Friday, February 29, 2008

CEDEP's silver anniversary

Designated a national model program by the U.S. Department of Energy, Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Developmental Energy Program is celebrating 25 years of service.

CDEP helps minority and female students gain entry into oil and energy industry careers. To commemorate the silver anniversary, representatives from B.P. Corporation, Exxon-Mobil, Shell Oil Company and several governmental regulatory agencies will visit FVSU’s campus bringing contributions totaling more than $800,000 to fund student scholarships.

A press conference begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 4 in the C. W. Pettigrew Center. The 25th Annual Energy Career Day Luncheon begins at 11:15 a.m. in the same location. During the luncheon, 20 students will receive full CDEP scholarships valued at $50,000 each.

CDEP students attend FVSU in a science or mathematics-related track for three years; then transfer to a partner institution for two years to pursue an energy-related degree. Upon graduation, students receive two bachelor’s degrees – one from FVSU, another from the partner university. To date, more than 1,200 students have participated in the program and received $8 million in scholarships.

CDEP sponsors include ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil Company, Atlanta Gas & Light, ExxonMobil, BP America, Halliburton, Marathon Oil Company, BP America, and governmental agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the U. S. Department of Energy-National Nuclear Security Administration.

For more information, contact Dr. Isaac J. Crumbly or Jackie Hodges at (478) 825-6243

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Black History Month, continued

Georgia’s unsung heroes in the civil rights movement. Look up these names and you'll be more educated for it.

Lonnie King, Jr. joined the civil rights movement as a student at Atlanta’s Morehouse College. While there, King survived a serious attack after acid was thrown in his face. He later became the president of the Atlanta Chapter of the NAACP.

Lula Joe Williams became involved in the movement as a teenager in Alabama where she protested, marched, was arrested and beaten. She continues the fight today in Atlanta. The civil rights movement not only inspired African Americans to stand up and fight for their rights, many white Americans joined in the battle.

Constance Curry and Sara Parsons worked tirelessly behind the scenes of the movement. Parsons joined the “League of Women Voters” and her local school board to give a voice to those who had none.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Sierra Leone for the 2007 Elections

Part 2: Issues and Strategies
By Dr. Peter A. Dumbuya, Associate Professor of History

In my previous posting, (found here: I examined the nuts and bolts of the August/September 2007 elections in Sierra Leone. In addition to the presidency, the All People’s Congress party, led by President Ernest Bai Koroma, also won a majority of seats in Parliament, the national legislature. The party’s share of seats in the 112 ordinary-member legislature went from 27 in 2002 to 59 in 2007. Parliament also includes 12 paramount chief members who were elected on a non-partisan basis to represent each of the 12 districts into which the country is divided for local government purposes.

In anticipation of the elections, the British Broadcasting Corporation, a major provider of radio/television news and entertainment programs to Sierra Leone, conducted a survey of people’s knowledge about the elections, their priorities, and trust in local and national politicians. The BBC released the results in June 2007. My colleague, John L. Musa, forwarded a copy of it to me. I analyzed it, drafted a concise summary (or position paper) of the various issues, and e-mailed copies to John and party headquarters in Freetown for use by party leaders. We used modified versions of the paper to prepare for the vice presidential and presidential debates in the days before the elections.

It is interesting to note that the issues voters prioritized in the 2007 elections are very similar to the ones that are showing up in various surveys and opinion polls here in the U. S. in this presidential election cycle. Respondents to the BBC survey identified the following as the top five priorities of the current presidential term: education, water, electricity, roads, and peace and security. Closely following these were issues of economic development, poverty alleviation, combating corruption, agricultural development, and foreign policy.

The results of the survey presented both a challenge and an opportunity for candidates of the three major political parties, namely the APC, Sierra Leone People’s Party, and People’s Movement for a Democratic Change, to formulate a postwar strategy for development and national reconciliation. For instance, over 53% of respondents in eight districts and areas in which the survey was conducted had little or no trust in national politicians. Nevertheless, a majority of them saw the elections as an important part of the political process. The study also showed very low levels of involvement in organized social and political activities even though most of the respondents knew the three major political parties.

The lack of trust in national politicians stemmed in part from their inability or unwillingness to deliver public goods. In addition, respondents in six districts that were surveyed did not feel that their views were represented in political discussions by the major parties.

