Kennedy Fine Arts Building

SSU History

Savannah State University, founded in 1890, is the oldest public historically black college in Georgia. Originally named Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth, SSU was located in Athens, Georgia for several months in 1891. On October 7, 1891, SSU moved to its permanent location in Savannah. Major Richard R. Wright Sr. served as the institution's first president from 1891-1921.

Under the administration of the school's third President, Benjamin F. Hubert, the college became a full-time degree granting institution in 1928. Four years later, Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youths was renamed Georgia State College.

During the tenure of the college's fifth president, Dr. William K. Payne, the school became Savannah State College. In 1996, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia granted the school university status and the institution was renamed Savannah State University.

Presidents of Savannah State University
Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier 2011 - Present
Dr. Earl G. Yarbrough Sr. 2007 - 2011
Dr. Carlton E. Brown 1997- 2006
Dr. John T. Wolfe Jr. 1993-1997
Dr. William E. Gardner Jr. 1989-1991
Dr. Wendell G. Rayburn 1980-1988
Dr. Prince A. Jackson Jr. 1971-1978
Dr. Howard Jordan Jr. 1963-1971
Dr. William K. Payne 1949-1963
James A. Colston 1947-1949
Benjamin F. Hubert 1926-1947
Cyrus G. Wiley 1921-1926
Richard R. Wright 1891-1921

Acting Presidents of Savannah State University
Dr. Julius Scott 2007
Dr. Annette K. Brock 1991-1993
Dr. Wiley S. Bolden 1988-1989
Dr. Clyde W. Hall 1978-1980
Timothy Meyers 1949