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First Federal graces union

The pedestrian plaza leading to the Student Union has been named “First Federal Savings of Valdosta Plaza.”
Wednesday afternoon, this name and a plaque were affixed the left wall on the Union’s Oak Street side. The naming of the plaza was a move by the university in response to a gift pledge given by First Federal Savings.
“Typically on college campuses, donors are recognized for substantial gifts by gift-naming,” John Crawford, Vice President for Advancement, said.
Other areas on campus have been named in a similar fashion, including the new building being built beside the College of Education, named in honor of Jerry and Kay Jennett in November.
Though Crawford said that First Federal Savings donated a substantial amount, he says that the university does not disclose exact gift amounts without the consent of the donor. Crawford said that the donation was six figures.
“All the money will go to support student initiatives on campus,” he said of First Federal’s donation.
According to Crawford, several areas of the university will receive funding from this gift, including the College of Business.
As of Wednesday night, not much of the student body had noticed the Union’s new addition, but reactions so far have been mostly positive. For example, Johnna Bagley, freshman psychology major, said that she thinks that the bank’s support of the school is great.
Nikita Stephens, a graduate student in reading education, said that she thinks that it is good that the school has named the plaza for an organization that has supported the school.
Opinions on the matter do differ, however.
“I understand that during these [bad] economic times we have to make means, but we cannot sell our soul to a bank,” Lewis Cureton, freshman biology major, said. “There should not be huge private entities funding our school, because they’ll have a large impact on what we learn. Like how big companies have the rights that people have. That’s absolutely ridiculous. They should not be able to influence our politics the way that they do. It’s a huge circle. We’re becoming one large corporation, bought and sold on the free market.”
Crawford speaks for the university as a whole with his thoughts on First Federal’s gift.
“We’re very grateful,” he said. “In times like these, private gifts from friends and alumni help close the margin of excellence for Valdosta State University, and we’re very, very excited about this gift and we’re proud to celebrate First Federal’s commitment to Valdosta State University. “

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