Low levels of trust in national politicians translated in cynicism about the ability of elected officials “to do what is right.” Because of that, it was not surprising to learn that most of the respondents did not believe that the government would respond to protests about “unjust laws.” The sense that the government would not respond to protests against unjust laws undermined confidence in the police and legal system.

The perception that one party is not different from the other on policy issues often creates a political environment in which the voter may find it difficult to choose which party he or she is going to vote for in an election. As the unfortunate events in Kenya have shown, voters often get around this challenge by casting their lot with parties from their region or ethnic group.

Our analysis showed that more than 80 percent of the 2.3 million registered voters cast ballots in the 2002 elections. In the 2007 elections, 2.6 million people registered to vote: 75.8 percent of them turned out to vote in the first round and 68.1 percent in the second round to choose the president.

We urged the candidates to make a very clear distinction between the failed policies of the past eleven years under the SLPP government and the promise of a bright and prosperous Sierra Leone with the APC at the helm. We emphasized people’s confidence in the electoral system as an agent of peaceful change and promised to broaden the decision-making process at all levels of government. Most important, the party made a pledge to give top priority to the issues respondents had identified, namely education, water, electricity, roads, and peace and security. This campaign strategy worked, but as we saw in the Democratic debate between Senators Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, attempts to draw such sharp contrasts do not always succeed.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Gates sparks dreams for college students

While it may be a bit too late for Valentine’s Day or even a tad too soon for Peter Cottontail to come hoppin’ down the ol’ bunny trail, Bill Gates is, once again, is filled with the spirit of giving. For once, the Microsoft founder is giving us something other than the infamous “Windows Blue Screen of Death” or buggy new operating systems for which we have to download constant patches.

Most are aware of the philanthropic work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( which, among its hundreds of projects, provides funding for vaccines in third world countries, assists small farmers in the poorest of the world’s nations build agricultural infrastructure, and offers scholarships for minority students with signifigant financial need through the Gates Millenium Scholarship Program ( For a man who has made tens of billions of dollars in his lifetime and is currently the second wealthiest man on the planet, he and his family have certainly seen fit to spread that wealth among those individuals who most need the assistance.

For that reason, only mild surprise greeted last week’s announcement that Bill Gates and Microsoft were, once again, giving something of great value to individuals who were in need but had empty pockets. This time, however, Microsoft is giving away their bread and butter: software, free to college students. In a program being called DreamSpark, Microsoft is offering college students free, full-version, downloads of Web development and video game development software.

This is not second-tier low quality junk software; but the same software used by professional Web and game designers. Included in the offer are: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, the entire Microsoft Expressions Studio (these are design programs which allow you to create Web pages and suites as well as create all the wonderful graphics and effects you see on premium pages), Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (this is Web-hosting software), and XNA Game Studio 2.0 (a video game development suite of tools).

If you wish to take advantage of Mr. Gate’s generosity, you’ll have to go to the DreamSpark Web site ( and sign up for a “Windows Live ID.” Once that is accomplished, then you go through their process to verify that you are, indeed, a student (that’s why I’m still going to have to pay for my copies, darn’t). Then you will be allowed to download the software and install it.

While this is a bit of a hassle, remember, you are picking up over a thousand dollars of professional developer software. So, if your dream is to be a Web or game designer, Bill Gates has a gift for you: DreamSpark.

-Dr. B. Keith Murphy is Interim Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Fort Valley State University

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pancake Breakfast

Continuing on the theme of fundraisers:

The Fort Valley State University Recognition Committee will hold its annual Pancake Breakfast featuring Executive Chef Larry Rivers and his cabinet members, February 27, 2008 at 7:30 a.m. in the Woodard Gymnasium. Tickets are $5.50 each and will be on sale Friday, Feb. 15, 2008.

Plates will be ready at 7:30 a.m. and will extend until 10:00 a.m. Carry-outs will be available.

All-you-can-eat pancakes

Choice of sausage or bacon (limited amount of turkey and vegetarian options available)



To purchase tickets, please contact one of the following committee members:

Patricia Barrett: Troup Building, 825-6330

Milton Bottom: Troup Building, 825-6474

Carlton Green: Meat Technology Building, 825-3076

Fannie Jackson: Student Center or Wilson-Roberts Building, 825-6311 or 6325

Marvin Little: Wilson-Roberts Building, 825-6200

Priscilla Martin: Library, 825-6384Verbret Moore: Troup Building, 825-6301

Charles Murphy: Peabody Building, 825-6202

Oreta Samples: O’Neal Building, 825-6904 or 6353

Dana Smith: Science Building, 825-6240

Jackie Whitehead: Stallworth Building, 825-6808 or 6322

YUM! See you there!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The need for scholarships

With a growing student population (applications for fall semester 2008 have surpassed the number of freshmen admitted in fall 2007), so grows the need for student scholarships. And at Fort Valley State University, this isn't something only the folks in the Foundation, or Financial Aid, or the Recruitment offices worry about. We all share the responsibility for making sure our students aren't so worried about money that they can't concentrate on their studies.

