of my shell a lot,” she said. “I feel like if I had gone to another university, I would have been looked over because they wouldn’t have pushed me to my maximum. I would have a couple of friends, but at FVSU, I have an entire family with people who have become my aunties, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas.”