Son of a Black College President Is the First African American to Earn a Ph.D. in History at Vanderbilt University

Larry O. Rivers, son of Larry E. Rivers, the president of Fort Valley State University in Georgia, recently became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in history at Vanderbilt University. Rivers’ dissertation was on the late Rev. James Hudson, who was a professor of history and chaplain at Florida A&M University. Rev. Hudson was a leader of the 1956 Tallahassee bus boycott.

Dr. Rivers earned his undergraduate degree at Florida A&M University, where he was elected student body president for the 2003-04 academic years. He currently holds a faculty position in the department of history at Augusta State University in Georgia.