This is a switch for me. When I was in college, I worked two or three jobs at a time and took 18 credit hours each semester so I could graduate as quickly as possible. I still came out with debt. But the point is, I remember those days. So it's easy for me to jump on board with any scholarship effort we're putting together.

Next Thursday (get out your calendars and pens), a group of my friends and I will be hostessing a home-business mall in the Pettigrew Center. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., independent representatives from Cookie Lee, Creative Memories, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, PartyLite, Tastefully Simple and Weekenders will present an array of goods you can't find in any store. And each consultant has agreed to turn over profits to the scholarship fund. These women are coming for the day in the hopes of selling what they bring with them and taking orders for more, and instead of taking a paycheck for their work, they'll be taking home a list of new contacts and friends at Fort Valley State.

Fundraising opportunities like this one abound, and they all have on purpose: to make sure FVSU doesn't have to turn away a single student because he or she can't pay for their schooling. Stay tuned for more.

Misty Cline is a public relations specialist with Fort Valley State University and an independent consultant with PartyLite candles and accessories.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

busy season

The FVSU blogger apologizes for her absence. Bottom line: I haven't been seated at my desk for more than five minutes in the last two days; there's been so much to do and see on campus!
Monday's Black History Month Scholarship Luncheon was quite the event - if you missed it, mark your calendars for next year. Stay tuned to find out how much was raised - when I know, you'll know! Beautiful new benches are also now installed in locations around campus, thanks to scholarship donors.
Tuesday was huge - Sen. Johnny Isakson stopped in for a short question and answer session, then I was wowed by a visiting lecturer from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. Dr. Joseph White was full of horrifying facts and figures about one of the worst periods in European history. Plus, the incredible Under One Roof Housing Conference was ongoing throughout the day. Useful sessions included grant writing, home maintenance, foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgages and rural development programs.
So I'm catching my breath today, because tomorrow night we have the incomparable Dr. Joseph Pratt on campus to speak about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. Pratt’s appearance, the third in the John W. Davison Lecture Series, takes place 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in the W. W. E. Blanchet CTM Building. See you there!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Get your Black History Month Scholarship Luncheon tickets

That's 478-825-6474 to reach the Foundation office and get your tickets!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More on Black History Month

by Frank James

President Bush used the 199th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday today to speak against the recent spate of noose displays that have popped up around the country.
His remarks will be made during a White House event to mark Black History Month.

Bush's prepared remarks say:
Our Nation has come a long way toward building a more perfect union. Yet as past injustices become more distant memories, there is a risk that our society may lose sight of real suffering that took place.

One symbol of that suffering is the noose. Recently, there have been a number of media reports about nooses being displayed. These disturbing reports have resulted in heightened racial tensions in many communities. And they have revealed that some Americans do not understand why the sight of a noose causes such a visceral reaction among so many people.

For decades, the noose played a central part in a campaign of violence and fear against African-Americans. Fathers were dragged from their homes in the dark of night before the eyes of their terrified children. Summary executions were held by torchlight in front of hateful crowds. In many cases, law enforcement officers responsible for protecting the victims were complicit in their deaths. For generations of African-Americans, the noose was more than a tool of murder. It was a tool of intimidation that conveyed a sense of powerlessness to millions.

The era of rampant lynching is a shameful chapter in American history. The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice, but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank. And lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest. As a civil society, we should be able to agree that noose displays and lynching jokes are deeply offensive. They are wrong. And they have no place in America today.

These will be Bush's most forceful remarks about the noose incidents. He will get no argument from the vast majority of Americans about the ugliness of the displays, though some will no doubt ask why he hasn't spoken out more forcefully before.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Black History Month: Necessary and Compelling Reasons to Celebrate It

Excerpted from by Victor Lana
Published February 03, 2006

"Why do we have a Black History Month? What about Polish history? Danish history? Greek history?"

