VC Digest Jaunary 2016 test


January 2016  

Voorhees held its annual MLK program

Voorhees College celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King at its all-college assembly program on January 21 at 11 am in Massachusetts Hall.  

The program featured keynote speaker Rev. Telley L. Gadson. Gadson earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in religious studies from the University of South Carolina. She later earned a master’s degree in divinity and certification in black church studies from Emory University.

Gadson, a native of Hollywood, S.C., is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., African-American Clergywomen’s Caucus and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She is 

currently the pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Taylors, S.C.

“Dr. King is a symbol of equality, peace and unity, he personified the teachings we try to instill in our students,” said President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. “His legacy will always be remembered and celebrated because he laid down a major foundation for his successors. 

Voorhees hosted a Pre-Black History Month Program

The Department of Student Support Services hosted a Pre-Black History Month Program that featured Pastor Tiffany Knowlin on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. in Massachusetts’s Hall.

Knowlin earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Columbia College, a master’s degree in divinity from Emory University and a master’s degree in urban policy from Georgia State University.

After her studies, Knowlin became the first African-American and the first female pastor of College Place United Methodist Church in Columbia, S.C.

She is a former adjunct professor of Columbia College, where she taught “The African-American Religious Experience” to undergraduate students. Knowlin is currently the first female pastor at historic Wesley United Methodist Church in downtown Columbia.

In addition, she is a member of the South Carolina Christian Action Council, the South Carolina United 

Methodist Church Board of Ordained Ministry, Eau Claire/North Columbia Rotary Club and the Midlands Habitat for Humanity.

Voorhees prepares for its Black History Month Kickoff Celebration

CNN contributor and former state Rep. Bakari Sellers will be the featured speaker for the Voorhees College Black History Month Kick-off Celebration on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. 

Sellers graduated from Morehouse College in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree. In 2008, he earned a juris doctorate degree from the University of South Carolina.

At the age of 22, he was the youngest African-American to be elected into office. In 2008, Sellers became a major supporter in South Carolina for the President Barack Obama Campaign, serving on his steering committee during the election.

Sellers served as a house member from 2006 to 2014, focusing on issues such as healthcare and education. In 2014, he was the Democratic Nominee for lieutenant governor in the state of South Carolina.

“Bakari proves that you can be from a small town such as Denmark and still reach milestones,” said Willie Jefferson, director of special events. “Students can utilize Voorhees to help lead them to bigger opportunities that they too can be proud of.”

Sellers was named Time magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2010 and made “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans in 2014 and 2015.

Sellers is a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. He currently serves as an attorney at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. in Columbia, S.C. and as a political commentator at CNN. 

He is the son of President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. and Gwendolyn Sellers and is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers.

Voorhees will hosts its annual Absalom Jones Feast Day

Voorhees College will host its annual Absalom Jones Feast Day celebration to recognize the African American presence in the Episcopal Church on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. in St. Philip’s Episcopal Chapel on campus.

Absalom Jones was the first African American to be ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in the United States. He is known as a religious icon of the late 1700s and early 1800s, who helped to champion the abolition of slavery in America and acted on behalf of the oppressed and distress. 

“Because of Absalom Jones’ courage and persistent faith in God, African Americans were admitted into the Episcopal denomination. Absalom Jones supported opportunities for growth within the African American communities,” said chaplain and vicar James Yarsiah. 

The celebration will feature guest speaker Rev. Calvin R. Griffin, who has been rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Columbia, S.C. since 1994. Rev. Griffin is a native of Baltimore and a graduate of Morgan State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He earned a master’s degree in divinity from the Eastern Theological Seminary.

Absalom Jones Feast Day will also feature the Right Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina.

Voorhees Alumnus comes to give Black History Lecture 

Voorhees College graduate Troy Franklin will return to campus on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. to give a black history lecture to students in Massachusetts’s Hall during the All-College Assembly.

Franklin has over 26 years of service at MET Laboratories, Inc., which is the nation’s first nationally recognized testing lab. 

He began his tenure as a test engineer then advanced to corporate lab director, corporate counselor, vice president of operations, where he served for 13 years and finally as director of the environmental and energy business Line.

