THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF VOORHEES COLLEGE Fall/Spring 2012
Changing Minds. Changing Lives. Voorhees holds its first-ever commissioning ceremony
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9 DAY PARTY This year, Homecoming will be kicked off right with a Day Party that will feature games, music, food, and tons and tons of fun! This event will also be a fish fry. Location: Voorhees Student Center Time: 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Price: TO BE ANNOUNCED HALL OF FAME BANQUET Celebrate the new class of alumni honorees with the Voorhees family. Location: Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center Time: 7 p.m. Price: $50 per person/$500 per table (seats 8) ALL-BLACK PARTY Come dressed to impress for this lavish event, which will feature a guest host. This event will be the OFFICIAL HOMECOMING PARTY! Location: Massachusetts Hall Time: 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Price: $15 in advance
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 HOMECOMING PARADE Location: Begins on Maple Street Time: 10 a.m. HOMECOMING BASKETBALL GAMES Location: Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center Time: 1 p.m./3 p.m. Price: $15 per adult/$8 per student GREEK STEPSHOW Location: Dawson Center Time: 7 p.m. Price: $15 per person OLD-SCHOOL PARTY Get ready to party with classmates as we travel back in time with music from the 80s to the present! There will be a $115 prize for the person who comes dressed in the best gear from back in the day! Time to Do the Butt, Tootsie Roll, Butterfly, and much more! This is the OFFICIAL STEP SHOW AFTERPARTY! Location: Massachusetts Hall Time: 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Price: $10 For more information on these events, contact Teesa Brunson, communications director, at 803-780-1194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Javon Jackson currently holds the prestigious title as a United States Student Ambassador for the Department of Energy representing the state of South Carolina.
6 Jackson named ambassador Javon Jackson was selected as a Student Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy.
8 The Historic Talbotton Five Five students who were a part of the first group of students recruited from Talbotton, Ga. graduate.
12 Judge Glenda Hatchett visits Judge Glenda Hatchett was one of the speakers during Black History Month.
14 Absalom Jones celebration The Voorhees family remembers the life and legacy and Absalom Jones.
Judge Glenda Hatchett inspires the Voorhees community during Black History Month.
18 Brown commissioned The first-ever commissioning ceremony at Voorhees is held.
32 Alumni achievements Alumni have recent achievements in various career fields.
Trevor Brown is commissioned in the Army as Second Lieutenant.
The Voorhees Voice
The Voorhees Voice Fall/Spring 2012 www.voorhees.edu
Voice of Voorhees: Message of Change Dear Alumni and Friends: I am delighted to present to you our Fall/ Spring 2012 edition of The Voorhees Voice. This is the official magazine for alumni and friends of the college.
President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., Ed.D ‘62
Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement Samuel Blackwell
Editor Teesa J. Brunson Communications Director
Editorial Committee Dr. Lugenia Rochelle, Division of General Studies Chair Tifanie Lewis, Development Associate Curtiss Sumner, WVCD General Manager
Contributors Dorothy Patterson, ‘73, Alumni Relations Director Ben Watson, 91, Admissions Director Cecil Williams Photography, LLC Amber Brown, ‘13 Felicia Chandler, ‘12 Chenee’ Green, ‘13 Kiera Hardy, ‘12 Shaquetta Summers, ‘12
Communications Office Phone: 803-780-1194 Fax: 803-780-1015 E-mail: email@example.com The Voorhees Voice is published for alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of Voorhees College. All items may be reproduced with credit to The Voorhees Voice. Comments or suggestions should be addressed to: Teesa J. Brunson Communications Director P.O. Box 678 Denmark, SC 29042 (803) 780-1194 firstname.lastname@example.org Voorhees College is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. From its founding in 1897, Voorhees has evolved into a leading four-year liberal arts college. Voorhees College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the baccalaureate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Voorhees College. Voorhees is fully committed to its mission to meet the highest standards for educating the minds, hearts and spirits of young men and women. Additional information about Voorhees College can be found on the Web site at www.voorhees.edu. 2
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As we continue on the pathway toward success, our top priority has been to respond to the five recommendations from our accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. These have been adequately responded to and we now await the official letter in June 2012. Our Quality Enhancement Plan is poised to improve student’s writing ability and ultimately our graduation rate over the next five years. We are at an exciting time in our history as we begin this semester to develop our strategic long range plan for the next five years. All of our constituencies, including alumni, will be engaged to help us crystalize the directions of the college through the year 2017. Our strategic plan will continue to focus on changing minds and changing lives and making Voorhees a premier liberal arts college in the southeast. We continue to improve our offerings with three new majors that will begin in the fall: environmental science, emergency management, and African American studies. Our efforts to impact our persistence and graduation rates will be intensified as we implement our new writing center and upgrade all of our technology resources. We continue to ask for your participation in our recruitment initiative. Please make referrals to our Admissions Office and assist us in acquiring additional scholarship dollars to support our deserving students. I am sure you know that federal and state resources are dwindling. Due to the poor global economy and harsh economic times we are living, we must ask of you to give more. We are calling upon our supportive alumni to help us generate unrestricted dollars to support the mission of the college. Please continue to give to your Alma Mater by utilizing our online giving site on our homepage ( http://voorhees.edu/give/). We will shortly begin an aggressive annual fund campaign that will not only involve our students, trustees, faculty, staff, businesses, corporations, foundations, but all of our friends as well. Lastly, you should know that this magazine includes a “save the date” notice for Homecoming 2012. Our goal is to make this homecoming a banner event that will draw thousands of our graduates back to Denmark with a special event just for our “young alumni.” Please know that we appreciate all of our donors for making a sacrifice to help those who have come behind you. We remain eternally grateful for all you do for us. Warmest regards,
Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., Ed.D
BY: KIERA HARDY
BY: AMBER BROWN When meeting Student Government Association President Emmanuel Okafor Nwokocha for the first time, his sheer determination shines far beyond the brightest light. His presence emits success, and his demeanor illustrates his leadership ability. Nwokcha was recently selected College Brother of the Year by the South Carolina District of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “I simply volunteered to present my community and campus involvement; I never thought I’d be selected among the other great brothers.” said Nwokocha. Nwokocha is a 22-year-old native of Nigeria and is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Okafor Nwokocha. He enrolled at Voorhees College in the spring of 2009 and is currently a senior majoring in biology with a minor in environmental science. He is a member of various organizations including the Honors College, Ernest Everett Just Science Club, White Rose Social Club and Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology from Voorhees, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management. “These two degrees will equip me with the necessary tools to succeed in my career path,” he said. “They will also give me the knowledge needed in my efforts to reduce the effects of environmental pollution.”
