Larry E. Rivers
Dr. Larry E. Rivers returned to his alma mater as the eighth president of Fort Valley State University in the Middle Georgia community of Fort Valley in 2006. The former Florida A & M University administrator and history professor tackled several challenges: A budget deficit, a decreasing student enrollment, an insufficient endowment and low staff morale.  
The task of turning the university around involved no small feat; however, after 54 months, under his leadership, FVSU’s infrastructure was transformed. There are not deficits. Enrollment and morale is high and Wildcat pride flourishes. The dynamic turnaround prompted the state’s premier business publication, Georgia Trend, to recognize the major accomplishments made quickly during the new president’s tenure in office. In January 2008, the magazine listed Dr. Rivers among the “100 Most Influential Georgians.” FVSU was also named among the “Best Places to Work in Georgia” in the same publication later that year.
Fast forward to 2011.  Fort Valley State’s growth is steady as Dr. Rivers executes a plan to make his school a competitive force in higher education. Today, FVSU’s development can be characterized as explosive. The most significant changes are apparent in the areas of enrollment and the number of completed construction projects.  Enrollment is the highest ever in the school’s 115 year history. The completion of multi-million dollar construction projects and new student housing on the 1,365-acre campus make FVSU a college destination for high school graduates, transfer and non-traditional students. This year, FVSU is #25 on the list of the nation’s leading historically black universities. The designation appears in the 2011 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” published by U.S. News & World Report. In the 25th anniversary issue of Georgia Trend magazine (2010), Dr. Rivers was listed as one of Georgia’s 25 outstanding leaders.   
Born in the Philadelphia suburb of Sharon Hill, he graduated from The 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 the academician a doctor of arts degree in history and curriculum development in 1977, and the University of London added a doctor of philosophy in history degree in 2002.
For more than twenty years, Dr. Rivers taught history at Florida A & M University, ultimately receiving the rank of “distinguished university professor,” one of only two on campus. Meanwhile, he held a series of administrative appointments leading to his selection in 2002 as dean of the FAMU College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Rivers' Slavery In Florida, Territorial Days to Emancipation, published in 2000, garnered six awards.  He co-authored two 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.  President Rivers has co-edited another three volumes - The Varieties of Women’s Experiences: Southern Women in the Post-Civil War Century, John Willis Menard: Lays In Summer Lands and The African American Experience.

The father of two sons, Larry Omar and Linje Eugene, he is married to the former Betty Jean Hubbard.