Voorhees will hold its 119th commencement ceremony


Voorhees will hold its 119th commencement ceremony

April 29, 2016

Voorhees College will celebrate its 119th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m. in the Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center. American civil rights icon Hank Thomas will be the keynote speaker.

Thomas attended Howard University, where in1960 he became one of the founding members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an organization that was formed to give young blacks a voice in the civil rights movement.  

In 1961, he was one of the 13 original Freedom Riders who rode buses in the South to determine if they (bus companies) were complying with the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) ruling pertaining to desegregation. A bus that he was riding on in Anniston, Ala. was fire-bombed and completely destroyed.

He is a life member of NAACP, inductee of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, 2010 recipient of the Margaret Bush Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010 Inductee of the Atlanta Business League Men of Influence Hall of Fame, 2011 Recipient of McDonald’s 365 Black Award and a recipient of the Vietnam War Purple Heart.

Thomas, a native of St. Augustine, Fla, is the owner and operator of a host of restaurants, hotels and laundromats. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Trustees for Morehouse School of Medicine, Talladega College, Tougaloo College and The Atlanta Youth Academy.

The hooding ceremony and baccalaureate service for all 2016 May graduates will be held at 2 p.m. May 6 in the St. Phillip’s Chapel.

These events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Willie Jefferson, director of special events, at 803-780-1049 or at williej@voorhees.edu