Traveling approximately 5,000 miles to a country known for its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks and large rainforests, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was home for two Voorhees students for four weeks. Quincy Johnson and Sennya Watkins participated in the four-week exchange program Voorhees has with the Federal Centers for Technical Education College (CEFET/RJ) in Brazil. Johnson and Watkins spent the Fall 2011 academic semester in a change of environment that will always be a memorable experience for them. Meeting the grade point average requirement of a 3.0 in accounting classes and having an attitude that properly represents Voorhees, Dr. David Caslan, coordinator and professor of accounting at Voorhees, selected Watkins and Johnson to participate in the exchange program that is funded by the United States Department of Education. During their four weeks in the program, which ended Dec. 2, 2011, the students were enrolled at CEFET/RJ taking classes such as business math and contemporary management. Residing in a private apartment near the institution, they received a tuition waiver and a stipend to assist them with their travel, food and lodging. Watkins said, “I loved being over there in a different atmosphere; it’s more of a traditional school, and it was a very positive experience.” According to Johnson, he noticed an abundance of differences between the two countries, which provided him insight on the different cultures found in different places. Johnson said that this experience will benefit his future endeavors. “I was very excited to be given the opportunity to learn a different culture and visit a different country. I thank Voorhees for giving me this opportunity to see that there is much more to this on these world thanFor justadditional America,”information said Johnson. activities, contact Jefferson, Caslan said, “Many of the Willie students who have at (803)proparticipatedspecial in theevents foreigncoordinator, exchange student gram in Brazil in the past have improved academi780-1049 or email@example.com. cally, and this program has assisted in their job placement.” The Voorhees Voice
Welcome to South Carolina:
Foreign exchange students arrive to spend a semester taking classes at Voorhees. From left to right: Michelle Rebelo, Vitor Guimaraes, Endyara Gomes, Luiz Neto, Natalia Gueriros, Roger Guimaraes, Lucas DeMelo and Dr. David Caslan.
Voorhees College is home to seven students for a semester BY: KIERA HARDY
Voorhees College continues its foreign exchange student program with the Federal Centers for Technical Education College in Brazil. This program places students from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the care of Dr. David Caslan, professor and coordinator of accounting at the institution. During the Spring semester, Michelle Rebelo, Victor Guimaraes, Endyara Gomes, Luiz Neto, Natalia Gueiros, Roger Guimaraes and Lucas DeMelo will be enrolled in business and mathematics classes such as accounting, finance, management and calculus. The selection process for these juniors and seniors was competitive, and they had to be competent in 4
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English in order to participate in the program with the Federal Centers for Technical Education College (CEFET/RJ). Neto, one of the foreign exchange students, said, â€œThis is a very good experience being at Voorhees College for business administration. I look forward to this new experience.â€? The foreign exchange program has been in existence for six years. It was developed through the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which is a program funded by the United States Department of Education.
BY: AMBER BROWN Perseverance, dedication and resilience are what drive Jasmine Addison to success. Addison, a senior majoring in mathematics, was recently awarded a teaching position from the Teach for America Program. The Teach for America Program recruits graduates who are willing to work in low-income communities. Teach for America’s mission is to close the achievement gap between high and low income students. Addison will teach mathematics to students from grades 6th through 12th in Metro Atlanta Georgia. Training for the program will begin in June 2012. “Teaching has been a passion of mine since I was little. I remember times when I would have to force my little brothers and sisters to play school with me,” said Addison. Addison has participated in several organizations and extracurricular activities at Voorhees College: the Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Culture Club (E.E.W.C.C.), Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, Math and Computer Science Club, E.E. Just Science Club and Honors College. “Voorhees has really groomed me to be the person I am. I would like to thank President Sellers and Mrs. Teesa Brunson for all of their support by helping me get into this program and molding me into a more wellrounded person.”
Summer School Registration
First Day of Summer School
Returning Students Fall Registration
For more information on these events, contact Mr. Willie Jefferson, special events coordinator, at 803-780 -1049 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jackson selected as an Ambassador
By: KIERA HARDY
A young man who has achieved much throughout his matriculation at Voorhees was selected to serve nationally as a United States Department of Energy (DOE) Student Ambassador. Jackson, a senior accounting major, has been serving as a Student Ambassador for the Department of Energy representing the state of South Carolina since the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year. He was one of eight students selected. Last summer, Jackson, a Sumter, S.C. native, was one of approximately 40 students who applied for the opportunity to be selected for an interview for the position of a Student Energy Ambassador. Jackson said, “I was lucky enough to get a call to have an interview. Then, I had an interview over the phone, and when I found out I was selected, I experienced tears of joy.” 6
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“It is a challenge with me being a senior and also being a leader of other organizations. It is very time consuming; however, it’s all about time management,” said Jackson. Most recently, Jackson held a seminar for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors on the various opportunities they have in that field. He invited a guest speaker, Dr. Reed from the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., to talk about the challenges in the field. “I invited Dr. Reed to give students insight on her career and the many career opportunities available for them,” Jackson said. “She was able to share with them important information on how to have longevity in the STEM field.” Jackson has also held numerous leadership positions while attending Voorhees. Those positions include freshman class business manager, business manager for Voorhees College Pan-Hellenic Council, vice president for the Student Government Association, vice president of the Iota Mu Chapter of Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society, two years as the president of the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and three years as a lead intern for the Voorhees College Information Technology Helpdesk. “Voorhees College has given me the tools I need to succeed. By me being selected as a Student Ambassador, it shows that Voorhees students are well prepared and are able to compete with students from any institution.” After graduating in May, Jackson plans to attend Winthrop University to obtain a master’s degree in project management.
Hollywood sees SNOW in October
Snow is seen above volunteering at an Atlanta women and kids shelter.
BY: KIERA HARDY A Voorhees student, who received the first-ever TeenNick Helping and Leading Others (HALO) Award, attended HALO’s 3rd Annual Premiere event in October at Hollywood Palladium to be united with the other Nickelodeon HALO Honorees. Darrius Snow, a junior majoring in business, received the first-ever Nickelodeon HALO award in 2009 for founding the Bankhead Teens Encouraging Action by Motivating (B-TEAM) Others organization. Snow founded B-TEAM in Atlanta, Ga. at the age of 16. The organization’s main focus is to motivate the community by developing strong minds, encouraging academic excellence and increasing social responsibility. B-TEAM has been involved in a number of different community service projects such as community day clean-up, back-to-school tutoring programs and feeding the homeless.
