Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 14, 2009

Ground broken for VSU facility

Jerry and Kay Jennett honored for their support of education

VALDOSTA — The Jerry and Kay Jennett Lecture Hall will serve the needs of students for years to come at Valdosta State University.

The university broke ground on the 15,700-square-foot facility Monday — a facility that will have two auditorium-style classrooms and state-of-the-art technology designed to facilitate learning.

Construction on the $1.9 million facility is scheduled to begin at the first of the year and will connect to the Dewar College of Education. The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2010.

“I’m thrilled it’s attached to education,” Jerry Jennett said.

In November, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved naming VSU’s newest academic building in honor of Jerry and Kay Jennett for their significant philanthropic efforts.

Dr. Patrick Schloss, VSU president, credited the Jennetts with helping the university evolve over the years.

Schloss compared Jerry Jennett’s work with the university to what he does at Georgia Gulf Sulfur, turning smaller businesses into successful entities.

The Jennetts have been involved in a number of activities at Valdosta State University, from providing scholarships to providing input on the construction of various buildings.

“I’m proud to be considered a friend of this university,” Jerry Jennett said.

When the Jennetts moved to Valdosta, they began attending basketball games at VSU with Janet and Robbie Robinson, Kay Jennett said.

They were told that the women’s team was small because there were no scholarships, she said.

A scholarship for basketball players would be the beginning of the Jennetts’ relationship with VSU.

Jerry Jennett’s uncle served as superintendent of schools at a North East Iowa school, and all of his aunts and uncles — except for one — worked in education. His uncle’s relationship with education began with a scholarship, during the depression era, to an Iowa college, he said.

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