October 25, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Community Invited to Join VSU’s Presidential Investiture Celebration

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta-Lowndes County community is invited to help Valdosta State University celebrate the investiture of its 10th president, Dr. Richard A. Carvajal.

The public festivities will kick off with food, live music, games, activities, hot air balloon rides, giveaways, the unveiling of the new VSU ring, and more from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26, the VSU Front Lawn.

The official installation ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, in Whitehead Auditorium, followed by a reception on the lawn of the Fine Arts Building Amphitheatre and the unveiling of the new Color VSU coloring book.

The public festivities will culminate at the Blazers vs the Florida Institute of Technology Panthers football game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia named Carvajal president of VSU on Dec. 9, 2016. From his first day as a member of the Blazer Nation family — Jan. 1, 2017 — he has worked to solidify institutional leadership, strengthen relationships with students and other university constituents, and create a common vision for VSU’s future.

Before coming to Valdosta State University, Carvajal led Darton State College through its historic consolidation with Albany State University, after being asked by then-USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby to assume the interim presidency.

Carvajal also served as president of Bainbridge State College, where he led the institution of higher education through a significant facility upgrade, its first-ever successful capital campaign, and a move to state college status.

Before joining the University System of Georgia, Carvajal served as vice president for student success services at Cascadia Community College in Bothell, Washington; dean of student services at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas; associate dean of student services at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina; and an executive officer of the Washington State Student Services Commission.

Carvajal holds a Doctor of Philosophy in educational administration, with emphasis in higher education, which he earned in 2005 from The University of South Carolina in Columbia; a Master of Science in college student personnel administration, which he earned in 1995 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; and a Bachelor of Science in mass communication/sociology, which he earned in 1993 from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.

Carvajal served as a Lyndon B. Johnson Congressional Fellow, completed fellowships with the Washington Center and World Affairs Council, and graduated from both Leadership Kansas and Leadership Georgia. He has been very active in the communities in which he has lived, having served on the board of numerous public foundations. He currently serves as chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Rural Prosperity Council’s Talent and Leadership Development Subcommittee.

Traditionally held during a new president’s first year in office, VSU’s presidential investiture ceremonies are an opportunity for every member of Blazer Nation — student, faculty, staff, alumni, retiree, and friend — to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter for the university and the continued pursuit of knowledge.

Carvajal and his wife, Dr. Cheryl Carvajal, have two children — Crystal, 16, and Brandon, 13.

Contact Jessica R. Pope, communications and media relations coordinator at VSU, at 229-333-2163 or jrpope@valdosta.edu to learn more.

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