Once enrolling at Voorhees College, Snow established TEAM Foundation on campus. The campus organization has sponsored Back to School supply give-a-ways, created a tutoring program at DenmarkOlar Middle School and presented plays on the history of African Americans at various events. “It is an honor to go back and meet other HALO honorees and experience their stories,” Snow said. “It feels good knowing that there are many students out there who are also making a difference in their communities.” The TeenNick HALO award was first introduced in 2009 to recognize teenagers who support philanthropic causes. Nick Cannon, TeenNick chairman, hosted and produced the first-ever awards show, along with other celebrity participants such as Lebron James, Alicia Keys, Hayden Panettiere and Justin Timberlake. The Voorhees Voice
In 2008, Voorhees recruited its first group of students from Talbotton, Ga., the home of Voorhees’ founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafe. Since arriving on Voorhees’ campus, these students have been busy making a mark for Talbotton on campus. BY: FELICIA CHANDLER
From left to right: Shemika Jones, Naeisha Owens, Branton Smith, Britney Smith, Brittany Horton
In the year of 1897, no one imagined that a 23-year-old African American woman could endure great obstacles and hardships and establish a school that would still exemplify greatness and excellence 116 years later. This is the Voorhees College story. Voorhees was founded in April 1897 by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee. Since then, Voorhees College has grown from the first 14 students to approximately 700 students today. One of the biggest historical moments was in 2008 when Voorhees enrolled its first group of students from Menafee’s hometown of Talbotton, Ga. Now, four years have passed, and there are five seniors 8
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from Talbotton who will graduate in May 2012. In addition to learning more about a native of their hometown, the Talbotton Five have learned many experiences that will help them succeed in life. Criminal justice major, Shemika Jones said, “It’s been a great experience being at Voorhees; I have met many wonderful people from all over the U.S. and made great friends.” “Voorhees gave me a chance to look at life differently; it helped me mature and become a more critical thinker,” said Jones, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the softball team. Following graduation, Jones plans
to attend Columbus State University to receive a master’s degree in public administration. Other students said they felt a connection with Menafee and her historic deed. “It’s been a pleasure and a true honor to come to Voorhees knowing that the founder is from my hometown,” said Branton Smith, biology major. “I can honestly say that when I stepped on this campus for the first time, I felt a spiritual connection with her.” During Smith’s freshman year, he, along with six other young men, reestablished the White Rose Social Club in 2009. The White Rose Social Club was originally founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee in 1904; this was the first student service organization on campus. “Menafee founded our organization in an effort to help men learn how to help themselves become better men,” Smith said. Smith plans to attend the University of Georgia to pursue a master’s degree in microbiology. Since coming to Voorhees, one student felt that she has been inspired to do her very best always. Brittany S. Horton, biology major said, “I feel elated and overly excited having a founder from a small town like Talbotton, Ga. Our founder inspired me to do my best and to believe that anything is possible as long as you have God, Faith, a supportive family and the willingness to succeed.” Horton’s ultimate goal is to become an anesthesiologist. All of the Talbotton Five have been successful during their matriculation at Voorhees, but one in particular has gone into Voorhees history by becoming the first-ever Miss Voorhees College to hail from historic Talbotton. Britney Smith, Miss Voorhees College 2011-2012, said it has been an honor to be the first queen from Talbotton. “My role is very important being that I am the first Miss Voorhees College from Talbotton and also being in the first class,” said Britney, biology major. “I have worked hard to set a positive example for future queens to follow.” Smith, who hopes to attend Mercer University to receive a pharmacy degree, is a Presidential Scholar and a member of the Honors College and the Eta Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “I understand that our founder, Mrs. Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee, worked hard to pave the way for young people like myself, and I feel that by being from Talbotton, it is also up to me, and my peers, to continue her legacy.” Being a part of the first class from Talbotton has been rewarding for one of the Talbotton Five. “I have been given so many opportunities because I am a part of the first graduating class for Talbotton,” said Naeisha Owens, a criminal justice major and a member of the Eta Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “I feel every staff member has taken a hands-on approach to making sure this isn’t the end of our journey, allowing each one of us to progress forward by providing us with trips to get into graduate school and instilling in us the value of hard work and determination.”
Above: Branton Smith (right) participates in a history pilgrimage during his freshman year. Below: (left to right) Brittany Horton, Britney Smith and Naeisha Owens participating in a history pilgrimage on the campus of Tuskegee University during their freshman year.
The Voorhees Voice
King and queen of Voorhees makes historic debut on campus
n September 2011, Voorhees officially crowned Dayvon Goddard and Britney Smith as Mr. and Miss Voorhees College 2011-2012. The coronation’s theme was “An Elegant Affair: Embracing the Past, Celebrating the Future.” Goddard and Smith both made history being crowned their respective titles. Goddard is the first-ever Mr. Voorhees College in the history of the institution. Smith is the first-ever queen to hail from the historic town of Talbotton, Ga., which is the hometown of Voorhees College’s founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee. From left to right: Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., Dr. Lugenia Rochelle, Goddard is 21-year-old native of Brooklyn, Miss Britney Smith and Dayvon Goddard, Mr. and Miss Voorhees N.Y. majoring in accounting and minoring in College 2011-2012 business administration. He is a member of the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., White Rose Social Club, Students in Free Enterprise and Student Support Services Program. Smith, a 21-year-old biology major, is a member of the Eta Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Culture Club, Ernest Everett Just Science Club, Rotaract Club, Honors College and the Voorhees College Cheerleading Squad. “This year’s crowning of Mr. and Miss Voorhees College was a significant milestone in the college’s rich history,” said President Mr. and Miss Voorhees College with the 2011-2012 Royal Court Sellers.
