Published By: Russell Boone December 4, 2023

Leslie Mansion, a native of Lincolnton, Georgia, will graduate from Fort Valley State University (FVSU) on December 9, with a degree in family and consumer sciences.

A strong will to succeed and a legacy started by two uncles persuaded Leslie Mansion to earn her bachelor’s degree.

“I’m glad I never gave up. My family is extremely proud of me and can’t wait to see me cross the stage as the first to graduate with a four-year degree.” 

Mansion will graduate from Fort Valley State University during the fall commencement ceremony on December 9. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Fort Valley State University’s (FVSU) Health and Physical Education Complex on campus. The Lincolnton, Georgia, native will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in family and consumer sciences with a concentration in food and nutrition education. 

Determined not to let a physical condition and naysayers dissuade her from obtaining a college degree, the 24-year-old persevered through challenges diagnosed during her childhood. 

“As a young child, I was diagnosed with moderate hearing loss, but hated to wear hearing aids. I don’t currently wear them, and I’ve had doubters say to me I wasn’t going to make it without them. So here I am, getting my B.S. degree with more to come!” 

Mansion gives credit to her uncles Dave Ferguson (2000, criminal justice) and Arnell Ferguson (2010, psychology). Both uncles graduated from FVSU and encouraged her to attend the 1890 Land grant University. 

In addition to family persuasion, she fell in love with the campus on her first visit. “I knew it would be my other home,” she said. 

The Lincoln County native said she selected food and nutrition as her major because of her grandmother. “She loves to cook and owns a restaurant. I spent a lot of time with her at the business and learned how to cook.” Mansion also wants to improve people’s health with nutritious foods. 

As a student, Mansion prioritized her studies while participating in extracurricular activities. She served as an FVSU Golden Student Ambassador and participated in the FVSU Family and Consumer Sciences Club. She also pledged the Delta Beta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, Incorporated in 2020. 

When it comes to promoting FVSU, Mansion encourages students to attend. “I would tell them to go for it. At Fort Valley State, you can learn a host of skills that will benefit you forever.” 

After graduation, Mansion plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2024 in a program emphasizing food and nutrition. 

Additionally, she would like to become a nutritionist for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “I would like to have the opportunity to work with a federal agency because it will help me expand my knowledge in the field of food and nutrition.” 

For more information about the FVSU family and consumer sciences degree with emphasis in food and nutrition education program, visit