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Albany State named best HBCU in Georgia

October 2, 2015 > Posted in Community, News, News & Events

TopHBCUVia Terry Lewis, Albany Herald

ALBANY — U.S. News & World Report has released this year’s list of top ranked colleges and universities, including ranking Albany State University as the No. 1 public Historically Black College and University in Georgia for the second year.

It also lists ASU among the nation’s top HBCUs. ASU made the cut at No. 13 among all public HBCUs in the nation.

“We provide an excellent education at Albany State University, an education that prepares our students to compete on a global level,” said Interim President Art Dunning. “ We are delighted that the work of our faculty, staff and students is being recognized on a national level; we are working diligently to provide even more opportunities for student success.”

According to the rankings, ASU pulled ahead of Georgia’s public HBCUs — Fort Valley State University and Savannah State University. The rankings are based on graduation and retention rates, peer assessments, student-to- faculty ratio, admission test scores and the strength of the faculty; alumni giving was also considered.

Paul Bryant, associate provost for Enrollment Management, credits ASU’s small class sizes, among other advantages, for the ranking placement.

ASU also ranks among the five best Georgia colleges offering nurse practitioner programs, according to The ASU nursing department is listed as a top choice for the website’s 2015 ranking of America’s Best Nursing Schools and Colleges.

“The Albany State experience is not only remarkably educational, but, also professionally fulfilling and enjoyable,” Bryant said. “We encourage all students to take full advantage of what Albany State has to offer.”

Albany mayor’s forum highlights new leaders

August 19, 2015 > Posted in Community, Events, News & Events

FLYER_LeadershipForumALBANY, GA – August 17, 2015 – Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard will host a public forum on August 27 to provide a community introduction to the city’s new leadership including City Manager Sharon Subadan, Albany Police Chief Michael Persley and Albany Fire Chief Ron Rowe.

The forum, sponsored by the Mayor’s Coalition for Economic Development, will allow the citizens of Albany-Dougherty County to learn about the background of each new leader, and also hear about their future plans for the community.

Subadan, who began work as Albany City Manger on June 2, came to Albany from Hillsborough County, Fla., where she served as assistant county administrator. She also holds a Lean 6-Sigma certification, which renders her highly specialized in problem solving and process efficiency.

Persley and Rowe, both Albany natives, have valuable hometown experience, which will aid them in their new positions.

Persley has been with APD since 1993, having served in several capacities, notably as commander of the Albany Police Department Gang Unit and as assistant commander of the Albany-Dougherty Metro SWAT Team. Similarly, Rowe has a long history of service to Albany-Dougherty County, having begun his career with the Albany Fire Department nearly 30 years ago. Prior to being named chief in May 2015, Rowe served the fire department as deputy chief.

The new leadership forum will expand on each leader’s past experience and highlight the ways in which those experiences will be used to the benefit of Albany-Dougherty County.

The August 27 forum is free to the public and will be held 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in room 100 of the Government Center, located at 222 Pine Ave. in downtown Albany. Following the presentation, refreshments will be served in room 120, providing attendants with an opportunity to speak one on one with the presenters.

For more information, please call (229) 434-0044 or visit Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission at

Mayor’s coalition to host SPLOST forum

April 29, 2015 > Posted in Community, Events, News & Events


Albany’s Georgia Throwdown rocks Southwest Georgia

October 16, 2012 > Posted in Community, News, News & Events






Albany's three-day Georgia Throwdown music festival draws thousands to the city. (Credit: The Albany Herald)

The Albany Herald, October 14, 2012

By Carlton Fletcher

If Sam Shugart wanted, he could probably get elected mayor of Albany right now. Without a doubt, he’d win the votes of Throwdown Nation in a landslide.

But current Mayor Dorothy Hubbard doesn’t have a lot to worry about. All Shugart’s thinking about this morning is putting a dent in the sleep deprivation that he and his core team have labored under in the days and weeks leading up to the three-day Georgia Throwdown, which ended Sunday.

“We’ve got to tear this thing down tomorrow, so I won’t sleep much tonight,” Shugart said Sunday before Colt Ford’s set on the festival’s Flintco Throwdown Stage. “But sometime about Tuesday or Wednesday, I’m going to disappear for a while.”

Shugart’s exile will be short-lived, though. He’s already got his marching orders for Throwdown II, which he said is a 100 percent sure thing.

“The guys at (Mobile, Ala.-based) Huka (Entertainment) told me to take about three days off,” Shugart said of the management team that ran the three-day festival with uncanny precision. “They said it would be time to get to work on next year’s Throwdown right away.

Dallas Davidson, one of country music’s hottest songwriters and one of the forces behind the Georgia Throwdown, takes to the stage Sunday on the final day of the three-day event.

“They told me the plan is to have the festival booked and the schedule planned, with sponsors in place, by Dec. 31.”

And while the thousands of music fans who made their way to the Exchange Club Fairgrounds were more than satisfied with the lineup of this year’s festival — which featured Sarah Davidson, Dallas Davidson and Rhett Akins, Corey Smith, Ford and headliner Uncle Kracker on Sunday — Shugart said fans can expect to have their socks blown off as the festival takes off in year two.

“This is only the beginning,” he said. “We’ve had a success this weekend in a big way, but the sky’s the limit from here.”

Sarah Davidson’s set featured songs she co-wrote with Dallas Davidson, her Albany-raised songwriting husband who has penned 13 No. 1 country hits and counting, and another local boy who’s done pretty well for himself lately, seven-time American Country Awards nominee Luke Bryan.

Dallas Davidson and Akins, two-thirds of the Peach Pickers, celebrated the songs they’d written that had become smashes for other artists, performing hits like Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” Montgomery Gentry’s “Where I Come From” and Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee.” They even gave a brief introduction to the title track of Bryan’s next album, “Dirt Road Diaries.”

“Did y’all folks here in Dirty County who knew Dallas growing up ever think he’d end up writing all these great country songs?” Akins asked, and there were a few good-natured “hell nos” from the crowd.

Corey Smith performs Saturday on the final day of the three-day Throwdown at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds. (Oct. 14, 2012)

Smith, whose “Twenty-one” may be one of the most beloved songs in the state of Georgia, Ford and Uncle Kracker brought the festival to a fitting finish before a crowd that rivaled Saturday night’s in number and enthusiasm. Many who’d been there the night before to see the closing “Sweet Home Alabama” and the mesmerizing encore “Free Bird” by headliners Lynyrd Skynyrd were still talking about the performance of the legendary rockers Sunday.

“I played with Skynyrd at their Turner Field show after a Braves game a few weeks ago, and it was nothing like (Saturday),” rising country singer Cole Taylor said. “There were more than 50,000 people in the stadium (in Atlanta), but there was nowhere the energy that we had here in Albany. I think (Skynyrd) fed off the energy of the crowd and gave an unbelievable show.”

Eric and Michelle Calhoun of Albany, who were on hand for all three days of the Throwdown, said their only complaint — if you want to call it that — was that fans who spent most of their time at the main Flintco Stage missed some excellent performances by regional and area acts on the Phoebe Community Visions, Fox 31 and J&B Irrigation Saloon stages.

“(Veteran Albany rockers) Messendger were one of the highlights of the weekend for me,” Eric Calhoun said. “It was like they hadn’t missed a beat from 30 years ago.”

Like Shugart, the thousands who attended the festival headed happily home Sunday to replenish the fluids they’d lost in the perfect late-summer afternoon heat, rest their weary legs for a couple of days and then start getting ready for Throwdown II. It’s only 362 days away … and counting.