On January 28th, the 9th-12th grade VECA gentlemen went to the grand opening of the Copeland African American Museum on VSU’s Rea and Lillian Steele North Campus. The festivities started with Valdosta native and NFL linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons delivering the keynote speech. Harvey-Clemons discussed the importance of education, family and perseverance through adversity. After his speech, he gifted each of the VECA gentlemen with autographs.
The Copeland African American Museum was made possible by Roy and Cheryl Copeland’s donation of their collection of African-American memorabilia in 2016. The couple started their collection in 1989 when Cheryl gifted Roy a signed pair of Muhammad Ali glove for Christmas. Since, they began collecting other African-American memorabilia through a variety of means.
Located on the 2nd floor of Thaxton Hall, the current Copeland African American Museum exhibit houses about a third of the total collection, including those Muhammad Ali boxing gloves. The displays are scheduled to change twice a year, encouraging guests to return to the museum again and again for a fresh learning experience.