by Edythe Bradley
Albany State University will honor Dr. Joseph Winthrop Holley, founder of the 109-year-old institution, during the North Greenville University football game this weekend. The Fourth Annual J.W. Holley Memorial Game will kick off Saturday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Albany State University Coliseum.
Albany State named its first home game each season as a tribute to the founder and first president of the historically black school in Albany, Ga., said ASU Athletics Director Dr. Richard H. Williams. “It was Dr. Holley’s dream to build an institution of higher learning where African-American students could receive quality training in education,” Williams said. “Because of his dream, Albany State can continue its legacy of helping students realize their full potential.”
Holley, who was born in South Carolina, received his education in Massachusetts and returned to the South after reading the writings of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois on blacks in Georgia. Shocked by DuBois’ description of the poor living conditions experienced by blacks in the South, Holley decided to move to Albany and start a school. He founded the school as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute in 1903. Holley retired in 1943 after serving as president for 40 years.
“This event is just a small gesture to pay tribute to a great man who paved the way for so many in Southwest Georgia, the state and this nation,” Williams said. Tickets for the game are $20 for adults and $7 for kindergarten through 12th grade students, and are on sale now at the ASU Business Office Cashier’s Window in the ACAD Building, and at Odyssey Records, Connie’s Corner, Petro Store on Radium Springs Road and June Bug’s Grocery.