Franklin has over 25 years of experience effectively resolving work place issues such as, employee retention, customer satisfaction, revenue generation and conflict resolution by developing training modules.

Franklin has a passion for etymology; he uses his skill set and international experiences to study and teach the Bible and validate black history.

Franklin graduated from Voorhees with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He earned an associate’s degree in electrical engineering technology from Denmark Technical College. 

He is currently a subject matter expert and presenter for the Etiquette Consulting Group based out of Baltimore.

Voorhees Men’s Basketball team wins and helps out in the community

The Voorhees College Men’s Basketball team recently traveled to Carver Bible College for a match against the Carver Cougars. The Tigers were victorious with a score of 119 -118 in double overtime.

The win was led by Tigers forward Jerrod Brown, who scored a triple double (26pts, 12rebs, 10ast) and Tigers guard Desmond Lewis, who scored 25 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

The team then traveled to Selma University to take on the Selma Bulldogs, and recorded a second victory with a score of 78-76. While in Selma, the team partnered up with Selma’s McRae Learning Center to feed the homeless and the less fortunate of the community.

“I constantly try to instill that it is not just about basketball, it’s about life! I feel it is extremely important to show my players that being compassionate and looking out for others in need scores more points in the game of life, which means much more than how many points you have scored in a game,” said Head Coach Derrick Mitchell.

The men are currently 12- 4  preparing for an away game against the Morris College Hornets, their rival team for Morris’ homecoming on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. 

Rev. Jeremiah Wright to speak at Voorhees

As a part of Voorhees College’s Black History Month Speaker Series, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., former pastor of President Barack Obama, will be speaking on Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. at Massachusetts Hall on campus during the All-College Assembly.

Rev. Wright earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Howard University. He earned a second master’s degree from the University of Chicago in divinity and earned a doctorate degree from the United Theological Seminary.

He became pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ in 1972, where he developed over 70 ministries to address the needs of the community and to enrich the lives and faith of his congregants. During his tenure, Rev. Wright grew the congregation from 87 members to more than 8,000.

After a 36-year pastoral career, Rev. Wright retired in 2008 and is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Ashland Theological Seminary, Lancaster Seminary, The Chicago Theological Seminary and The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.


Voorhees alumnus goes back to school to earn a second doctorate

Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization presented their first scholarship to Voorhees College graduate Jerome Higgs, Ph.D., to assist him with returning to graduate school to earn an additional doctorate degree. 

Higgs graduated from Voorhees in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. During his time at Voorhees, Higgs joined the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., The Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Players Guild and the track and field team.

He graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a doctorate degree in philosophy.

After graduating, he worked at the UAB in the laboratory of Dr. Ponnazhagan studying how certain plant products could be used to treat bone marrow tumors.

He recently had a desire to bridge the gap between clinical or translation research and healthcare, so he re-enrolled into UAB’s School of Health Professions in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

Higgs, a native of The Bahamas, is a member of the Blazer Male Excellence Network, which offers peer mentoring to black male UAB students to improve retention, graduation rate and provide leadership opportunities in the process.

New elected national officers for the National Alumni Association

David G. Miller -84

3957 Hepburn Avenue
Los Angeles, CA  90008-0000

First Vice President
Charles B. Brown-89

P.O. Box 25184
Columbia, SC  29224

Second Vice President
Karen Mack - 84

10707 Trafton Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD  20774

Deltrticia Zandes Brown -98

5000 Harbour Lake Dr. Apt. D-17
Goose Creek, SC  29446

Assistant Secretary
Linda F. McCullough -

2949 Cambridge Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 30331

Financial Secretary
Francine McCullum -98

412 McGinn Grove Drive
Charlotte, NC  28216-2557

Business Manager
Tanya Martino -95

35 Thrasher Road
Covington, GA  30016

Gloria Donald- 69

160 Donald Road
Pelzer, SC  29669

Board of Trustee Representative
Nathaniel Brown - 69

6941 Timber East Lane
Lithonia, GA   30058

The Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was charted on campus Jan. 29, 1971 and will be celebrating their 45th anniversary during Homecoming 2016. For more information, please contact Willie Jefferson at (803) 780-1049 or