Voorhees Class of 2019 graduates receives powerful message from Rev. Al Sharpton


Voorhees Class of 2019 graduates receives powerful message from Rev. Al Sharpton

May 06, 2019

Reverend Al Sharpton was recently the 122nd Commencement Ceremony keynote speaker where more than 70 students graduated as the Class of 2019.

Sharpton delivered a message on making graduation the beginning of a journey and not the end. “Only you as students know what you have been through to make it to graduation. You have accomplished something great, but the best is yet to come,” Sharpton said.

He said everyone will be tested during their journey in life. “The purpose of the test is not to give it with the answers because it is not supposed to be easy. God gives us tests to help define who we are as individuals. Today, you have proven you can pass a test,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton added that the Class of 2019, as graduates can now begin making their own marks in the world. “The road may be rough, but it is worth the journey once you reach your goals, just as Voorhees founder Elizabeth Evelyn Wright did back in 1897. She did not allow nothing or no one stop her from establishing an institution of education,” Sharpton said.

Additionally, he recognized the Voorhees Golden Class of 1969. Sharpton acknowledged they have been on the journey and understand some of life’s hardships and successes that come with hard work. He said they are from a different generation and the idea is to go a step higher than the previous generation.

Sharpton said to the graduates, “do not allow anybody to turn you around from being the ultimate you.” Sharpton continued saying everyone has their own identity and God did not make a mistake when he created us. “If I enhance what God gave me, nobody can be better at being me than me. Embrace your reason and your purpose for life. When you run out of steam on the journey, God will pick you up and make a way out of no way,” Sharpton said.

He concluded his speech with advising the graduates that whatever they chose to do in life, make it reputable and according to God’s plan. “Make them keep calling your name, make them keep calling your name, stay on the journey.”

At the conclusion of his speech, Sharpton was presented gifts from the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Theta Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. In addition, he was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for his efforts in civil rights, politics, and ministry.

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu.

Rev. Al Sharpton
Rev. Al Sharpton
l-r., President W. Franklin Evans, Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, Provost
Voorhees College Class of 2019
The Voorhees College Choir