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|Valdosta State University|
Seal of Valdosta State University
|President||Dr. William J. McKinney|
|Location||Valdosta, Georgia, USA|
|Campus||168 acres (0.68 km2)|
|Former names||South Georgia State Normal College,
Georgia State Woman's College,
Valdosta State College
|Colors||Red and black|
|Athletics||NCAA Division II|
|Affiliations||Gulf South Conference|
Valdosta State University, also referred to as VSU, or Valdosta State, is an American public university and is one of the two regional universities in the University System of Georgia. Valdosta State is located on a 168-acre (0.68 km2) campus at the heart of the city of Valdosta. VSU serves over 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students representing 157 Georgia counties, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Washington, D.C. and hosts over 300 international students from 76 countries. VSU also offers classes at Moody Air Force Base north of Valdosta in Lowndes County, and Kings Bay Naval Base in Camden County.
Degree levels offered at Valdosta State include: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Education Specialist, and Doctoral. The university comprises the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Arts, and Nursing. The Graduate School also includes the Divisions of Social Work and Library Science.
The school that would become Valdosta State University was founded in 1906. Colonel W.S. West led the legislation through the Georgia Senate, and C.R. Ashley and E.J. McRee pushed it through the House. However, no funds were appropriated for it until 1911 when the state allocated $25,000. The city of Valdosta raised $50,000, and Col. West gave the property that is now the main part of campus to the state for use by the new institution. The president chosen was Richard Holmes Powell. His travels in the American southwest led him to choose the Spanish Mission style of architecture for the institution's buildings. The school opened as South Georgia State Normal College (SGSNC) in January 1913, with three college freshmen and 15 sub freshmen. The early students were required to wear a school uniform and paid $10 per year for tuition and $12 per month for food and board. Most came to be teachers and studied subjects from literature to physics to agriculture. In 1922, the school became a four-year college and the legislature changed the name to Georgia State Women's College (GSWC).
President Powell headed the GSWC until 1933 when he was made dean of the Coordinate College in Athens. Dr. Jere M. Pound, President of the Georgia Teachers College, was sent to Valdosta. However, his tenure at GSWC lasted less than a year before he had to go on sick leave. He died a year later in 1935.
Dr. Frank Robertson Reade assumed the job of acting president in 1934 and on Dr. Pound's death became president. During his tenure, New Deal programs enabled the school to expand physically from three to seven buildings. The Powell Library, dedicated by Eleanor Roosevelt, was a centerpiece of this construction. During World War II, GSWC emphasized politics and science in its curriculum and in 1943, the B.S. degree was added. Moody Airfield, located nine miles from campus, provided the male participants for many patriotic parties.
Dr. Reade served until 1948, he was followed by Dr. Ralph Thaxton, who came from University of Georgia, where he had served as professor, Dean, Director of Admissions, and Registrar. Soon after Dr. Thaxton began his service, the Board of Regents, acting on the advice of a committee which had examined the whole University of Georgia System, declared that in 1950 GSWC was to become a co-educational - Valdosta State College (VSC).
Programs in premedical, predentistry, and prepharmacy were added, and the sciences became more prominent. Business became a popular major after 1950. By 1956 men on campus outnumbered the women. Greek organizations were formed, with fraternities leading the way, and intercollegiate athletics became a part of campus life when the Rebels, an all-male basketball team, was formed.
In 1953 VSC acquired the property of the former Emory Jr. College, a private all male school that operated from 1928 to 1953, less than a mile away, and the facilities became the north campus which now house the College of Business and Air Force ROTC.
Under Dr. Thaxton's tenure, the College integrated in 1963. Over the next decade the college added Africa-American students, faculty and administrators.