Join the Voorhees College United Family Fund Drive The Voorhees College faculty and staff have implemented the United Family Fund Drive. This initiative is part of an effort to raise the budgeted $30,000 from our faculty and staff with the goal of 100% participation from faculty and staff members. Currently, the college has raised approximately $17,630, which is 58 percent of its goal of $30,000. “I encourage faculty and staff to continue giving so that we can meet our goal,” said President Sellers. “This will look good for us as we approach heads of corporations and foundations who always ask if our faculty and staff give to the college.” To assist the institution with achieving its goal, contact Tifanie Lewis, development associate, at 803-7801191 or at email@example.com. To donate online, visit www.voorhees.edu/give. 10
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Voorhees celebrates Homecoming 2011
Mr. and Miss Homecoming 2011, Gary Edwards and Monica Johnson
From left to right: Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Wright, Dr. Lugenia Rochelle, Mr. Herbitt Pittman, Mr. Jimmy Gardener
uring the Homecoming 2011 festivities, the institution crowned Gary Edwards and Monica Johnson as Mr. and Miss Homecoming 2011. Edwards, a senior majoring in criminal justice, is the son of Gary and Carolyn Burts. He is a native of Piedmont, S.C. At Voorhees, Edward participates in a variety of activities and organizations. He is a member of the Student Support Services Program, Student Leadership Institute, Extremely Vivid Model Troupe and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Johnson, a junior biology major, is the daughter of Angela and Dayton Johnson. She is a native of Florence, S.C. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, E.E Just Science Club, Rotaract Club, Golden Touch and the Student Government Association Sustainability Club. Throughout Homecoming weekend, alumni contributed approximately $40,000 to Voorhees College. Alumni chapters or groups that contributed to Voorhees during Homecoming were the Atlanta Metro Chapter donating $2,000; Berkeley Chapter donating $250; Piedmont Chapter donating $1200; Charleston Chapter donating $1,000; New York Bronx Chapter donating $3,500; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. donating $15,000; and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. donating $16,930. Additionally, four alumni were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. The 2011 honorees were Dr. Michelle Meekens, class of ’74; Herbert Pittman, class of ’84; Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., class of ’62; and Dr. Gerald Wright, class of ’61. “We appreciate our alumni and all of the support they provide for the institution,” said President Sellers. “We look forward to everyone returning this year for Homecoming 2012.” The Voorhees Voice
BY: AMBER BROWN “The most interesting part of my job is to see people’s lives get put back together,” said Judge Glenda Hatchett. These were some of the inspirational words Judget Hatchett shared at Voorhees in February as she talked about what she likes most about her job. She began with sharing a story of locating a 3 mother for a young boy after the young boy’s mother dropped him off at a homeless shelter and never went back for him. When speaking on making her decision to become a judge, she said, “I had to do some soul searching to decide if this was truly the job for me. It has been the hardest job I have had this far.” Prior to accepting the position as chief presiding judge of the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court, 4 12
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Hatchett was a corporate trial attorney for Delta Air Lines and never lost a case. As the corporate trial attorney for Delta Air Lines, she was the company’s highest-ranking African American woman. Ebony magazine named Hatchett one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women 7 in Corporate America.” Having made the difficult decision to leave Delta Air Lines to become the chief presiding judge for the Fulton County, Georgia Juvenile Court, she became Georgia’s first African-American chief presiding judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. “I was learning every day when I first became a judge,” Hatchett said. “This job is not a job you can
Top: Judge Hatchett enjoyed lunch with young students and President Sellers following her presentation.
Top: Judge Glenda Hatchett during her presentation at Voorhees. Bottom left: Judge Hatchett interacts with elementary students.
be prepared for, and you have to be passionate about to Take Charge” released in September of 2010, and the work.” “Say What you Mean, Mean What you Say.” Currently, she presides over the syndicated show Hatchett is currently serving on the Board of Ad“Judge Hatchett,” which is visors for the Atlanta currently in its 10th season. “I was learning every day when I first Falcons Football OrganiA native of Atlanta, zation and Play Pumps became a judge. This job is not a job Ga., Hatchett received a International. bachelor’s degree in politi- you can be prepared for, and you have Ben Bakayoko, a cal science from Mount to be passionate about the work.” sophomore accounting Holyoke College in 1973 major, said he enjoyed -Judge Glenda Hatchett and a law degree from seeing Hatchett reach Emory University School out to the youth who were present. “She inspired me of Law in 1977. She was awarded the Emory Medal, to pay more attention to our youth and to remember the highest award given to an alumnus by the uniwhere I came from.” versity. Hatchett is the author of national bestseller “Dare The Voorhees Voice
BY: SHAQUETTA SUMMERS
n February, the Voorhees College family Upper S.C., while The Right Reverend Mark J. celebrated the life of Absalom Jones. Lawrence, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of S.C., Born into slavery in Sussex County, Delserved as preacher. aware on November 6, 1746, Absalom The feast began with the processional as proJones taught himself to read in his early gram participants marched in on the hymn, teens and learned to write after being tak“Blessed Absalom,” which set the stage for the en to Philadelphia to work in his master's store as a evening in honor of Absalom Jones’ life and legaclerk and handyman cy. By the age of 38, Absalom Jones purchased his Many of the students of Voorhees experienced freedom and his wife's freedom. Additionally, he their appreciation of the life of Absalom Jones. bought a house with his earnings after he was given “I truly enjoyed the service. It made me realize permission to work for himself. He later built two how blessed I am not only to be African American more houses and but also to attend used them for rental “Attending the service made me realize an institution that income. recognizes the how blessed I am to not only be African An African struggles and American abolition- American but to attend an institution that achievements of a ist and clergyman, recognizes the struggles and achievements man so self-less Jones founded a that he purchased black congregation of a man so selfless that he purchased his his wife’s freedom in 1794, and in 1804 wife’s freedom before his own.” before his own,” was the first African -Litany Lineberry said Litany LineAmerican ordained berry, a senior as a priest in the computer science Episcopal Church of the United States. He is listed major. on the Episcopal calendar of saints and blessed un“Absalom Jones made sure we were treated as der the date of his decease, February 13, in the equals even in God's own house, so for that, I truly 1979 Book of Common Prayer as “Absalom Jones, enjoyed the Celebration of Absalom Jones.” Priest, 1818.” Faculty members also expressed their enjoyment Voorhees College hosted its annual Absalom of the feast. Jones Feast on February 14 in St. Philip’s Chapel to Ann Freeman, assistant professor of English, honor the life of the first African American priest in said, “It was nice and very touching. I learned how the Episcopal Church to celebrate his achievements. Absalom Jones left one church and came to be faThe Celebrant of the feast was The Right Revermous at another church.” end W. Andrew Waldo, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese 14
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Top: Acolytes and Rev. Dr. James Yarsiah, vicar/chaplain, participate in the processional during the annual Absalom Jones Feast Day Celebration Below: Program participants with President Sellers following the program
The Journey from McNeill ’s to Voorhees Recently, Richard Reid, Voorhees College archivist, completed the journey that Elizabeth Evelyn (Lizzie) Wright Menafee followed to establish Voorhees College. During this journey, Reid visited and walked through the known areas that she attempted to start a school for the purpose of educating black children in South Carolina.
lizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee traveled into nine locations before she landed in Denmark. They included McNeill’s, Early Branch, Ruffin, Hampton, Brunson, Fairfax, Ulmer, Erhardth and Govan. From McNeill’s through Govan, all the locations had their own set of reasons and conditions that they were not suitable for planting Wright’s dreams. Consequently, the conditions and circumstances that availed in Denmark became the end of the road that would cement her vision. Menafee was born April 3, 1872 to John Wesley and Virginia Wright in Talbotton, Ga. She enrolled in Tuskegee Institute in 1888 and continued her courses until she became ill in 1893. Deciding to stay out of school until her health improved, she joined Almira Steele in McNeill’s, S.C. as a teacher of the black children of the area. In April 1893, some whites burned the school down. Steele became so frustrated that she moved to Chattanooga, Tenn. and opened a home for black children. Menafee then returned to Tuskegee in the fall of 1893 and graduated from Tuskegee in 1894. After graduating, she immediately returned to McNeill’s, S.C. She went back to McNeill’s with the intention of rebuilding the school that was burned by the whites. She arrived in McNeill’s on Sunday, June 3, 1894, and instantly started her efforts to build a school in place of the burned out one. Because Judge George Kelly of Massachusetts was a benefactor for her throughout her years at Tuskegee, he decided to come to South Carolina and help purchase land and materials for a new school. On June 7, 1894, Kelly arrived in McNeill’s meeting Menafee at Zion Fair Baptist Church to discuss plans for the new school. Today, the saw mill town of McNeill’s is no longer listed on the map of Hampton County. Apparently, after so much lumber was cut from the area, the saw mill owners decided to move on to another location, causing the name of McNeill’s to fade into history. Reid’s journey to retrace Menafee’s steps started in Hampton. With the help of Sergeant Milton Robinson of the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office; Reverend John Porter, pastor of Huspah Missionary Baptist Church in Hampton; Theresa Williams, the auditor of Hampton County; and Angus and Elmore McGuire, Reid was able to locate the area of McNeill’s and the Zion Fair Baptist Church where Menafee taught. This area was also the same land that Judge Kelly purchased from Almira Steele to build the new school for Menafee. “Realizing the magnitude of my discovery, my emotions began to get the best of me,” said Reid. “Just thinking that I walked over the lands that Lizzie walked was an incredible feeling.” 16
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The above portrait of Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee was recolored by Cecil Williams Photography.
The area of land in McNeill’s pointed out by Elmore McGuire was where the foundation of Menafee’s school was burned by an arsonist on June 15, 1894. This arson attack marked the second time that a fiendish act dampened Menafee’s spirit. Again, Judge Kelly stepped in with his support to uplift her. He told her that it was quite obvious that, “no school could be built on the Steele site.” Kelly then located an old mill and several houses between Early Branch and Cummings that he thought was a more fitting area for Menafee to operate her school. In January 1895, the owner of the land, along with his attorney, met the Judge and a deal was signed and sealed to acquire the property. Several days later, Steven Porter and Menafee met with Kelly on the new school location. Upon their arrival, he was standing on the property gazing over the charred remains of the mill and houses. This was the third
heinous act of arson that Menafee faced while on her mission to procure a site to help educate black people. Porter and Menafee returned to McNeill’s wondering what to do next. With Porter’s influence at Zion Fair Baptist Church, Menafee and her assistant Hattie Davidson, who was a close friend while they were at Tuskegee, joined together in the summer of 1894 at McNeill’s to become Sunday school teachers. This arrangement lasted until Menafee made the decision to try the town of Ruffins in Colleton County. She met Rev. J. C. Smith and was encouraged to teach school in his house. Porter, thinking it was a good move, agreed; however, this effort did not satisfy the dream and mission Menafee had in mind. After Reid completed his research in the McNeill’s area, which included Early Branch and to Ruffin, he ventured into the city of Hampton, where he met Reverend John Porter of the Huspah Missionary Baptist Church. One of the oldest members told Rev. Porter that “people in Hampton did not want Miss Wright to open a school in the town.” Next, Menafee located a four-room house not far from the Hampton County Court House in Hampton. After informing the blacks of her decision to start a school in her house, the school opened with the children paying ten cents a week. Throughout this time, Almira Steele and Judge George Kelly continued to provide financial support to Menafee. On June 19, 1896, a trained nurse from Coshocton, Ohio, Jessie Dorsey, who also knew Steel as a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich., joined Menafee as an assistant teacher and personal nurse. The area in Menafee’s home became too small and arrangements were made to locate the school in Huspah Baptist Church. Both Menafee and Dorsey were paid $15 per month by the Hampton County Treasurer’s Office. In September1896, Dorsey had to take charge of the school because Menafee had exhausted so much of her energies; she faced a complete failure of her health. She became so sick that Dorsey saw it necessary to make contact with Steele, and arrangements were made to admit Menafee to the Battle Creek Sanitarium. On New Year’s Day in 1897, Menafee returned to Hampton and immediately commenced her plans to purchase land for her school. When she met the owner with her first payment, she learned that he had cut the timber from the land. Protesting this act, she refused the conditions and accused the owner of conducting dishonest business. A few days later, Menafee and Dorsey were walking downtown in Hampton when they were insulted by a white man. For his insult, Dorsey whacked him in the face with her parasol. Knowing that troubles would be cast upon them, they wandered five miles into Brunson searching for a new school location. No luck there, they moved five miles down the road to Fairfax in Allendale County, five miles to Ulmers, then ten miles to Ehrhardt, and finally
Ulmers, then ten miles to Ehrhardt, and finally fourteen miles across to Govan, which would become the last stop before Denmark. Menafee and her assistants departed Hampton for Govan in late January 1897. They employed the services of Jackson Wiggins, whom she had met at a small church in Colleton County in 1896, to take them to Govan. On the day that they moved, the skies poured rain all day and into the night as they arrived in Govan. All of the school books and personal belongings were drenched. Additionally, a lady who offered housing for the teachers changed her mind and turned them away. Fortunately, they were able to find shelter at the home of W. R. Wroten, who provided the necessary helping hand Menafee needed to jump the final hurdle to her dream. Late in March 1897, Menafee met Senator Stanwix Mayfield in Denmark. He gave his support and approval of her plans and from that point forward, Mayfield and his family would play a vital role in nurturing and developing Menafee’s dream. On Wednesday, April 14, 1897, with the help and support of Marie Sontag, Menafee opened the Denmark Industrial School on the second floor of Sontag’s store. The original building, where Menafee found her school, still stands today on Church Street in Denmark. “While following the road from McNeill’s to Denmark, I began to wonder, what if she would have become successful in her mission at one of the other nine locations? What would her dream be like in those communities today? Retracing Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee’s tracks to Denmark gave me a much greater appreciation and understanding of her hard work and sacrifices on the road to establishing her dream school and as we know it today, the school of Lizzie’s vision, Voorhees College,” Reid said.