The answer, gentle readers, is very obvious. None of these other nationalities were ever brought to this country as slaves. After being captured in their native Africa, blacks were chained in the bottom of boats and brought here as a commodity. They were bought and sold with no regard for separating them from families or friends. These people were then forced into arduous service, unmercifully treated, and made to feel as if they were not any better than the master's horse or plow. Their children were not educated, for the masters knew this would lead to revolt, and oftentimes were purposely taken away from their parents and sold as a way to break the spirit.

When one thinks of the suffering and oppression of black people who were slaves, it is even more amazing that rising out of that miasma there were so many inspirational stories, so much to be thankful for, and more than enough material for many more than one history month. Yes, all races and people have histories, but it is essential that every American study and understand black history simply because slavery was such an ugly part of our collective history. We also must recognize these resilient people who rose out of the ashes of slavery to shine a light on our culture and make the world a better place.

The many other races and cultures who flowed into our land came of their own volition. Yes, some may have been fleeing dire circumstances at home, but they sought a better life elsewhere and decided to come to America. Many may have been packed on ships in terrible conditions (as I've heard told on the Italian side of my family), but my great grandfather didn't have chains around his arms and legs. He got off the boat a free man, was able to go to work in his trade of masonry, and made a wonderful life for himself and eventually his family. This was the American dream and it still beckons immigrants from all over the world, but blacks were not part of this equation of liberty and freedom that others were allowed to embrace.

I think all parents should discuss their heritage with their children, but it is imperative to also focus on people different than ourselves. The truth is that black history was hardly recognized let alone taught in a serious manner. Establishing February as Black History Month was a way to get school children to learn about the amazing black Americans who have done so much for their country and its culture: George Washington Carver, Fredrick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Dred Scott, Dr. Charles Drew, Louis Armstrong, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Bunche, Thurgood Marshall, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Arthur Ashe, Henry (Hank) Aaron, and so many, many more.

Coretta Scott King passed away on the last day of January, a month which includes the holiday to honor her slain husband. He was a leader, a husband, a father, a preacher, and most notably a freedom fighter. Now, in her memory, during this Black History Month, we ought to make certain that her husband's most famous word's (free at last) reverberate from the mountaintops of this great land to both shining seas. This is why we celebrate black history, a necessary and compelling reminder that freedom is not free; black Americans had to fight and struggle to attain it in this country. That is the most salient reason to vigorously celebrate this month every year.

Victor Lana has published numerous stories and articles in literary magazines and online, including his favorite haunt here at Blogcritics. His novels A Death in Prague (2002) and Move (2003) and his new book The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories are available at online bookstores.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mr. FVSU candidates on video

Get one last look at each of the candidates for Mr. FVSU prior to going to the polls today. In a video segment now on YouTube and the FVSU TV Web site, Marketing and Communications Department post Apollonia Jones and producer Stacie Barrett get each of the seven young men to answer “Why should you be Mr. FVSU?” Watch the video at or and click the FVSU TV link at bottom left of the page. Vote in the Lottie B. Lyons Student Center: Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Black History Month Scholarship Luncheon

The Black History Month Scholarship Luncheon will take place at noon on Monday, Feb. 18, in the Health and Physical Education Complex. It will be hosted by U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop and State Rep. Calvin Smyre. North Carolina Congressman and U.S. Chief Deputy Whip G. K. Butterfield is the keynote speaker. The campaign will fund university scholarships and has a goal of $250,000.

Butterfield is a life-long resident of eastern North Carolina. His father was the first black elected official elected in eastern North Carolina in the 20th century. His mother was a classroom teacher for 48 years. Congressman Butterfield's law practice was devoted to representing poor people with extraordinary legal problems. He was considered the “People's Lawyer” in his hometown – a title that earned him great respect and admiration in the community. He is best known for successfully handling several Voting Rights lawsuits in eastern North Carolina counties resulting in the Court-ordered implementation of district elections for local officials.

In February of 2001, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley appointed Congressman Butterfield to the seven-member North Carolina Supreme Court. Congressman Butterfield currently serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and serves on the Energy and Air Quality; Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection; and Environment and Hazardous Materials subcommittees. Beginning in the 110th Congress, Congressman Butterfield was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn to serve as one of eight Chief Deputy Whips responsible for helping to formulate Democratic policy and ensuring the passage of legislation.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Enter St. Valentine

As I write this, we are less than a week away from a day that is often dreaded by males and lonely singles of both genders: Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day may have begun as an ancient pagan festival. The Roman feast of Lupercalia honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and was held on February the 14th. During Lupercalia, women would write love letters, known as billets, and place them in a large vessel. The men would draw billets from the vessel and would pursue the woman whose letter they had drawn.