Dr. Thaxton retired in 1966, and Dr. S. Walter Martin, former president of Emory University and Vice Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, assumed the presidency. He presided over a time of physical expansion of the school, including the construction of such buildings as the Odum Library, the Education Center, The Fine Arts Building, the College Union, a Science Administration Building and six dormitories. The student body grew, the School of Nursing was established, and many programs expanded, including those in graduate education.
|Richard Holmes Powell||1913–1933|
|Jere Madison Pound||1933–1935|
|Frank Robertson Reade||1935–1948|
|James Ralph Thaxton||1948–1966|
|Sidney Walter Martin||1966–1978|
|Hugh Coleman Bailey||1978–2001|
|Ronald M. Zaccari||2002–2008|
|Patrick J. Schloss||2008–2011|
|William J. McKinney||2012–current|
When Dr. Martin retired in 1978, Dr. Hugh Coleman Bailey assumed the post. Under Dr. Bailey, the school had doubled in size from 4,500 to 9,000 students. From 1978 to 1993, numerous programs were added and existing courses upgraded, resulting in the early 1980s in an endeavor to make VSC a university. Throughout the 1980s the college established off-campus sites and course offerings and began receiving state and federal grant funds to develop curriculum and programs. In 1993, all the hard work and planning paid off. Valdosta State College became Valdosta State University (VSU), the second regional university in the University System of Georgia. In fall 1998, Valdosta State University adopted the semester system, along with other units of the University System of Georgia. Under Bailey's leadership VSU continued to grow with the addition of the 150,000-square-foot (14,000 m2) University Center in the 1995 and a new science building in 2001.
In January 2002, Dr. Ronald M. Zaccari assumed the post and during his time in office VSU updated its infrastructure to accommodate student population growth, including the construction of four new dormitories and two parking decks. Dr. Patrick J. Schloss became the President of VSU in 2008 and was in office during the opening of a new Student Health Center, Georgia Residence Hall, and Student Union. Dr. William J. McKinney was announced as the new VSU president in 2012.
The city of Valdosta is located in South Georgia, just off of Interstate 75, approximately 20 miles (32 km) from the Florida state line. Valdosta is about a two hour drive from Tallahassee, Macon, and Jacksonville, three hours from Orlando and about four hours from Atlanta.
The Valdosta metropolitan area has a population of over 120,000 and the area offers many shopping areas including the Valdosta Mall, historic downtown Valdosta, multiple restaurants, two movie theaters, a nearby theme park, art and history museums, and more.
The total economic impact of VSU related activities in the 2010 fiscal year brought in $537 million and 5,400 jobs to the Valdosta metropolitan area, or approximately 8 percent of the employed labor force in the Valdosta Metro area.
The VSU campus is divided into two areas: main, and north campus. The main campus houses much of the academic and administrative departments and is recognized for its Spanish Mission architecture theme of every building. The 85-acre (34 ha) Main Campus faces North Patterson Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares. In total, 85 buildings located across 168 acres (68 ha) make up the Valdosta State University campus. Other units of the University are located in satellite facilities adjacent to the campus and along Patterson Street. The campuses and principal satellite buildings are connected by the University bus service, operating regularly throughout each class day.
Built in 1917, West Hall, is the oldest building at Valdosta State University and has long been known as the symbol of the University due to its distinctive dome and Spanish-mission architecture. It is also the center of academic activity at VSU, housing the Administrative Offices of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences. The Departments of English, Political Science, and Modern and Classical Languages are also located in West Hall. In addition, this building houses the Master's of Public Administration Program, the Foreign Language/International Culture Center, the language laboratory, an electronic classroom, the General Studies Program Office, the Campus Writing Center and numerous classrooms.
The Gertrude Gilmer Odum Library built in 1971 at 85,000 square feet (7,900 m2), serves as the main library of Valdosta State University. In 2004 a 95,000-square-foot (8,800 m2) addition was built off the southern portion of the building doubling the size of Odum Library. Distinctive features of the addition include a 24 hour Internet Cafe, the GALILEO Technology Center, electronic classrooms, auditorium, expanded Media Center, climate-controlled Archives, new study areas, and additional book shelving.
The nearly 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) library houses approximately 453,757 bound volumes, and nearly 3,000 current periodicals and newspapers and a microform collection of over a million units. The Odum Library is a Selective Depository of U.S. Government documents and maintains the Archives of Contemporary South Georgia History and a Southern History Collection.
The 113,604-square-foot (10,554.2 m2) Valdosta State Student Union serves as the social center of Valdosta State. It offers students a two-story bookstore, 300-seat theater, game room,large dividable multi purpose room with a capacity for over 500 people, ample lounge space, meeting rooms, student organization offices and a food court featuring Nathan's Famous, Starbuck's, and The Loop Pizza Grill. The previous Student Union was too small to accommodate the growing student population at VSU and in the fall of 2008, was demolished for construction of the new Student Union which opened in 2010.
