VALDOSTA, GEORGIA (WTXL) – A pair of boxing gloves signed by Muhammad Ali led Dr. Roy and Cheryl Copeland to collect the history of African Americans. That was in 1989. The gloves were an unexpected Christmas present for Cheryl to her husband Roy.
«At the time, it was just an amazing gift, ”said Dr. Roy Copeland. “It’s a really great feeling to have something that is valued by someone like Muhammad Ali.”
More than 30 years later their collection has grown to more than 100 pieces. In 2016, Copeland’s donated its entire collection to Valdosta State University.
“It’s an experience that we thought shouldn’t cost anyone a penny,” Dr. Copeland said. “It belongs to the community in the sense that Roy and Cheryl Copeland, we no longer own it. This is not our museum. This is a museum that literally belongs to the people. “
The museum currently houses about a quarter of Copeland’s entire collection, but by this fall it will be completely restored, having tripled.
“Our goal is to become the main destination in South Georgia,” said Dr. Amy Watson, an associate professor of marketing at VSU. “We have important information and important artifacts to share. The new renovation will include more children’s spaces. It will make it much easier for children to interact with these important stories and artifacts. ”
Construction of the new square should be completed by the beginning of the fall semester. The museum also offers a virtual tour.
There is no tolerance. Hours Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Friday, the Copeland Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.