Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wildcat Dreams, Vol. 1, No. 17

Sunday, July 27, 2014 • Vol. 1, No.17

Wildcat Dreams is Fort Valley State University President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s tri-weekly e-newsletter. As an additional resource to stay connected to FVSU, Wildcat Dreams highlights various campus activities and updates about new initiatives and programs. Readers are encouraged to share with friends and family. We welcome your feedback. Please send comments to Thank you and happy reading!

Read more news on the FVSU Review. 


Julian Marcus, owner of Marcus Poultry Farms

FVSU Alumni Spotlight: Julian Marcus

Fort Valley State University is highlighting Julian Marcus, a businessman and international scholar in this month’s alumni spotlight. Julian Marcus is chief executive officer of Marcus Poultry Farms in Pelham, Ga., located in Mitchell County in the southwest corner of the state.

"We raise about 500,000 birds per year," Marcus said of the farm that is one of the major suppliers of poultry for the Equity Group in Georgia, a major provider of products for McDonald’s restaurants.

 Read the article in its entirety here.

The president and first lady, Francille Griffith, display a framed article and photos honoring his inauguration.

Georgia state Rep. Patty James-Bentley praises the FVSU president during the one-year anniversary celebration. 

President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith addresses the crowd inside the Student Amenities Center Building.

FVSU President celebrates first year in office

Fort Valley State University President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith recently celebrated the completion of an inaugural year that not only included the launching of two key academic programs, but also the forging of new strategic academic alliances, the creation of a Global Initiatives program, the hiring of three new academic leaders and the appointment of several new faces to his campus leadership team, including cabinet members.

“It’s been an interesting year; it’s been a fun year; it’s been a year to create the basis for wonderful new things that will take Fort Valley State University from a place of greatness to a place of greater heights in the educational mountaintop,” Griffith said. 

Read the article in its entirety here.
View video of the first anniversary celebration here.

Two FVSU STEM and Ag programs ranked top ten nationally for producing the highest number of African-American graduates

A top scholastic publication recently ranked Fort Valley State University one of the highest producing universities in the country for African-American graduates in two degree programs.

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a journal that tracks diversity trends within colleges and universities across America, ranked FVSU as sixth in it Top 100 Degree Producers list for producing African-American graduates with degrees in both mathematics and statistics, and the areas of agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences.

Since 2010, Diverse has produced the Top 100 Degree Producers rankings of universities that confer the highest number of degrees to minority students. Each year’s list includes ranking totals from previous years followed by the most current year. Their system generates the top 100 institutions in the nation that produced the top minority graduates for their fields. Specific lists may typically contain 50 institutions. The statistics that the journal used for their ranking list were based on institutional reports submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

Read the article in its entirety here.

FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith addresses alums recently
at the FVSU NAA Conference in Savannah, Ga.

Newly elected Executive Committee Members 2014 - 2016 pictured above include: 
(from Left to Right): Evelyn Johnson, secretary; Melvin Smith, vice president; Melvin Douglas Morris, president; Dorothy Buckner, treasurer; and Tracey Reed, assistant secretary.

FVSU president gives State of the University address at alumni gathering

Fort Valley State University president Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith recently talked about the institution's challenges, changes and opportunities during the institution’s national alumni gathering in Savannah,Ga. 

 The FVSU National Alumni Association, Inc. held its 23rd Biennial Conference from July 17-20 at the Desoto Hilton. During the conference, the president delivered his State of the University address on where the institution has been, where it is currently and where it is headed by “Dreaming and Doing”. 

“Even though we’re facing tough times, I’m confident that the university will prevail,” Griffith told the crowd of alums. 

Read the article in its entirety here.

FVSU to welcome incoming freshmen Aug. 14-17 

Fort Valley State University will welcome incoming freshmen and their families during the upcoming Freshman Welcome Week from August 14-17.
In addition to attending Freshman Week orientation, the incoming FVSU Wildcats will get an opportunity to move into the dorms, socialize and celebrate the beginning of their college careers. The weekend kicks off with the students' arrival at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14, when they will be given an opportunity to finalize matters related to housing, financial aid and academic details during a "one-stop shop" in the Pettigrew Building, said Annette Burgess, FVSU head coordinator of Freshman Week and Campus Life Coordinator.

Read the article in its entirety and download a copy of the Welcome Week schedule here.

Fort Valley State University overhauls website 
Fort Valley State University’s website is undergoing a major overhaul as part of an effort to provide visitors with a more user-friendly design, engaging content and interactive experience.The web upgrade is one of FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith's efforts to enhance the institution's internal and external promotion of Fort Valley State's great value nationally and internationally. The efforts include a strong social media presence, billboards, radio programming, TV advertising, and the production of a mobile application, to be released this fall.

