Established in mid-state Georgia in 1895, Fort Valley State was founded by leading white and Black citizens. Several years later, Anna Jeanes donated money for the erection of Jeanes Hall. Christian roots for the church were established in 1919, when the institution became affiliated with the American Church Institute of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The college enjoyed a tremendous growth spurt in the 1920s as the Carnegie Foundation and private citizens provided funds for the erection of the Carnegie Library, Peabody Trades Building, Academic Building, and Ohio Hall. Despite the Depression, Patton Home Economics Building erected in 1937 along with a few more buildings in the 1940s, such as Davison Hall. In 1949 it was designated a land-grant for Negroes by the Georgia Legislature.
Fort Valley State College established a sports name for itself in 1951 when Catherine Hardy, an outstanding track star, established a new world record for the women’s 50 yard dash and participated in the 1952 Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland. A football stadium was constructed in 1957.
Hunt Memorial Library dedicated in 1952 and in 1953, the Home Management House for Home Economics, General Purpose Barn, Farm Equipment Shed, and Deep Well for the Division of Agriculture were made available just before the Tabor Agriculture Building opened in 1954. The College received full membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and was among the first Negro colleges to be admitted.
In 1971, the College became accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In 1978 the college became accredited by the Engineering Council for Professional Development/Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ECPD/ABET). In 1979 the College became accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Medicine. In 1986, Fort Valley State College received approval to offer the Bachelor of Science Degree in Veterinary Science. In 1987 Fort Valley State College received approval to offer Computer Science courses at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia.
In 1995, the Computer Technology Mathematics Building was opened for occupancy on August 18. Furthermore, the school changed from a Level III to a Level IV School by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In 1996, Fort Valley State College became Fort Valley State University, a state and land-grant university.
Since 1959, Fort Valley State has enjoyed a notable succession of presidents who expanded curricula and enhanced the status of the institution. Dr. W. W. E. Blanchet, Dr. C. W. Pettigrew appointed fourth President. In 1983 Dr. Luther Burse was appointed fifth President. In 1990, Dr. Oscar L. Prater was appointed sixth President. Under their leadership a number of buildings were dedicated: