Voorhees Alumna selected by UNCF as a June Alumni Snap Shot
June 04, 2021
Voorhees graduate Councilwoman Janie Anderson Cooper-Smith was recently featured by the United Negro College Fund National Alumni Council as an Alumni Snapshot for the month of June.
She is the first African-American woman to be elected to the Orangeburg County Council. She represents District #5; a position she has held for nearly 24 years. A former vice-chair of the county council, she has been a member since 1995. She has been a trailblazer in education. In 1999, she retired after 30 years of teaching. After she retired, she accepted a position as an adjunct professor at SCSU.
Cooper-Smith said after graduating from Voorhees College she spent 30 years teaching English on the middle school, high school, and technical college and university levels. “Life after college has been both an honor and a privilege. I give back to my alma mater because Voorhees is my foundation.”
In recognition of her many years of service to the community, she has received numerous awards Educator of the Year, Governor’s Distinguished Award, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award, Lower Savannah Council of Government Board Member of the Year (She is the first recipient of this award.), The YMCA Community Ambassador Award, the South Carolina Alliance for Mobile Infrastructure Rural Elected Official of the Year, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Elected Official of the Year, to mention a few.
Cooper-Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Voorhees College and is a member of the Voorhees College Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Additionally, she earned a Masters of Education degree from South Carolina State University (SCSU). While at SCSU, Cooper-Smith earned her certification as a high school principal, a reading teacher, and as an education administration specialist.
She is a Denmark, S.C. native who is married to Wallace Wendell Smith, a United States Air Force retiree. They are the proud parents of six children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.