The Hugh C. Bailey Science Center serves as the home of the Biology and Chemistry Departments. The facility is named after former VSU President Hugh C. Bailey who served from 1978 to 2001. The building has 22 teaching and 19 research laboratories that occupy the entire north side of the building. In addition, it has four greenhouses on the rooftop; 11 classrooms, including four 48 seat classrooms, and one 96 seat classroom; a large auditorium which seats 275, and a smaller auditorium which seats 148; two conference rooms and 41 offices.
The Rea and Lillian Steele North Campus, located less than a mile, approximately ten blocks, north of the VSU main campus and is home to the Harley Langdale Jr. School of Business, Air Force ROTC Detachment 172, Billy Grant Field,home of the VSU baseball team, and the VSU Softball Complex. The campus is the former home of Emory Junior College, an all-male two-year private institution that served as a branch of Emory University based in Atlanta. The property was sold to Valdosta State in 1950 after it transitioned from an all-female school to co-educational. The buildings follow a red brick modified form of Georgian architecture.
The Camellia Trail is believed to be the only such trail on a university campus in the nation. Located in the northwest area of the Main Campus, more than 1,100 camellias of many varieties form a winding 3,000-foot-long (910 m) trail through the towering pines. The trail was a 1944 Christmas gift to the University from the late Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Whitehead of Valdosta. A memorial gateway honors the collection's founder, "The Camellia Lady," Jewell Whitehead.
The Valdosta State University campus features a growing collection of outdoor sculptures by southern artists. VSU currently has fives pieces on the main campus. “Cormorant” by Harry McDaniel of North Carolina was the first sculpture installed during the summer of 2011 outside of the Fine Arts Building on the corner of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street. “Three Spheres” by Hoss Haley, also from North Carolina, located by the mall north of the Fine Arts Building. “Fly Away Too” by Andrew Light of Tallahassee, Florida, outside the College of Education on Baytree Road. “Black Bird,” located between Odum Library and the Student Union, was created and donated by the university’s seventh president, Dr. Ronald Zaccari. And the latest addition, Charles E. Hook's "Fenris" located outside the north entrance Odum Library, added June 1, 2012.
Valdosta State is organized into five Colleges offering 56 undergraduate degree programs and over 40 graduate programs and degrees.
Valdosta State University offers undergraduate work leading to the following degrees: Associate of Applied Science in two major programs, the Associate of Arts, the Bachelor of Arts in thirteen major programs, the Bachelor of Science in eleven major programs, the Bachelor of Science in Education in twelve major programs, the Bachelor of Business Administration in five major programs, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in seven major programs, the Bachelor of Music in two major programs, the Bachelor of General Studies, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology, and the Bachelor of Applied Science.
Graduate degrees offered include the Master of Education in seventeen major programs,the Master of Arts in three major programs, the Master of Arts in Teaching in two major programs, the Master of Science in seven major programs, Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Art Education, Master of Music Education, Master of Music Performance, Master of Social Work, Master of Library and Information Science, the Education Specialist in ten major programs, the Doctor of Education in three major programs, and the Doctor of Public Administration. New baccalaureate and graduate degree programs are added from time to time to meet the needs of the population served by the University.
Valdosta State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees.
Current program accreditations include:
Source: VSU 2009-2010 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Graduate Course Catalog.
There are over 200 recognized student organizations offered at VSU. Opportunities for students include VSU's student radio station 90.9FM, weekly newspaper (The Spectator), and annual literary publication (Odradek). The Student Recreation Center provides students with facilities such as an indoor pool, track, racquetball, volleyball and basketball courts, weight rooms, a cardio area, rock climbing wall, and more.
Valdosta State University offers seven traditional residence halls and two apartment-style buildings located throughout the campus. Approximately 24% of the enrolled students at VSU live in the residence halls and on-campus apartments.
Valdosta State University's Greek Fraternities and Sororities have approximately 1,200 members, representing more than 10 percent of the student community. There are 14 nationally recognized fraternities and 12 national sororities at VSU. The school's Greek organizations are members of the Collegiate Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council. Six sororities are members of the CRC, the NPHC comprises nine historically-black organizations, and nine fraternities are a part of the IFC.
The Spectator is the independent student newspaper of Valdosta State University, published every Thursday morning during each Fall and Spring Semester. The Spectator began in 1936 as the Campus Canopy but changed its name to The Spectator some years later. It contains latest campus news, local news, opinions, features, entertainment, and sports.
