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The founding of Fort Valley State University (FVSU) in 1895 is celebrated on this date. It is one of over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in America.
Fort Valley State University began chartered as the Fort Valley High and Industrial School. From there they and the State Teachers and Agricultural College of Forsyth, founded in 1902, were consolidated in 1939 to form Fort Valley State College. It became Fort Valley State University in June 1996. It is the only 1890 land grant school in Georgia. Fort Valley State University is an all-inclusive institution providing an exceptional educational experience.
The university is located in the town of Fort Valley in Peach County, the original site of the nation's peach industry. Its 1,365-acre campus is the second-largest (in acreage) public university in the state. FVSU’s 3,000 plus students represent 130 of Georgia's 159 counties, more than 30 states, and about 10 international countries. Ninety-four percent of the student body is African American. The average age is 24 for undergraduates and 33 for graduate students. About one-third of students live on campus, and 85 percent attend college full-time.
FVSU offers bachelor's degrees in more than 50 majors-- education, business administration, and agriculture are particularly popular--as well as master's degrees in education and counseling, and an education specialist degree.
In an effort to accommodate its graduate and non-traditional students, external degree program courses are also offered at off-campus sites in Macon, Cochran, and Dublin. Fort Valley State's Cooperative Developmental Energy Program (CDEP) is the only one of its kind in the nation, preparing students for energy-industry careers in science and geology.
The African World Studies Institute is another attraction for students and faculty from around the world. Outreach services include Fort Valley's Cooperative Extension Program, where extension specialists operate in 42 counties, and the Pettigrew Conference Center, which hosts more than 500 courses and events for 51,000 patrons each year.
Beyond the classroom requirements, students have several opportunities as part of the marching band, concert choir, Baptist Student Union Choir, and cheerleading. More than 70 clubs, sororities, fraternities, and social organizations operate on campus. Athletic opportunities include intramural sports and intercollegiate men's and women's track and basketball teams. The championship football team, a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, has produced many notable professional sports figures and Olympic champions.