Monday, January 14, 2008

RW News: Fort Valley State University President will keynote Florida A&M University’s Martin Luther King Convocation

President Larry E. Rivers, Ph.D., D.A., of Fort Valley State University will keynote Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Martin Luther King Convocation at 9:25 a.m. Thursday, January 17, in Gaither Gym.

The general public is invited to attend.

The program will also feature elementary-school students from FAMU DRS, the FAMU concert choir and a special rendition of King’s “I Have a Dream” that will be performed with the FAMU Band. FAMU President James H. Ammons will also present MLK leadership awards to Andrew Gillum, Phillip Agnew, and the Student Coalition for Justice.

Born in the Philadelphia suburb of Sharon Hill, Rivers graduated from Fort Valley State College (now University) with a bachelor of science degree in social science education before pursuing a master’s degree in history at Villanova University. Carnegie-Mellon University awarded him a doctor of arts degree in history and curriculum development in 1977, with Goldsmith’s College of the University of London adding a doctor of philosophy in history degree in 2002.

For 24 years, Rivers taught history at FAMU, ultimately receiving the rank of “distinguished university professor,” only one of two on FAMU’s campus. Meanwhile, he held a series of administrative appointments leading up to his selection in 2002 as dean of the FAMU College of Arts and Sciences.

Rivers’ Slavery in Florida, Territorial Days to Emancipation, published in 2000, garnered three national awards. He subsequently has co-authored two additional volumes—Laborers in the Vineyard of the Lord: The Beginnings of the AME Church in Florida and For a Great and Grand Purpose: The Beginnings of the AMEZ Church in Florida—that have received scholarly acclaim. His teaching, research, publications, and community service have earned him numerous additional citations for excellence. Ebony magazine has featured Rivers as one of America’s future Black leaders.

He holds life memberships in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Fort Valley State University Alumni Association, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Additionally, he belongs to Sigma Pi Phi (The Grand Boule) Fraternity, the Urban League, and Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.

He is a Baptist. Rivers is married to the former Betty Hubbard, and they have two children: Larry O. Rivers, a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University and past FAMU SGA president; and Linje Eugene Rivers, a 2006 graduate of Morehouse College and student at the University of Florida’s College of Law.

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