Zion Fair Baptist Church is where Menafee met with Judge George Kelly of Mass. to discuss plans for her new school.
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First-ever commissioning ceremony held at Voorhees BY: TEESA BRUNSON
ith the American and South Carolina flags being saluted by more than 100 in attendance, Trevor Brown stood tall and proud as he became commissioned in the Army at the first-ever commissioning ceremony held at Voorhees College in August 2011. Brown’s mind and life was changed as he took the oath of office as Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. The guest speaker for the ceremony was Lieutenant Colonel Craig M. Ravenell, a graduate of Voorhees with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery in 1992 from South Carolina State University. Currently serving as a Centrally Selected List (CSL) Product Manager for Digitized Training (Battalion Command Equivalent), Ravenell is responsible for more than $800 million in funding execution (FY12-F17 POM) for the development, acquisition, fielding and life-cycle management of Digital Range Training Systems (DRTS), Integrated Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) Training System (I-MTS) and Battlefield Effects Simulator (BES) that meet the soldiers’ needs. Ravenell’s military education includes the Field Artillery Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College and the Defense Acquisition University Program Manager’s Course. Ravenell encouraged newly-commissioned Officer Brown to stay positive as he moves forward with this new chapter of his life. “You are about to embark on a great adventure that will likely take you to multiple and different combat zones. It will occasionally bring you different emotional spectrums such as fear and anxiety, pride 18
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â€œYou are about to embark on a great adventure that will likely take you to multiple and different combat zones.â€? -Craig M. Ravenell The Voorhees Voice
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and belonging, grieving and loss, joyful accomplishments, and perhaps, disappointments at times,” said Ravenell. “I’m 100 percent certain you will be put in a position to lead young soldiers and seasoned non-commissioned officers who will look to you for energy, creativity, discipline and wisdom. I’m very proud of you, and I would like you to know that you epitomize what is best about this Army.” Ravenell advised told Brown that as he looks toward his first assignment, remember the vow that he took: “I will always see mission first, I will never accept defeat, I will never quit, and I will never leave a fallen comrade.” Brown said that he was excited about his accomplishment. “It’s definitely a big accomplishment, and it marks a major milestone in my life,” he said. “Ever since I was in the first grade, I thought about being in the Army.” “Failure is not an option for me; it is not in my vocabulary and not in my mind. I know I will make Voorhees’ name great in my role as an officer.” Graduating in May, Brown received a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology and is a native of Denmark, S.C. The first-ever commissioning ceremony was inspired by the Office of Veterans Affairs and spearheaded by Melika Jackson. The Office of Veterans Affairs currently has three certifying officials. Since the commissioning of the first VC ROTC cadet, Kenneth B. Harvin in 1975, more than 40 graduates have been commissioned into the army. Currently, there are more than 30 freshman, sophomore, junior and senior cadets enrolled and receiving training on campus through the Military Science program at South Carolina State University.
Voorhees College Commissioned Officers ~1975~ Kenneth B. Harvin ~1976~ Franklin Bryant Clarence Davenport Berno B. Foxworth Runard C. Nelson John Dunmyer III Nedda E. Gross ~1977~ Dan H. Martin Larry Nowell Stanley Williams Alvin Green ~1978~ William S. Hicks, Jr. Robert F. Mulligan Ellen V. McDonald ~1979~ Carl M. Cochran ~1980~ Jerome C. Bennett Earl O. Graham Rodney Jeter Virginia A. Purvis Sharon K. Syles ~1981~ Angela Cox Betty J. Hill Terri J. Holmes Betty A. Legree Wayne D. Parker Elizabeth Smalls Viola J.M. Smalls Robert J. Snipes
~1982~ Anthony W. Wilson Arthur R. Cuthbert Pasty Mazone ~1983~ Essie L. Davis ~1985~ Albert Garrick Wayne M. Garvin Terry L. Meggett Morant Pittman Mamie L. Stokes ~1986~ Maurice M. Eadie William Jacobs Sylena S. McMichael ~1988~ Johnny Epps Jimmy L. Fowler, Jr. Muriel R. Loney Randolph Walker ~1992~ Cyrilene D. Arrington Patrick L. Freeman, Jr. Craig M. Ravenell ~2001~ Knechelle S. Caldwell ~2003~ Dion L. Lee ~2004~ Brittiane V. Martin ~2007~ David Zerzycki ~2011~ Trevor Brown ~2012~ Commissionee Donnell Jones The Voorhees Voice
Voorhees College President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. was elected to serve as chairman of the Association of Episcopal Colleges (AEC), the U.S. Chapter of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC). CUAC is a worldwide association of more than 120 institutions of higher education that were founded by and retain ties to the churches of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal 26
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Colleges in the United States are Bard College, Clarkson College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Kenyon College, St. Augustine College, Saint Augustineâ€™s College, Saint Paulâ€™s College, the University of the South and Voorhees College. As chairman of the Board of Directors, which is made up of all the presidents of the Episcopal Colleges, Sellers will be leading the colleges in developing new strategic initiatives for enabling
outh Carolina State University (SCSU) recently dedicated the Leroy Davis Senior Research and Science Complex to Dr. Leroy Davis, Sr. former president of SCSU and current Executive Director for the Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health at Voorhees College. The new building is an annex to Hodge Hall. The complex houses the Department of Biology and Physical Sciences. From first serving as a full professor of biology to becoming the eighth president of the institution serving from 1996 to 2002, Dr. Davis has contributed greatly to the growth and development of SCSU. While at SCSU, he saw giving increase from $419,000 in 1996 to $2.1 million in 2001. The School of Business was accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the university was reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Additionally, he initiated a Bachelor of Science degree program in nuclear engineering. At Voorhees College, Dr. Davis has served as the Executive Director for the Center of Excellence in Rural Health.
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Patterson (#20) passes the ball to a teammate.
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Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr., president of Voorhees College, is featured as an honoree in the AT&T 2012 South Carolina African American History Calendar. The Unveiling Ceremony was held in October 2011 at the Kroger Center for the Arts in Columbia, S.C. Additional honorees are: J. Anthony Brown; Monique Coleman; John & Marie Epps; Georgia Good; Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook, Ph.D.; Michael Parks, M.D.; Bishop Daniel Payne; Lessie Price; Brigadier
Dr. LaKeisha Germany is presented with the South Carolina Independent College and Universities Excellence in Teaching Award by Dr. Paul Baker, executive vice president/dean of academic affairs 26
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Gen. Stephen Twitty; Rick Wade and David A. Williams. Under Sellers’ leadership at Voorhees, many accomplishments have been made such as the South Carolina State Board of Education approving the Elementary Education program during the 2010-2011 academic year, the addition of sports management as a major and African American studies added as a minor during the 2010-2011 academic year, and the implementation of the Voorhees College Male Mentoring Program for firstgeneration African American males in an effort to increase their retention, academic performance and personal development. Additionally, Voorhees College has been recognized by the South Carolina State Commission on Higher Education as the only Historically Black College and University to receive the 2008-2009 Service Learning Award for exemplary academic service learning programs of public and private higher education institutions. Sellers said, “I am delighted to have been selected as one of the honorees for this prestigious calendar.”
