Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 21, 2006

VSU receives $2 million

VALDOSTA — In recognition of a $2 million gift from a local family, Valdosta State University’s College of Education will be named the James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education.

“With final approval by the Board of Regents, the naming of the Dewar College of Education will provide a lasting tribute to two dedicated educators and strong supporters of Valdosta State University,” VSU President Ron Zaccari said.

James “Jimmy” Dewar Jr., chairman of the Board of Park Avenue Bank Bankshares Inc., organized the donation last month in honor of his parents, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar, for their dedication in supporting education within the community. “Our family has been a part of this community for four generations, and my parents have been involved in the education here for many years of their lives,” Dewar said.

In addition to founding Park Avenue Bank, Dewar’s father, who is now 94, began his career teaching in the Lowndes County School System. Soon after becoming principal of the Lake Park Elementary School, he met his wife. Dewar served as school superintendent for 12 years, and from 1967-73 he served on the Georgia State Board of Education.

Through the years, the Dewars have made several generous contributions to VSU. Mrs. Dewar, 90, is a 1938 graduate of the Georgia State Woman’s College (VSU’s former title) and has worked with her husband to establish two scholarships and an endowment fund in the last four decades. In 1966, Dewar established the Mattie Hendry Dewar Scholarship and Loan Fund. In 1978, the Dewars established the Eva Carroll Herndon Scholarship Fund. Ten years ago, Dewar began an endowment fund that currently provides additional VSU scholarships annually.

“The ability to use family resources to help VSU produce competent and caring teachers for the future is a wonderful opportunity for us,” Jimmy Dewar said.

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