May 26, 2015

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU Alumnus, Artist Robert Leedy Donates Watercolor Painting

Pictured, from left to right, are A. Blake Pearce, dean of the College of the Arts, Robert Leedy, artist,  John Crawford, vice president for University Advancement, and Gordon "Gordy" Steadman, chairman of the VSU Alumni Association Booster Relations Committee.

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University alumnus Robert Leedy returned to his alma mater on May 5 to officially mark the donation of his original watercolor painting of West Hall. It will be framed and hung in the president’s office suite in West Hall.

Leedy completed the watercolor painting in the spring of 1976 while he was a student in the classroom of Joseph Pember, professor emeritus of art. Leedy graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art in 1979 and works as a full-time artist in Jacksonville, Fla.

“This is not only a gift to the university, but it is a gift to the memory of Joe Pember, who had a tremendous influence on my work, especially watercolor as my preferred medium,” shared Leedy.

Leedy has exhibited his work throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and has past affiliations with Asociación de Acuarelistas de Puerto Rico, the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, and the Colorado Watercolor Society. He is currently a member of the National Watercolor Society.

Leedy shows his work at Southlight Gallery in Jacksonville and First Street Gallery in Neptune Beach, Fla. He maintains a working studio in the CoRK Arts District in Jacksonville’s Riverside area.

Gordon “Gordy” Steadman, vice president of business development at Danis and chairman of the VSU Alumni Association Booster Relations Committee, facilitated Leedy’s donation.

“Robert and I are old friends,” said Steadman. “We grew up in the same neighborhood, same high school, same college, everything. I ran into Robert one night with a bunch of old friends at dinner and we started talking — what are you doing these days and all of that — and I said, ‘Hey, you know, I’m on the alumni board at Valdosta now, and what I want to do is get a print, frame it, and donate it to the university.’”

Leedy’s mother requested that he donate the original painting, which was displayed in her home, to the university.

A framed reproduction of the West Hall painting will be donated to the Valdosta State University Athletics Department for the second annual Bets & Birdies fundraiser June 11-12 benefitting student athletes.

The VSU Alumni Association plans to work with Leedy to develop signed prints of his watercolor painting and make them available for purchase in the near future. Proceeds will benefit student scholarships.

Visit for more information about Leedy or to view his work.

Contact John Crawford, vice president for University Advancement, at (229) 333-5939 or for more information.

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.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit to learn more.