Skip to main content

History of South Georgia State Normal College and Georgia State Womans College

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Collection number: UA-22-31

Scope and Contents

The Histories of SGSNC and GSWC includes general memorabilia about/from the colleges.  The topics and subject matters are varied.  This collection provides a wide range of artifacts, including, but not limited to:  correspondence, mimeographs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, programs, a deed, brochures, and personal keepsakes.  Most of the artifacts were in good to descent condition, few were in fair condition.  A large amount of the content in this collection is in the original format.  Please note that the original copies of the Training School News may be found in map case in the VSU archives vault. Also included in this colllection are the publicity scrapbooks of SGSNC and GSWC from the 1920's through 1959.  Their contents are indexed in the V-statte scrapbooks index found on the finding aids page of the VSU Archives and Special Collections web site.       A rather extensive amount of 1941-43 War World II book and scrap drives, as is information about the War bond scholarship campaign; included is 54 original copies of letters and pamphlets.  This collection also holds several mimeographs and copies of bills form the Georgia General Assembly.  A letter from Betsy Powell (daughter of Dr. Powell, VSU’s first president) is included, to Dr. Bailey explaining the reasoning behind the university’s Spanish Mission theme.  A few folders hold information about the SGSNC’s training school, including a program for the January 1920 Historical Pageant, one original and many copies of the Training School News.  Another publication related to the school is an original of School and Home, which includes two editorials about SGSNC.  Also, several clippings from the Valdosta Daily Times are included, but many are not dated and the file is not in any particular order.  A short outline of plans for SGSNC written by Dr. Powell is included in the collection (please refer to the Richard H. Powell Collection collection on Archon.).  Something noteworthy included in this collection is original copies to the 1906 charter for SGSNC along with several amendments and duplicates.  Copies and mimeographs of the land deed for SGSNC are also available.  The “Special Anniversary Number” of The Campus Canopy is also included, dated January 13, 1938; this newspaper marks the college’s 25th anniversary (to the date) of opening.  A program from the 25th anniversary banquet is in a separate folder.  A Southernaire Magazine (Southern Airways, Inc.) is included and has a picture of the college’s students on the front cover.  One odd artifact is a brochure for the Manhattan Theater Company’s summer theater colony in Maine; it is not sure why this brochure made it to GSWC, or perhaps whom it was intended for.  A large collection of playbills, programs, flyers, and pamphlets from 1921-46 is included, a large amount relates to the SGSNC and GSWC Student Artist Series, which included plays, magicians, singers, and lecturers.  A folder includes uniform requirements, with interesting etiquette tips.  The last folder is personal keepsakes donated by Lenora Strickland (Hudson), the dates range from 1932-47 (mostly 1937-38). For further information on Mrs. Hudson's time at GSWC, please see the Leona Strickland Hudson collection.


  • 1906 - 1950
  • Acquired: 2004-04-01

Biographical or Historical Information

What today is Valdosta State University began in 1906 with legislation to establish a college in south-central Georgia.  The college opened its doors, as South Georgia State Normal College (SGSNC), in 1913 with a 2-year teacher-training program for women.  The college also housed a popular training school to prepare the teachers-in-training.  Dr. Richard Holmes Powell, the school’s first president, had a very extensive background in education and is credited with choosing the school’s Spanish mission architecture and design.  During SGSNC’s era many traditions were developed, such as May Day festivals, Old English Christmas festivals, and theater performances were popular.  When the United States entered World War One, a great number of students and faculty enthusiastically donated their free time to the Red Cross.     In 1922, SGSNC became a four-year college and was renamed Georgia State Womans College (GSWC).  With the coming of the Great Depression the training school closed and Dr. Powell was sent to work in Athens.  Dr. Jere M. Pound  replaced Dr. Powell in 1933.  Dr. Frank Reade replaced Dr. Pound, who, because of illness, only served at SGSNC for one year.  Because of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, GSWC was able to add four new buildings to its campus.  This expansion included a library that Eleanor Roosevelt, a close friend of Dr. Reade, dedicated in 1941.  When the Second World War began, GSWC students rallied to support the war effort. They participated in a wide range of activities such as USO dances and a War Bond scholarship campaign.  After WWII,  Dr. Reade retired and was replaced by Dr. Ralph Thaxton.  Dr. Thaxton was the last president of GSWC, as the women’s college was transformed in 1950 into the co-ed VSC.*       *Information from this section may be found in Dr. Deborah S. Davis’ book Valdosta State University.

Note written by Erin Abbott


28 Boxes

23 items

2 Map Case Drawers



Source of Acquisition

Accessions record for Bill Gabard on behalf of Leona Strickland Hudson

Method of Acquisition

accessions record

Appraisal Information

programs and memorebelia from Leona Strickland Hudson, 1937-1938, in Box 2, Folder 7.

Accruals and Additions

6/22/01 Signed deed of gift by Linda  and Irvin Green of Training School News, January 1920,  and "Historical pageant of Valdosta" by the training school, 5-25-26. 1-16-2007 email trail from Mary Gooding offering the diploma of Louise Milam, class of 26.

Related Materials

Archon Finding Aid Title
Erin Abbott
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021-04-29: Revised for DACS compliance by Doug Carlson

Repository Details

Part of the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Valdosta State University Archives, Odum Library
1500 N. Patterson St.
Valdosta GA 30601 United States
229-259-5055 (Fax)