FVSU Announces Fall 2023 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Doctorate Recipient

Posted on Nov 30, 2023

Fort Valley State University is proud to announce that Rose M. Holton, MD, a distinguished alumna and accomplished anesthesiologist, will be the commencement speaker for the upcoming graduation ceremony on Saturday, December 9. In addition, Alonzo E. Jones Sr., MD, FACC, distinguished alumnus and prominent physician specializing in cardiovascular disease, will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree during the ceremony.

The 2023 fall commencement ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Health and Physical Education (HPE) Complex. Guests are asked to be seated by 9 a.m. All graduates participating in the ceremony will receive a maximum of 15 tickets for their guests. The clear bag policy will be enforced. 

Dr. Rose Holton, a 1988 graduate and valedictorian of Fort Valley State College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, has made remarkable contributions to the medical field. Currently serving as the Director of Anesthesia Services at Summit Endoscopy Center since 2007, she has become a beacon of philanthropy and a trailblazer for aspiring healthcare professionals. In 2001, she founded Global Anesthesia & Pain Management Consultants, a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to advancing medical care.

"I am deeply honored to return to Fort Valley State University as the commencement speaker. My time at FVSU laid the foundation for my journey in medicine, and I am grateful for the education and support that propelled me to where I am today,” said Dr. Holton. “Education is a powerful tool, and FVSU has instilled in us the values of excellence and service. Congratulations to the graduates, and I look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with you.”

Dr. Holton's achievements are particularly noteworthy in a field where Black women represent less than 2% of the total anesthesiology workforce. As a beacon of hope and resilience, she not only motivates future healthcare professionals but also serves as a source of inspiration for young women through her civic and community engagement.  She is a lifetime member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Fort Valley State University National Alumni Association.

“As we approach this momentous occasion, FVSU is privileged to welcome back Dr. Rose Holton, an esteemed alumna whose accomplishments are a source of inspiration for our graduating class. We eagerly anticipate the wisdom and encouragement she will share with our graduates on this special day,” said President Paul Jones, Ph.D. “Additionally, it brings me great pleasure to confer an honorary doctorate upon Dr. Alonzo E. Jones Sr., whose outstanding contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine and unwavering commitment to service and philanthropy exemplify the values we hold dear at FVSU. We are proud to recognize his achievements and contributions to society.”

Fort Valley State University recently renamed the Student Amenities Center to the Alonzo and Alma Jones Student Center due to the tremendous gift given by siblings Alma Jones, MD, MPH, MA Alonzo Jones, MD, FACC, and their niece, Rose Holton, MD.

Dr. Alonzo E. Jones Sr., FACC, a 1983 graduate of Fort Valley State College with a degree in zoology, will receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of his 35 years of dedicated service and impact on FVSU, the Columbus community and the medical field. A skilled and compassionate physician specializing in cardiovascular disease, Dr. Jones obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. His commitment to excellence is evident through board certifications in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases.

"It is with great humility that I accept this honorary doctorate from Fort Valley State University. FVSU has been an integral part of my life, shaping not only my academic and professional journey but also my commitment to service and community. The values instilled in me during my time at FVSU have guided my medical career and philanthropic endeavors,” said Dr. Jones. “Thank you, FVSU, for this honor, and congratulations to the graduates who are embarking on their own remarkable journeys."

Beyond his medical accomplishments, Dr. Jones and his wife Kathy Jones, '83, have been staunch supporters of various nonprofit organizations in the Columbus community. Their generous gift along with family members in 2021 led to the establishment of the Christine and Willie C. Jones Amphitheatre at Fort Valley State University, a testament to their commitment to education and community development.

Dr. Alonzo Jones recently joined the Board of the FVSU Athletic Association, further showcasing his commitment to the University's overall development. His impact extends beyond the medical field, influencing lives through his involvement with civic organizations such as Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Columbus community Center, New Birth Outreach church, and the Fort Valley State University National Alumni Association.

Fort Valley State University is proud to celebrate the achievements of these distinguished alumni and looks forward to the inspiration they will provide to the graduating class of 2023.

For more information, visit The ceremony will be streamed live on the FVSU YouTube platform (@FortValleyState1895).

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