January 14, 2014

Celebration of Inclusion Continues with Social and Academic Symposiums

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University’s 50 Years of Integration: A Celebration of Inclusion continues this month with a social symposium Monday, Jan. 20 and Tuesday, Jan. 21, and an academic symposium Monday, Feb. 3.

Social Symposium

The two-day social symposium, titled “Being a Minority at a Predominantly White Institution,” includes a showing of The Butler Monday at 6:30 p.m. the Student Union Theater. The symposium will continue the following night with a student panel discussion in the Student Union Theater at 6:30 p.m. The event includes student representatives from several organizations such as Society for International Students, Black Student League, Latin American Student Association and African Student Association.

“The panelists represent various minority groups on Valdosta State University’s campus,” said Micah Howell, president of Black Student League and coordinator for the event. “The event will include discussions about the significance of racial integration, challenges that minority and international students face and support structures at the university.”

Academic Symposium

The academic symposium, titled “From Whence We Came,” will be held Monday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. The event features Dr. Jerry L. Hardee, Charleston Carter and Dr. John Gaston.

One of Valdosta State’s pioneers of integration, Hardee will deliver an address titled “From the Cotton Fields of Georgia and Tobacco Fields of Connecticut to the College Presidency.” Hardee is a former member of Valdosta State’s presidential cabinet and retired president of Sherman College of Chiropractic.

Carter is a two-time graduate of Valdosta State, superior court administrator and award-winning toastmaster. He will discuss how his upbringing and grandmother’s teachings influenced his pursuit of academic and professional achievement.

Gaston, also a pioneer of integration, will share some of his original poetry during the event. Gaston is a retired dean of VSU’s College of Arts, as well as a poet and playwright.

“The symposium features three phenomenal professionals and will explore their unique academic and professional journeys,” said Dr. Shirley Hardin, director of African American Studies and coordinator of the event. “These stories include personal challenges and triumphs that led them to their professional careers.”

VSU kicked off 50 Years of Integration: A Celebration of Inclusion, a commemoration of integration and its historical impact and how it has shaped the university, on Sept. 18, 2013.

For more information about the symposiums, visit www.valdosta.edu/integration  or call the Office of Social Equity at (229) 333-5463.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.