Voorhees presents the 2019 W. Franklin Evans Honors College Inductees
March 21, 2019
Voorhees College held its annual honors college induction ceremony today, where more than 60 students were inducted into the W. Franklin Evans Honors College. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Thelma Sojourner, Voorhees College alumna and superintendent for Bamberg County School District Two.
Sojourner centered her speech on “I believe in you.” She said she believed in the inductees because they have made it to place in life that sometimes the people around them will not always support. “When you make an honor such as this, it is not considered cool to some of your friends. However, you made a decision to be studious and excel. Once you obtain knowledge, no one can take it away from you,” Sojourner said.
She said the world is evolving and will continue to from technology, medicine, and science, and as scholars, they should prepare for them. “When I was younger, as different innovations were happening, I never thought I would be become interested in them from smart phones to digital cameras. Now, I cannot leave my house without making sure I have my phone. As you are on this educational journey, you must get ready for the advances of world. Do not let them pass you by,” Sojourner said.
Sojourner encouraged the students to continue studying, earn a degree, and take on leadership roles. “Your degree will mean something no matter what institution it comes from. Be proud to be at Voorhees and when you go out into the world to apply for jobs, the degree stands for the knowledge you gained, so they will have to compensate you,” Sojourner said.
Sojourner continued saying that as student leaders, the job is not easy. “Sometimes you have to separate from people who do not match what you are trying to do and be in life. As an honor student, you may have to give up certain social activities because you have to study. Encourage yourself because sometimes you will not have someone cheering you on, but I believe in you,” Sojourner said.
She said there needs to be a balance between work, life, friends, health, and fun because if one over powers the other too much and gets destroyed, it may be irreplaceable. “You are an elite group of scholars that must work hard. I believe you are less than perfect and that is fine because no one is perfect, but always do your best. Do not do things in a hurry; pace yourselves. Enjoy your successes as they come,” Sojourner said.
Finally, Sojourner said leadership can be lonely and costly. “The cost can be tremendous in a negative or positive way. But if you work tenaciously at your goals, someone will come along and promote you. I believe in you, and I believe it will happen. Never be limited by other people’s limited imagination,” Sojourner said.
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