VALDOSTA -- Valdosta State University President Dr. Ronald M. Zaccari paid tribute to VSU's past and presented an outline of optimism for the school's future Friday evening during the Lowndes County Historical Society's 28th Annual History 100 Dinner.

As guest speaker, Zaccari discussed how VSU continues to see growing student enrollment despite staggering economic cuts throughout Georgia, but the president said he believes VSU can meet these challenges by forging new programs while finding inspiration from the university's rich history of change, leadership and adaptability.

With Zaccari speaking about the past, present and future of Valdosta State, the Lowndes County Historical Society dinner was held in VSU's University Center, with the meal prepared by VSU Catering.

In addition to the meal and the speaker, the Historical Society also presented several awards. Society President J. Edward Willis presented Frank D. Smith with the President's Award, given to "those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the (Historical) Society," according to program notes; Smith was recognized for his "generosity and tireless support of the Lowndes County Historical Society."

Society member Donald O. Davis presented Louie Peeples White with the Harold M. Bennett Annual Award for Historic Preservation, which was established in 1994 "for those making outstanding contributions in historic preservation in our community." White was recognized for her "continuing interest and support of historic preservation in Valdosta."

Davis also presented the Historical Society's Keepers of History Award to several people given "to individuals or groups who have kept our local history alive." Receiving the Keepers of History Award were R. Linton Cox, Dr. John E. Lancaster, Dr. Harold Lawrence, Renate K. Milner, Dean Poling, the Rev. Douglas M. Reddick, E.L. Williams.

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