SSU History

A Brief History of Savannah State University

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. 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 From the Past to the Present

Richard R. Wright, 1891-1921
Cyrus G. Wiley, 1921-1926
Benjamin F. Hubert, 1926-1947
James A. Colston, 1947-1949
William K. Payne, 1949-1963
Timothy Meyers, 1963
Howard Jordan Jr. , 1963-1971
Prince A. Jackson Jr., 1971-1978
Clyde W. Hall, 1978-1980
Wendell G. Rayburn, 1980-1988
Wiley S. Bolden,1988-1989
William E. Gardner Jr., 1989-1991
Annette K. Brock, 1991-1993
John T. Wolfe Jr., 1993-1997
Carlton E. Brown, 1997- 2006
Julius S. Scott, Jr., 2007
Earl G. Yarbrough, Sr., 2007-2011
Cheryl D. Dozier, 2011-Present