Fort Valley State University is preparing to honor their founder John Wesley Davison during a street renaming ceremony on Tuesday. We spoke with one of the university's librarians, Betty Rogers, and she told us the history of her uncle.
Some students at Fort Valley University are not sure who the founders are exactly. We asked Jahnae Askew, who is a freshman, if she knew who Davison was.
"No, I don't," Askew said.
Betty Rogers has been working at Fort Valley State University for 27 years and knows exactly who he is.
"The original founder John W. Davison, he is my great-great uncle, and he established the school in the 1800s," Rogers said.
Rogers said she always knew her family was related to Davison because of conversations she had with her family.
"When he kept mentioning Lucy Davison, Lucy Davison, around Crawford County and stuff, I said, 'John W. Davison came from Crawford County area, too,' so when he started doing that, I took it and just looked up Lucy Davison, and John W. Davison was listed as her brother," Rogers said.
Once she discovered the relationship, working in the media center turned into a resource, as Rogers eagerly learned more about her roots.
"I did the research because here in the library, we have a database -- it was unlimited, but you can also buy the ancestry -- and I got his birthday and where he was from," Rogers said.
Looking at Fort Valley today, Rogers knows her uncle would be honored by the growth.
"He could just come back now and see that he started off in one room -- he and his wife were the only teachers of 75 to 100 students -- to see how it has grown now, he would be just amazed," Rogers said.
The event for the renaming ceremony can be found by clicking this link, and the day will end with a convocation.