Valdosta Daily Times

September 19, 2013

VSU Kicks off 50th anniversary celebration

Kristin Finney
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — In celebration of “50 Years of Integration: A Celebration of Inclusion,” Valdosta State University will be hosting several dinners, presentations, programs and exhibits throughout the next year.

These events kicked off on Wednesday afternoon during the Heritage Celebration cookout, sponsored by the Langdale College of Business Administration.

The cookout was held at Palms Quad from noon to 2 p.m. and allowed faculty, staff and students a chance to enjoy good food with friends and celebrate the anniversary.

Dr. David Danahar, Interim Provost, Dr. Wayne Plumly, Dean of the VSU Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, Dacia Charlesworth, VSU's First Lady, and William Jimerson, President of the VSU Student Government Association were present for the cookout and welcomed everyone to the celebration.

During the cookout, Mayor Pro Tem and Valdosta City Council member Alvin Payton and Lowndes County Commissioner Joyce Evans presented a proclamation recognizing the significance of this milestone. The proclamation recognized and proclaimed Sept. 18, 2013 as the Valdosta State University Celebration of Inclusion Day. It recognized VSU for their strides in inclusion over the last 50 years and also praised VSU for the over 50 nationalities now represented on campus.

Jimerson said of the event, "It's important to celebrate the anniversary because it's paved the way for a lot of different students. I myself would not be able to be privileged to come to Valdosta State if it were not for Drewnell Thomas and Robert Pierce and their bravery. They paved the way not only for race, but skin color, gender orientation and sexual orientation. We accept everyone at Valdosta State. It's a very important day as we celebrate and pay tribute to them today."

This event kicks off the beginning of a year of celebrations at VSU. Students, staff and faculty members will be participating in numerous events over the course of the next year.

The Office of Communications has established a “50 Years of Integration: A Celebration of Inclusion” website and Facebook page that highlights the yearlong celebration. These sites provide stories on Valdosta State’s pioneers, photographs and updates on events associated with the commemoration. Visit the website at and follow them on Facebook at VSU50.