FVSU President Named Among “100 Most Influential Georgians”
President Larry E. Rivers’ accomplishments at Fort Valley State University are attracting the attention of a prestigious publication with statewide readership. In its new January issue, Georgia Trend Magazine lists FVSU’s president among the “100 Most Influential Georgians.” The 10th edition release says Dr. Rivers is “putting his alma mater on a path for health and prosperity.” A profile recognizes the president for increasing FVSU’s enrollment, eliminating budget deficits, opening the Wildcat Commons on time and on budget; and developing new capital projects such as the $13.5 million student center and stadium. It’s the first time the listing has included an FVSU president.
This year’s roster also includes chief executive officers of Delta Air Lines, Home Depot and Coca Cola; Chancellor Erroll B. Davis; college presidents from the University of Georgia, Emory, and the Morehouse School of Medicine; and lawmakers such as U. S. Congressman Jim Marshall and Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. Governor Sonny Perdue is named Georgian of the Year in the issue’s cover story.
Dr. Rivers is one of 29 new Georgians added to the list this year. He was selected after FVSU’s Marketing and Communications Department submitted an essay to the magazine’s editorial staff touting his accomplishments after only 18 months in office. Georgia Trend Magazine is an award-winning business publication. Below is the text of the article.
2008 Most Influential Georgians
Edited By Jerry Grillo
Published January 2008
There is no such thing as a perfect 10. What would be the point?
“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in,” writes Leonard Cohen, one of the most influential poets and songwriters of the past 50 years.
In this, our 10th edition of the 100 Most Influential Georgians, we did not set out looking for the perfect roster. As always, our goal is to illuminate, perhaps educate, by shining a spotlight on 100 different individuals whose influence may be long lasting or short lived, subtle or obvious. These are the people, we believe, who prove that influence is power, not the other way around.
You will recognize most of the names on this year’s roster, the usual suspects, the CEOs, statesmen, college presidents and the like. There also are some you’ve possibly never heard of, people who cast their influence from behind the scenes.
This year’s list, whittled as always by Georgia Trend’s editorial staff, may seem very similar to last year’s – very little turnover this time, with only 29 new Georgians. Yet it also is one of our most diverse, with 20 women (only 12 last year, nine the year before that) and 23 people of color (19 last year, 17 in 2006).
These are the people who inspire us, infuriate us, serve us and lead us. In many ways, they are just like us. “The humblest individual exerts some influence, either for good or evil, upon others,” wrote 19th century progressive clergyman Henry Ward Beecher.
But for our purposes, these profiles were written by Linda M. Erbele, Jerry Grillo, Matt Hennie, Karen Kennedy, Bobby Nesbitt, Patty Rasmussen, Christy Simo and Katheryn Hayes Tucker.
Dr. Larry E. Rivers President Fort Valley State University Fort Valley Age: 55 Rivers has set his alma mater on the path to health and prosperity. Enrollment and the endowment have increased 20 percent while budget deficits have been eliminated, a $44 million student housing village opened in the fall, a $15 million science research facility is scheduled for completion in 2009 and a new $13.5 million student center and stadium is in the works.