June 29, 2005

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations

VSU Names Mary Gooding Director of Alumni, Community, and RegionalRelations & Centennial Operations Manager

Valdosta State University has named Mary B. Gooding to a key leadership role as Director of Alumni, Community and Regional Relations & Centennial Operations Manager. Gooding's position became effective June 6.

Gooding is working closely with the VSU Alumni Association, the VSU Foundation, Inc., and other offices housed under the VSU Division of University Advancement in her role to expand VSU's presence in the Atlanta area as well as in the University's 41-county service region of South Georgia, which stretches from the Alabama state line to the Atlantic coast. Gooding is also charged with assisting the development of alumni chapters statewide and the realization of the University's strategic plan, especially as VSU approaches its Centennial years. VSU's Division of University Advancement includes Alumni Relations, Advancement Services, Annual Giving, Major Gifts/Planned Giving, Special Events, and University Relations.

"This is a very challenging new role because Mary has to become the coordinator of all Centennial related marketing, branding and other activities," said Scott H. Sikes, Vice President for University Advancement.

Sikes said legislation creating what is now known as Valdosta State University was approved by the Georgia General Assembly in 1906, but that classes were not conducted on campus until 1913.

"We will celebrate and promote our Centennial Years from 2006 until 2013," said Sikes. "Mary will work closely with the officers and Board of Directors of the VSU Alumni Association, Inc., and the Centennial Steering Committee in the overall promotion of VSU."

Gooding has 23 years of corporate management experience with IBM and more than six years of non-profit experience. She has significant management training from IBM Corporation and Harvard University.

Gooding is already extensively involved in the community. She is a member of the Leadership Lowndes Class of 2005, the past Chairman of the Board of the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, and the outgoing Executive Director of the Partnership for Metropolitan Development.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the VSU team in this exciting period of strategic growth," said Gooding. "We are launching a new era of opportunity for our students, VSU as an institution, and for VSU as an integral asset of our community and region."

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