Fort Valley State University to host its 2015 Fall Commencement Ceremony


Fort Valley State University
Office of Marketing and Communications
(478) 825-6319


Fort Valley State University’s Fall 2015 commencement speaker is  president of one of the fastest growing colleges in Georgia and an  educational icon who promotes continuous learning as a way to transform  lives. Dr. Gary Allen McGaha Sr., president of Atlanta Metropolitan  State College, will provide graduating Wildcats with his words of wisdom  during the event scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 in the  Health and Physical Education Complex.

McGaha, a Mississippi native, earned a bachelor’s degree in social  science from Mississippi Valley State University, a master’s degree in  political science from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate in  political science from the University of Mississippi. He was the first  African American to receive a doctorate in political science from the  University of Mississippi.
From 1976-1983, McGaha worked as a senior-level administrator at  Kentucky State University. During this period, he served as an  administrative assistant to the president, as chair of the department of  political science and history and as the associate vice president for  academic affairs. In 1983,  he accepted an invitation from Louis W.  Sullivan, M.D., the founding president of the Morehouse School of  Medicine. McGaha worked in this capacity for 10 years.

Because of his interest and commitment to helping underrepresented  and under served populations, McGaha left the medical school in 1993 to  come to Atlanta Metropolitan College (AMC). There, he served as chair of  the division of social sciences. He served in this capacity for almost  eight years. The division grew under his leadership: new courses and  degree programs were added. The graduation rate significantly increased  and more than a half-million dollars in grants were received. In 2002,  McGaha left the campus to become the dean of Academic Services for the  Dunwoody Campus and the Alpharetta Site of Georgia Perimeter College in  2002. He returned to AMC in 2006 to become the vice president for  Academic Affairs and was named interim president in November 2006. He  began serving in this capacity in January 2007, when he was appointed as  the permanent president on Nov. 13, 2007.

Under his leadership, the enrollment has increased by 86 percent. The  college was granted baccalaureate degree status by the University  System of Georgia Board of Regents on May 10, 2011, and the name of the  institution was changed to Atlanta Metropolitan State College in 2012.
McGaha is active in his church and in his community. He is a member,  deacon and Sunday school teacher at Greenforest Community Baptist  Church. He is a member of the board of directors for the Metropolitan  Regional Educational Service Agency (Metro RESA) and vice chairman of  the Board of Directors for the Southern Association of Colleges with  Associate Degrees.

He is married to Juliette Wilkinson McGaha and has two daughters and two sons.

For details, contact Marketing and Communications at (478) 825-6319.


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