Powell Hall, originally named “The Library”

Powell Hall was built by WPA funds, from the Roosevelt Administration, and completed in 1940.  It was dedicated in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt, a distant cousin of third GSWC president Frank R. Reade.  This was a magnificent building in the Gothic style.  

The Reading Room of Powell Hall Library

"A wide open archway on one side leads into the main reading room … In spite of the height of the ceiling of the reading room, there is no echo, the room having been so constructed that the acoustics are almost perfect. Shelves of reference books line the walls of the room … GSWC now has one of the finest libraries of any college in the South." (The Alumni News, 4/10/41)

The Entrance to the Newly Built Library

In the main entrance to the library the quotation from Sir Frances Bacon reads: "If a man read little, he had need have much cunning to seem to know that he doth not." (Library Papers Collection)

Eleanor Roosevelt meets dignitaries at dedication of the Library

Since Mrs. Roosevelt's father and Dr. Reade's father were friends, he asked her to come to Valdosta and dedicate the new library. The first lady stayed with the Reades and dined with the students. Dignitaries from all over Georgia attended, and 5,000 heard her speech: 'In this building you are given an opportunity to study and prepare yourselves for the future … I dedicate this building to interesting youth and the strange world in which you live.'" (Campus Canopy, 3/29/41, p. 1) Left to Right: Dr. Frank Reade, Dr. S.V. Sanford, Chancellor of the Board of Regents, and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady.

For questions about Powell Hall

Contact the main campus line at 229-333-5800.


All pictures shown above are from the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections.