After nearly eight years as President of Fort Valley State University, Larry Rivers will step down at the end of the month.
Rivers went to FVSU as an undergraduate and said it was a dream to become the university's president.
"I said my sophomore year to anyone that would listen that one day if it was the Lord's will I would return to my alma mater as the President of the Fort Valley State University and the Lord allowed that to happen," said Rivers.
Rivers became president in 2006. He said one of his biggest accomplishments included balancing the university's budget.
"When I came in I found out that we had some issues like other universities have," said Rivers. "But the big issues is that we had a 5.5 million dollar deficit so I had to get on top of that. And with a group of prominent citizens and the Fort Valley State family we were able to eliminate the deficit."
Finances was one reason that Fort Valley State faced losing its accreditation in 2011, but under Rivers' leadership the school kept its status.
Another issue he faced was a faculty no confidence vote which was later rescinded.
"I am a researcher and teacher at heart and I looked at our faculty and I simply wanted to encourage them to do more research because when you do your research you can take it to the classroom and you can be more exciting with what you deliver," said Rivers.
Rivers said the campus has changed a lot physically from newer buildings to renovating State University Drive.
"I thought that there were many citizens living in Fort Valley for 30, 40 years who had never crossed the tracks to come and see Fort valley state university," said Rivers.
Rivers said his future plans are to go back to the classroom, he will teach history at Valdosta State University.