LaKeisha W. Germany, criminal justice coordinator/assistant professor, has earned a Doctor of Education degree in higher education with a focus on instructional leadership from Argosy University-Atlanta. Prior to earning her Ed. D., Germany obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in political science with a minor in history at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. in 1995. In addition, she graduated with a Master of Education degree with a concentration in criminal justice from Troy University in 2003. “My passion to teach and my love for the law led me to seek both worlds; teaching criminal justice. Choosing this career path gave me the opportunity to do what I love and help others in the process,” Germany said. She adds that without mistakes, there is no room for improvement and without challenges, achievements would not be as fulfilling. “Failing is not an option in my opinion. Everyone has the chance to take advantage of the opportunities set before them. Therefore, everyone has the ability to be victorious. The level of anyone’s success lies within,” she said.
BY: KIERA HARDY
Dr. Paul K. Baker was named the executive vice president/dean of academic affairs at Voorhees College. Previously, he served as dean of social sciences and chair of the Department of History, Government and Public Policy at Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C. With more than 17 years of experience in higher education, Baker began his career as university archivist at Fayetteville State University and has served on faculties at North Carolina Central University in the Department of History and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as museum director of the Gallery of African Diaspora Art in the Center for Black Culture and History. In addition, Baker has served as visiting professor in the Leadership Studies Ph.D. Program at North Carolina A & T State University. Baker is looking forward to engaging with a larger scope of administrators, faculty and staff that make up different components of the college in an effort to assist students better. “I want to build an Academic Affairs Division that offers cutting-edge programs, research opportunities for faculty and students and increases the number of students graduating who attend graduate and professional schools,” Baker said. Baker was selected as an Oxford Roundtable Fellow at Oxford University, Oxford, England where he lectured on Race Policy, a Gilder-Lehrman Fellow at Yale University in the Center for Slavery and Abolition and a Ford Fellow at the University of Virginia in the Carter G. Woodson Institute. His research has been in the areas of African American Leadership; the impact of Victorian Era culture on race, resistance and gender issues of African Americans; and the Black Intellectual Movement of the early twentieth century.
Dr. Baker was welcomed as the new executive vice president/dean of academic affairs
In addition, Baker has presented research on the impact of technology, retention and re-branding of historically black colleges and universities. A devotee to service, Dr. Baker serves on boards of national and state agencies. He was recently appointed by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Museum of History. Baker, a native of Fairmont, N.C., received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in art/African American studies, master’s degree from North Carolina State University in history and doctoral degree from North Carolina A & T State University in leadership studies from the School of Education. He completed Harvard University’s Management Development Program in the Graduate School of Education and Cornell University’s Program in Policy Development. Baker has many new programs and initiatives that he hopes to implement at Voorhees. “Some of the new programs I hope to have at Voorhees are African American studies, environmental science and emergency management. In addition, by looking at the liberal arts and STEM programs, the institution will attract a greater population of students.”
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BY: SHAQUETTA SUMMERS The Reverend Dr. James T. Yarsiah was inducted as chaplain and vicar of Voorhees College and St. Philip's Episcopal Chapel. Yarsiah recently completed seven years of ministry at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. “I am excited that in my capacity as chaplain/ vicar and instructor, I am fulfilling the threefold ministry: to preach, teach and heal,” Yarsiah said. “I have great passion for all of the above and strongly believe that God has been preparing me through the many pleasant and challenging experiences I have had. It is a great opportunity to serve in this position at this historic college at such a time as this! Truly, I am having one of the best times of my life and ministry. I thank God for Jesus!” Yarsiah is an Episcopal priest, who was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. In May 2010, he graduated with the Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Theology, The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. He obtained a Bachelor 28
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of Arts degree in Theology from Cuttington University in Suacoco, Liberia. Father Yarsiah has been a priest for fifteen years. He has served in several dioceses, including the Episcopal Church of Liberia, the Diocese of Cape Coast, Ghana, the Diocese of Tennessee, and he currently serves in the Diocese of South Carolina. In September 2010, Yarsiah published his first book, “Early Missionary Work of the Protestant Episcopal Church (DFMS) in Liberia and Their Differential Effects 1821-1871.” Along with training more acolytes and servers, Yarsiah hopes to bring a new organization to the campus. “I plan to establish the the Canterbury Club, an Episcopal/Anglican student-oriented program on college campuses. This organization provides spiritual nurturing, religious education and social support for students,” he said.
BY: AMBER BROWN
Left to right: Tarshia Kinley, Tamatha White, Melika Jackson Front: Tanika Beard
Voorhees College Registrar Melika Jackson served as a presenter at the 2011 American Association of Collegiate Registrars (AACRAO) Conference, in Seattle, Wash., where she discussed Voorhees’ process for providing Portable Document Format (PDF) delivery of online official academic transcripts. In partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSCH), Voorhees was the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in South Carolina offering secure electronic PDF delivery online official academic transcripts. Transcripts, which are $20, can be ready for secure electronic delivery for recipients written 24 business hours after receipt of the request. Academic records prior to 1990 require additional processing time. Electronic delivery for these records are provided within 32 business hours. Normal processing time for postal mail and hold for pickup options is within five to seven business days. The Voorhees College policy prohibits issuing transcripts to any student indebted to the college. “Recipients requesting transcripts will receive email updates regarding orders and will be able to access the status orders online at their convenience,” Jackson said. The registrar was accompanied by Assistant Registrar Tarshia Kinley, Transcript Coordinator Tanika Beard and Director of VC-CENTS Tamatha White at the conference.
BY: CHENEE’ N. GREEN Jayme L. Bradford, mass communications coordinator at Voorhees College, recently received “The Service to the Institute” Award for 20 years of active duty at the 61st Annual Southern Regional Press Institute. She began participating in the institute as a student journalist at Clark Atlanta University in the 1990s. When she later became a journalism educator, she remembered to take her students to the Southern Regional Press Institute at Savannah State University. “The institute was established for journalism students to network with top industry professionals and build strong connections to help them in the workforce,” Bradford said. Bradford was also recently published in the anthology, “The Color of Strength: Embracing the Passion of our Culture.” The anthology was nominated for a NAACP Image Award, and Bradford participated in a national book tour. The Voorhees Voice
BY: SHAQUETTA SUMMERS
McBride-Owens is pictured above with Oliver Vance and Tamatha White, VC-CENTS director.