“A dynamic and exciting website is no longer a thing to be desired; it’s a thing that’s necessary," Griffith said. "Our university does great things and we are poised to do grander things as an educational and an economic enterprise. We need to be poised technologically to facilitate those grander things and to spread the word about those grand things.”

Pamela Berry-Johnson, Fort Valley State University’s director of Marketing and Communications, said the new website will not only revamp the overall design and layout of the homepage, but also provide a more “user intuitive” experience of other internal pages that takes into consideration mobile web-based devices like tablets and smart phones.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Joy Moten-Thomas, assistant administrator for Community Development and Outreach,  is the new chair for Fort Valley State University's Staff Council.

FVSU reactivates Staff Council

A campus leadership council tasked with being the official voice for university staffers was recently reactived at Fort Valley State University.

The FVSU Staff Council had been inactive for nearly a decade before President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith took measures to revive it. During the group’s first meeting earlier this month, Griffith delivered the charge to the group to carry out its responsibilities. 

 Joy Moten-Thomas, FVSU’s assistant administrator for Community Development and Outreach, Cooperative Extension Program, was selected as council chair of the 23-member group on July 15. Other officers include Ashley Ballard, vice chair; Deborah Tucker, secretary, and Elsie Ridley, treasurer. They will all serve a two-year term.

Read the article in its entirety here.

An employee asks President Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith a question at last year's faculty staff institute.

FVSU’s 2014 Faculty/Staff Institute to set the tone for institution's fall semester 

The start of a new school year is around the corner and Fort Valley State University’s employees will get the chance to brush up on the campus core standards and goals by participating in the annual Faculty and Staff Institute. The semester’s kick-off event will be held on Monday, August. 11 beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the C.W. Pettigrew Center. 

This year, Bobby Dickey, head of FVSU’s Department of Fine Arts, Humanities and Mass Communications and Dr. Dwayne Crew, associate vice president of Business and Finance will facilitate the event. 

Read the article in its entirety here

Edward Boston, FVU's new senior director for Career and Alumni Services

Boston hired as senior director for FVSU’s Office of Career and Alumni Services 

Fort Valley State University president Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith recently announced Edward L.Boston as the new senior director for Career and Alumni Services. Boston, who once served as the director for the Pettigrew Center, replaces Clara Braswell, who left the institution to pursue other opportunities earlier this summer.
 FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith said he is anticipating an enhanced level of engagement for alums through Boston's leadership.

“Mr. Boston has a splendid record as an enterprising and successful professional long before becoming Director of the Pettigrew Center. His notable service there and his bold ideas about enhancing alumni relations make me confident that we soon will see a new level of engagement of alums in terms of time, talent, and treasure," Griffith said.

Boston said he believes the timing is ideal for the change.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of Wildcats that I know and didn’t know, and the opportunity to serve in this role and connect and reconnect and cross connect alumni to each other, and to better connect them to FVSU, and revitalize and energize that connection is what I am encouraged to do,” Boston said. "I’m imposing that encouragement on myself to serve in this role.This role also provides the avenue to develop a potential job-ready candidate and a pre-alum at the time of enrollment to graduation.”

Read article in its entirety here.

 Dr. George McCommon, director of Fort Valley State University’s State- Animal –Facility- for -Emergencies (SAFE) Center, gives one of the 20 rescued puppies a vaccination on July 11

University S.A.F.E. Center opens, saves 20 dogs

According to the American Humane Association, annually millions of cats and dogs are euthanized in United States animal shelters because there are more pets than there are responsible pet owners. Fortunately, Fort Valley State University's commitment to service and animal life has helped several puppies stay alive and well.

On July 11, FVSU's State Animal Facility for Emergencies (SAFE) Center opened its doors taking in 20 dogs scheduled to be euthanized this week. The dogs were stray animals being housed at a middle Georgia animal control facility.

 "There was nowhere else for these animals to go in middle Georgia. Everybody is beyond full and they were just going to die," said Dr. George McCommon who serves as director of the FVSU S.A.F.E Center.

 Read article in its entirety here.

Dr. Joshua Murfree Jr., director of FVSU Intercollegiate Athletics

FVSU athletics director to chair conference athletics committee

A sports organization recently selected a Fort Valley State University director to chair a governing committee that impact athletics policies within the region.

Dr. Joshua W. Murfree Jr., FVSU’s director of Intercollegiate Athletics, will be chairing the Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference’s Athletic Directors Committee. He will serve a two-year term. The SIAC, the second oldest HBCU conference, was founded in 1913. It is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and participates on the Division II level.

Annually, the SIAC sponsors seven men's championships (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, outdoor track & field, and tennis) and six women's championships (basketball, cross country, outdoor track & field, softball, tennis and volleyball). The conference currently has 14 member schools.

Read the article in its entirety here.