February 14th may have cemented its amorous reputation during the Middle Ages as Medieval Europeans, who believed that birds began mating on February 14th and saw the day as an excellent day to send love letters.
There is a small bit of confusion as to which St. Valentine is honored by the holiday as the Catholic Church recognizes three saints named Valentine (or Valentinus) and all were apparently martyred on February 14 (Denton).

The most likely candidate is a 3rd century Roman priest who, despite direct orders from Roman Emperor Claudius II, performed secret marriages for Roman soldiers. The emperor believed that single soldiers were more likely to join his legions. Claudius had the priest arrested and, according to legend, the priest sent a note to the jailer’s daughter which was signed, “from your Valentine,” before he was executed on February 14 in 270 A.D. (Denton).

As was the case with many of our holidays, the ancient pagan festivals were replaced with holidays honoring Christian saints. Lupercalia, then, became St. Valentine’s Day in 496 when Pope Gelasius named the day in honor of the patron saint of lovers.

By the 15th century, spoken and singing valentines were replaced by written letters of love. Charles, Duke of Orleans, is credited with being one of the earliest creators of valentines. After the battle of Agincourt in 1415, Charles was imprisoned in the Tower of London. While there he passed the time writing rhyming love letters, valentines, to his wife in France (
The earliest known valentine was sent in 1477. It was written by Margaret Brews of England and dedicated to her soon-to-be husband, John Paston, whom she called her “Ryght Welbeloved Voluntyn.”

By the sixteenth century, the exchange of written valentines had become commonplace. Late in the sixteenth century, Giovanni Portia expanded upon Ovid’s recipes adding twelve new formulas for concealing writing in love letters.

The seventeenth century saw the beginning of “form” love letters as booklets appeared offering poems that writers could copy into love letters of their own.

The first commercial valentine cards appeared around 1800 and were, by today’s standards, quite crude. However within thirty years the cards had become small works of art decorated with gilding, lace, ribbon and satin. They were also quite expensive. By the 1840’s mechanical valentines appeared. These cards featured such gimmicks as pull tabs which, when pulled, caused another part of the card to move.

Of course, then came the the Hallmarks of the world, and the rest is capitalism and hormones at work.

Denton, Paul. “History of Valentine’s Day.” http//
-Dr. B. Keith Murphy is Interim Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Fort Valley State University

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The History of Black History

by Elissa Haney

Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied-or even documented-when the tradition originated. Although blacks have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books.

We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and more importantly, the study of black history, to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population-and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.

Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions, decided to take on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation's history. He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.

Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuskeegee airman to speak at FVSU

Tuskegee Airman George W. Watson, Sr. Watson, now a retired Air Force sergeant and author, will share his story Friday night as a featured speaker during the John W. Davison Lecture Series. His book, "Memorable Memoirs" will be available for purchase and he will sign copies after the presentation.
Watson volunteered to serve in the U. S. Army in 1942. He served overseas in Germany, England, Turkey and Iran; then retired after 26 years of service.

Despite their bravery and accomplishments, the Tuskegee Airmen battled racism and bigotry at home. Don't miss Watson's story - 7 p.m. Friday, Feb 8 in the C.W. Pettigrew Center auditorium. Proceeds from the book sales will go toward scholarships and elementary schools in Watson’s hometown.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

FVSU students weigh in on Super Tuesday

Today is Super Tuesday, and by all accounts, there’s more at stake than ever before in the Presidential race between the Democratic and Republican primary candidates.

In a video segment now on YouTube and the FVSU TV website, students weigh in on who they believe is the best choice to occupy the Oval Office. Marketing and Communications Department Host Apollonia Jones and Producer Stacie Barrett provide a fresh, interesting look at student views about the race to the White House.

For photos and information about each candidate’s platform, visit the library. Posters are located on the first floor by the elevator.

Watch the video at or and click FVSU TV link at bottom left of the page.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wildcats in the Superbowl

The American High Holiday is this Sunday and, like millions of other Americans (and even more world-wide), I will be in front of a television for four hours Sunday watching the Super Bowl. Throughout this pageantry of capitalism, we are often so overwhelmed by the luscious displays of corporate avarice competing for time with elaborate displays of patriotic fervor that we forget that the Super Bowl is, for the 110 young men on the field, the moment when they have achieved the pinnacle of their professional careers. That kickoff in Phoenix is the moment these men have spent their entire lives sweating, bleeding, and praying for. This fact is often used by the media to create human interest stories. For instance, this year we will all hear about Patriot linebacker Junior Seau who has played like a champion for many long years for a bad team and now he’s getting the chance to play for a title.