One of McBride’s greatest accomplishments is becoming a co-author and creator of the nationally-published award-winning book, “Oliver Vance, Pull up Your Pants,” which was nominated for the Coretta Scott King Award, the Newberry Award, and the 40th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA). “Oliver Vance, Pull up Your Pants” was created to inform young children about the sagging pants epidemic and encourage them to become better individuals without succumbing to the judg-McBride-Owens ments of society by sublimely placing themselves into a negative category based solely on the way they dress,” he said “It was God’s divine intervention and wisdom that Oliver Vance was created. I was once a victim of that misguided direction, and I was targeted by my appearance.” A man who is determined to make the most out of life despite the many obstacles that have been thrown his way, he strives to be an example of success for his students. “I had a few people to point me in the right direction, and I believe it would have been selfish of me not to 30
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share it with others. Perception is reality, and I’m trying to get people to understand this,” he said. McBride-Owens, an assistant professor of business at Voorhees College, has a record of success that extends far beyond several professions, including entertainment, transportation and education. He was an EMI Capitol Records recording artist before earning a bachelor’s degree in business information systems from DeVry University. After attending DeVry, he earned master’s degrees in both management and marketing from American InterContinental University. Currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational management at Capella University, he is a member of the Advisory Board for the Voorhees College North Augusta campus as well as a professor at Ellis University and Trident University International. Additionally, he is also the chief executive officer of the MIC Group, which is a management and marketing consulting firm, and project manager for CCMG Inc., an artist management company. When asked what he believed to be his greatest accomplishment, he said it was being here today and defying all odds. “I grew up in a rough neighborhood, and I didn’t succumb to my environment. God has me here and I’m just glad God’s plan and mine were the same,” he said. He also stresses to his students that it is important not only to dream but to put those dreams into action. “Don’t just dream while you’re sleeping. Wake up and put your dreams into action. If a door slams in your face then climb through a window. Believe in something and go for it.” McBride is a businessman, professor, author and motivator. He enjoys wearing many hats.
BY: KIERA HARDY Dr. Leland Barrows, professor of history, participated in the annual reading and scoring of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Examinations in world history. The program found Barrows in 2006 from a book review he wrote on Robert Collins, “A Short History of Africa,” in the World History Bulletin. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program gives more than 1.8 million capable high school students an opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses and examinations. Based on their exam performance, successful students can receive credit and/or advanced placement when they enter college. The students taking the exam could receive a score of one to seven with seven being the highest score. If an essay is above average, a student can receive an eight or a nine. Barrows said, “Reading a very fine essay that earned a student a nine was certainly a memorable moment.” “The institute was established for journalism students to net-
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In Memory Eartha B. Graves Callen Theodore “Chap” Chaplin ‘68 Ronda Felts Verbina “Vicky” DeLee Jefferson ‘69 Artha M. English Smith Juan P. Stephenson ‘87 Yolanda Wright Waring ‘98 Alma R. Willis ‘64
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Voorhees College Archivist, Richard Reid, reflects on a true legend of Voorhees, Theodore Chaplin, Jr. As we travel through this time capsule of life, events and people will play a significant role in the legacy that we will leave behind, One glaring example of the glory of being successful is that of Theodore “Chap” Chaplin, Jr. Chaplin was born May 6, 1946 in Bluffton, South Carolina. He graduated from Michael C. Riley High School in 1964. At 6 feet 3 inches, he led the school to the class A state championship averaging 32 points per game. That year, the school participated in a national tournament for black schools in Nashville, Tenn. and Chaplin scored 43 points in a loss to Arkansas. In the world of sports, there are athletes who play basketball and then there are basketball players. Chaplin was a player. After high school, Chaplin enrolled at Voorhees on a basketball and baseball scholarship. “Chap” stepped straight out of the gate in his freshman year by being named rookie of the year. In the 1964-1965 year at Voorhees, he took charge in leading the team to 19 straight victories, capping the season with a historic 20 -1 season. That year, “Chap” averaged 28.7 rebounds, 29 points per game and a whopping 60 percent from the field. He also won the Most Valuable Player in Baseball in 1965. To cap 1964 off, he was considered as one of the “Five of the Greatest Athletes” along with track star Bob Hayes of Florida A&M University. The highlight of his career at Voorhees came when the Tigers played Florida Memorial when he was a sophomore. In that game, “Chap” controlled the “round ball” like a man on a mission when he poured in 41 points and collected 46 rebounds. In the 1960’s, the black colleges in South Carolina would hold a competition between the collegiate basketball teams. For three consecutive years, 1965, 1966 and 1967, “Chap” was named the tournament’s most valuable player and one year he earned the sportsmanship trophy. He was a basketball player and a genial goodnatured athlete. The big Tiger basketball player for Voorhees was named Honorable Mention All American in the NAIA where he was the third leading rebounder in the country with a 23.2 average and 27th in scoring with 26.5 points per game. “Chap” ended his playing days at Voorhees in 1968 with a total of 1546 rebounds. That same year, Chaplin’s number 33 jersey was retired. As to his collegiate career in basketball, he told Morris Wright of the Times and Democrat on August 12, 2004 that, “When I sit down and read old clips and reflect on my college career, it scares me, I say to myself, that couldn’t be me.” For his success in college basketball, Chaplin was drafted in 1968 by the Baltimore Bullets of the NBA in the 6th round and by the Pittsburgh Pipers of the American Basketball Association (ABA). The dream of competing on the professional level was cut short when he was cut in training camp. “Chap” concluded
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his professional career with a short stint playing for the Continental Basketball Association for the New Orleans Buccaneers. Chaplin returned to Denmark and soon became the basketball coach for Denmark Technical College. Year after year, the leadership and guidance of Chaplin could be seen in the young men he coached. Evidence of his coaching deftness was recorded when his teams went undefeated in 198485, 1987-88 and 1988-89. For 37 years, he coached the men’s team to 600 wins and 117 losses. A man among men, Theodore “Chap” Chaplin, Jr. was always striving to a higher level in life and that he did. One of the winningest basketball coaches in South Carolina and the nation was called home by our God on November 20, 2011. Rest in peace my friend, you accomplished the dream that many before you didn’t and those in the future won’t come near.
Voorhees College Division of Institutional Advancement P.O. Box 678 Denmark, SC 29042
Published on May 17, 2012