Omnino is an online undergraduate research journal of Valdosta State University. It is published bi-annually and accepts substantial research from all disciplines. "Omnino" is a peer-reviewed journal. The word "Omnino" is Latin for "altogether." Omnino stands for the journal's main mission to bring together all disciplines of academia to form a well-rounded and comprehensive research journal. The journal was founded in the Spring of 2011 by student's in an "Editing for Publications" course. Submission guidelines, the current edition of Omnino, and other information about Omnino, can be found at http://www.valdosta.edu/cas/cur/Omnino/index.shtml
The Valdosta State Blazers compete in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf and cross-country. “Lady Blazers” compete in basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball and cross-country. VSU is a NCAA Division II member institution and has been a member of the Gulf South Conference since 1981.
The Valdosta state football program began in 1981 and has been led by eight head coaches. The Blazers won the 2007 NCAA Division II national football championship by defeating Northwest Missouri State 25-20. The Blazers also won the 2004 NCAA Division II national championship with a 36-31 win over Pittsburg State University. The Blazers lost to Grand Valley State University 31-24 in the 2002 NCAA Division II national championship. The Blazers also have won 6 Gulf South Conference football championships (1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2010).
Valdosta State University's men's tennis team won the 2011 NCAA Division II national championship with a 5-2 win over Barry University and the 2006 national title after defeating Lynn University 5-2. The Blazers also played for the National Championship in 2004, 2007, and 2010.
The men's team has nine conference championships (1996, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), tied with UWF's women's team for the most conference championships in the Gulf South Conference. In 2011 the men's team became the first to win five consecutive GSC Championships in tennis.
The first baseball team at Valdosta State was formed in 1954 and had its first official season of intercollegiate competition in 1955. Tommy Thomas, became coach in 1967 and served as coach until 2007. Under Thomas the blazers saw 34 winning seasons, two conference titles, three Divisional titles, eight trips to the national tournament, and a Division II national championship in 1979. Thomas is the all-time wins leader in NCAA Division II baseball with 1302 wins. Greg Guilliams became VSU's head baseball coach in 2008 and won a Gulf South Conference East Division title in his first year and led Valdosta State to its first postseason appearance in seven years.
The Valdosta State Lady Blazers won the 2012 NCAA Division II Softball Championship, beating UC San Diego 4-1, and finished their season with a 58-5 record. In 2010 VSU made its first appearance in the Division II National Softball Tournament and fell 4-3 in the National Championship to Hawaii Pacific, finishing their season with a 51-9 record. In 2009 the Lady Blazers finished with a 57-8 season and broke 16 school records, including most wins in a season, most runs (503), hits (638), runs batted in (452), and home runs (98).
The Lady Blazers have won the Gulf South Conference Championship for the past four consecutive seasons (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012). The team has been to the last seven NCAA South Regional Tournaments.
The Lady Blazer Softball Team began in 1992 under head coach Ron Durante. Thomas Macera has been the head softball coach since 2006 and became the winningest coach in Valdosta State softball history in 2012 passing Durante's record of 303 wins.
TitleTown USA was a month-long segment on ESPN that started in the Spring of 2008 and continued through July. Fans nominated towns and cities across the country based on their championship pedigree. A panel reviewed the nominees and fan voting in May determined the 20th finalist. SportsCenter visited each city in July, and fan voting July 23–27 determined the winner. Based on online fan voting, Valdosta, Georgia was the winning city of TitleTown USA. Valdosta State's numerous national, conference, and division titles in multiple sports were a major reason the city of Valdosta won the vote to be named "TitleTown, USA".
In May 2007, T. Hayden Barnes, a student at Valdosta State University (VSU) was "administratively withdrawn" for criticizing the construction of two new parking garages on campus in a manner that University President Ronald Zaccari, over the objection of other administrators, deemed to be indicative of Barnes posing a clear and present danger to the VSU campus. In January 2008, T. Hayden Barnes filed a civil rights lawsuit for violation of his First Amendment and due process rights against the university, VSU President Ronald Zaccari, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and other VSU administrators. The September 8, 2010 edition of the Valdosta Daily Times noted that Hayden Barnes won his legal battle against past university president Dr. Ronald Zaccari.