However, as a fan, the game becomes quite interesting if you know one of the players. If you are a part of the Wildcat family, you’ve been lucky. In recent years, even if “your team” didn’t make the big game, a number of players from your Wildcat family have been to the big game and we celebrated or mourned along with them.

The most recent Wildcat in the Super Bowl was Nick Harper, who is probably best known for his recovery of Jerome Bettis’ fumble during the 2005 AFC Championship game. Bettis and the Steelers were headed into the end zone when Bettis fumbled the ball for the only time that season. Harper, a cornerback, scooped up the loose ball and headed toward the Indianapolis Colts’ end zone, 99 yards away. It looked, for a moment, as if Harper was going to single-handedly de-rail Pittsburgh’s date with destiny; but Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to get a hand on him and Harper stumbled just enough that the Steelers’ defenders were able to catch him before he could score. No Super Bowl for the Colts in 2006. However, the next season, Harper would get his Super Bowl ring as the Colts crushed the Bears 29 – 17 in Super Bowl XLI. Harper now anchors the secondary as a member of the Tennessee Titans.

Tyrone Poole was an integral part of the New England Patriot’s defense when they slipped past the Carolina Panthers, 32 – 29, in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. The irony of the story is that Poole was the Panther’s second-ever draft pick (taken with pick number 22 during the first round of the draft) during their expansion season of 1995. Poole, a cornerback, was a four-year starter while here at FVSU.

Another member of the Steelers, Greg Lloyd, represented the Valley at Super Bowl XXX in 1996. Lloyd, a linebacker, was a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in 1987. During his career, Lloyd, who is probably remembered as much for his feuds with the media and for accidentally cursing on live television after the 1995 AFC Championship game as he is for his stellar play, was a five-time Pro-Bowler and was voted, by fans, to the Steelers’ 75th anniversary all-star team. Lloyd led the Steelers’ defense which carried them to Super Bowl XXX, where they lost to the Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith, Michael Irvin, and Deion Sanders-led Cowboys’ team 27-17.

NFL Hall-of-Famer Rayfield Wright represented FVSU and the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl a total of 5 times, winning twice. Wright was a seventh-round pick of the Cowboys in 1967 (as a tight end). The “Big Cat” went on to a thirteen-year career as one of the best right tackles to play the game. He and the Cowboys won Super Bowls VI (1972, 24 – 3 over Miami) and XII (1978, 27 – 10 over Denver), dominating both games with their outstanding line play. Wright was also named to 1990’s “all-time Super Bowl team.”

As you sit down to this year’s game, remember these key points:

First, teams which score the game’s first touchdown are 30 – 11 to win. And even though there are no former Wildcats on the field, know that FVSU has rich connections to this All-American spectacle. Besides, there’s always next year for Tennessee, Jacksonville, Houston, or whomever is lucky enough to have a Wildcat in their ranks.

--Written by Dr. B. Keith Murphy

Space to learn and grow

Big things are poppin' in the Valley, to borrow a phrase from rapper T.I. One of those big things is a new science and technology education building, on which groundbreaking is set for this month.

The learning facility will house the latest in education technology - SMART classrooms which will be internet-ready with wireless ports and interactive whiteboards. FVSU's largest undergraduate science programs - biology, chemistry, zoology and physics - will relocate to the new building upon its completion before August 2009.

In addition to the science building, several expansion and renovation projects are in progress on FVSU's campus:

The 24-year-old Stallworth Building, which houses the College of Agriculture's research labs, is adding a biotechnology wing. A covered canopy will connect it to the existing facility.

Huntington Hall, circa 1908, Ohio Hall, erected in 1930, and Bishop Hall, 1932, are all receiving restoration work. The Wildcat stadium is receiving an overhaul, as well.

A new Family Development Center is coming to the wide-open spaces near the Health and Physical Education Complex, as will a new parking lot. The parking lot will be completed by the end of the year, and will help accomodate the Wildcats to come.

"If you build it, they will come," is the famous quote from Field of Dreams. In the case of Fort Valley State University, the students are coming as fast as the buildings go up.