VALDOSTA – VSU announces Taylor Marie Gray as the Fall 2022 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of the Arts.
Taylor Marie Gray of Valdosta, Georgia, is the recipient of the Fall 2022 President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the College of the Arts at Valdosta State University.
The President’s Award for Academic Excellence is presented to a high-performing graduating student in each of VSU’s six colleges – Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of the Arts, James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Mathematics.
Gray will be recognized during VSU’s 234th Commencement at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, on the Front Lawn. She will graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education.
“Over the last four years, Valdosta State University has served as a place of great comfort for me,” she said. “The outstanding professors and staff I have encountered, the relationships I have built with them and with classmates, and the many opportunities VSU has offered me will be at the forefront of my memory for years to come.
“I extend my gratitude to the faculty at VSU for pushing me to succeed at the highest standard. The professors and advising staff at the College of the Arts make it their mission to support their students and ensure their success. Their constant encouragement allows me to be a better artist, and their dedication sets an example as I enter my field in education. Receiving this award, I know that I will excel as an art educator and inspire my future students.”
Gray’s artwork was featured in several exhibitions at VSU’s Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery, including the annual Juried Student Art Competition, where she earned honorable mention recognition (2020); the annual Foundations show (2021); In Situ, the annual spring senior showcase (2022); and Teeny Tiny Print Exchange (2022). She also shared her work during a VSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion-sponsored event (2021).
Outside of VSU, Gray showcased her work at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta as part of the 2022 Spring Into Art, an annual regional tradition, as well as the 2021 and 2022 DrawProject, an annual drawing invitational that raises funds for VSU Department of Art and Design scholarships. She celebrated her first independent show, Grounds and Roots, at Plough Gallery in Tifton, Georgia.
Gray’s research titled “Mamia’s Monuments and Women’s Social Role in Pompeii” earned first place in the humanities category at VSU’s 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium’s Poster Design competition. She was a Zell Miller Scholar, and her commitment to academic and creative excellence earned her repeated Dean’s List honors, the inaugural Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery Student Scholarship, the 2022 Outstanding Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education Award, and the 2022 Outstanding Art Student Overall Award.
Gray will teach art at Lowndes High School after graduation.
“I also plan to expand my career as an artist by applying for shows regionally and nationally,” she said.
Gray was raised by her grandmother, Joanne Meyers. She is the daughter of Jonathan Gray and Tracy Reynolds.
About Valdosta State University
Established in 1906, Valdosta State University is a premier comprehensive university that offers both the extensive academic, cultural, and social opportunities of a major university and the small classes and close, personal attention of smaller institutions. VSU boasts nearly 200 academic programs leading to associate, bachelor, master, specialist, and doctoral degrees as well as options to add a certification, minor, endorsement, or certificate to that degree. VSU also offers a full menu of extracurricular activities, from national championship athletic and academic teams to honors organizations, sororities and fraternities, intramural sports, educational and service clubs, a symphony orchestra, art and theatre, research opportunities, and more. VSU is committed to promoting a culture of excellence by fostering student success in and out of the classroom, cultivating an inclusive environment, impacting regional progress across South Georgia, and sustaining the institution for generations to come.
On the Web: www.valdosta.edu