 FVSU administrators and Georgia Department of Corrections officials

FVSU leadership visits and tours with Georgia Department of Corrections 

 Fort Valley State University campus leaders recently toured the Georgia Department of Corrections’ Joe Kennedy Farm in Lyons, Ga.

The campus officials were guest of Commissioner Brian Owens. The visit was a follow up to FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith  hosting the commissioner for an FVSU campus tour and visit in early June.

The visit is part of Griffith’s ongoing efforts to initiate strategic alliances with various Georgia entities seeking a high-quality educational opportunity for their workforce.

Griffith said that apart from being delighted to have visited with GDC officials, he also is grateful that Owens facilitated the presence of "one of our distinguished alums Derrick Schofield, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, who spent the entire time with us."

The visit included a tour of the farm, including the beef farm, vegetable canning operation and dairy plant. Following the tour, the group engaged in a working lunch with GDC officials at their on-site Ben Usher Guest House & Conference Center. The visit ended with presentations by the GDC executive staff, a discussion of future partnerships, including degree program offerings, athletics, internships, a criminal justice institute and agriculture collaboration. It also include group photos.

 Dr. Komanduri Murty, Fort Valley State University behavioral sciences professor

FVSU professor contributes to encyclopedia 

One of Fort Valley State University’s professors has been featured in a new four-volume encyclopedia on race and racism.

Dr. Komanduri Murty, a professor of Behavioral Sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of 250 contributors to write articles in Race and Racism in the United States. The encyclopedia is based on “issues regarding race underpinning various facets of American society,” he said.

Read the article in its entirety here.

FVSU to host Inaugural International Cultural Festival and Soccer Exhibition - August 30, 2014

During the Labor Day holiday, Fort Valley State University will host a new festival that will celebrate global and cultural diversity. The campus is holding its inaugural 2014 International Cultural Festival and Soccer Exhibition on August 30, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  

“The FVSU International Cultural Festival is part of the university’s global initiative,” said Robert Stephens, FVSU director of development. “We’re promoting cultural diversity by welcoming the community to participate in a celebration of cultural integration. We believe it will foster better relationships among diverse groups, and offer attendees who may have been exposed to celebration of diversity facilities an enriched experience.”

The festival is the brainchild of FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith and it will become an annual event to make Fort Valley State a family destination over the Labor Day holiday weekend from this year.

 Read the article in its entirety here.

 Pre-K students gather for lunch at Head Start Center

New pre-kindergarten program available in Macon County

A new free pre-kindergarten program is now available for qualified children in Macon County.

On July 2, Fort Valley State University’s Head Start Program received $63,000 from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, to start a new pre-kindergarten program in Macon County for the 2014-2015 school year. The program will serve 20 children at FVSU’s Head Start facility in Marshallville. Classes begin Aug. 18.

The purpose of a pre-kindergarten program is to provide educational services to four-year-old children and their families. Evelyn Byrd, director of FVSU’s Head Start Program, said this is the first time that a pre-kindergarten program will blend with FVSU’s Head Start Program.

“We’re excited about the fact that Head Start and pre-K have a collaboration effort,” Byrd said. She said the classrooms that consist of pre-kindergarten students will be called Head Start, pre-kindergarten blended classrooms.

By combining the 20 pre-kindergarten students with the 86 Macon County Head Start students, FVSU will be servicing 106 children at its Macon County Head Start Center. Furthermore, children in pre-kindergarten blended classrooms will receive the full services that Head Start offers. This includes health screenings, access to a research based education curriculum and transportation to and from the Head Start Center.

Read the article in its entirety here.



Fort Valley State University is the state of Georgia's only 1890 land-grant institution.

The university’s beautiful grounds include 1,365 acres of cleared, wooded, developed land, and its main campus incorporates 80 acres. The remaining space is used for agricultural research and future expansion.Fort Valley State University is the state of Georgia's only 1890 land-grant institution.

LeRon Furr, Fort Valley State Wildcats senior linebacker

Furr and Little Lead FVSU Pre-Season All-Conference Team 

Fort Valley State University senior linebacker LeRon Furr (6'3, 245) from Columbus, Ga., and defensive tackle Bernard Little (6'2, 290) from Eatonton, Ga., set the pace for the Wildcats at the 2014 SIAC Football Kickoff Luncheon in Montgomery, Ala. on Monday, July 21. The Wildcats placed six teammates on this year's SIAC Preseason All-Conference Team. Furr a BSN Preseason D2 All-American was voted to the SIAC first team and Little made SIAC second team.

Other Wildcats to make preseason all-conference is Junior Offensive Lineman Brandon Baker (6'6, 315) and Michael Brown (6'3, 315), along with Defensive Backs Bryan Walker (5-11, 190) and sophomore Breon Issac (5'9, 175).

Read the article in its entirety here.

 Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, FVSU president, speaks with a reporter from The Macon Telegraph. Photo credit: Woody Marshall, the Macon Telegraph.

FVSU in the News

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