Retired Neurosurgeon and Author Dr. Ben Carson to Speak at VSU

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Dr. Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and author of six bestselling books, will speak on Sept. 11 in Whitehead Auditorium at Valdosta State University (VSU).  His remarks will be based on his book titled "America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made this Nation Great." Hosted by the VSU Langdale College of Business and Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society, the event is sponsored by Farmers and Merchants Bank, 100 Black Men of Valdosta, Southeastern Federal Credit Union and South Georgia Medical Center.  Proceeds of the event will benefit Valdosta Early College Academy (VECA). 

"We've gotten a tremendous response to Dr. Carson's scheduled appearance," said L. Wayne Plumly, Jr., PhD, Dean and Professor of Economics at VSU Langdale College of Business.  "I think many people have seen him commenting on TV or read his books.  But there are also humanitarian aspects to Dr. Carson.  Through the Carson Foundation, he supports college scholarships and school libraries.  He's had tremendous social impact." 

While the 720 seats in Whitehead Auditorium are sold out, the event will be streamed live via high-definition broadcast in Jennett Hall.  Approximately 480 seats remain for the live broadcast and may be purchased at for $10 general public or $5 for students. 

More about Dr. Ben Carson

Carson, who served as director of pediatric neurosurgery for 39 years at Johns Hopkins Children Center, is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head.  In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. He is also the recipient of the 2006 Spingarn Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the NAACP.  After delivering a widely publicized speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, he became a popular media commentator on social issues.  

Carson is the first major speaker hosted by the Langdale College of Business.  How did the school land a well-known national figure on its first try? 

"You have to think big if you're going to be big," Plumly said.  "We worked with Dr. Roy Copeland of 100 Black Men of Valdosta to write a letter to Dr. Carson to persuade him to come to VSU.  It's been a joint project with our sponsors." 

Benefitting VECA

With the support of sponsors, proceeds from the event will support VECA, a program that targets low-income, first-generation high school/college students who are struggling learners with potential.  A 6-12 grade school with 250 students in the 2014-2015 school year, VECA provides rigorous curriculum with high academic and behavioral expectations, offering small classes in a collaborative and discovery learning environment. 

"VECA is an amazing success story.  After covering the expenses of the event with Dr. Carson, we hope to be able to give $10,000 to the program," Plumly said. 

Carson is expected to speak for approximately 45 minutes and answer questions from the audience for another 15 minutes.  In addition, there will be a sponsors' dinner and social hour prior to the presentation.

Information on Dr. Ben Carson is available at  More information on "An Evening with Dr. Ben Carson" is available at  Information on VECA is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.