Voorhees College

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Voorhees College
Established 1897
Type Private, HBCU
Religious affiliation Episcopal Church
UNCF
President Cleveland Sellers, Jr.[1]
Students 600
Location Denmark, South Carolina, United States
33°18′32.61″N 81°7′41.51″W / 33.3090583°N 81.1281972°W / 33.3090583; -81.1281972Coordinates: 33°18′32.61″N 81°7′41.51″W / 33.3090583°N 81.1281972°W / 33.3090583; -81.1281972
Campus Rural
Former names Denmark Industrial School
Voorhees Industrial Institute for Colored Youths
Voorhees School and Junior College
Colors Royal blue and white[2]
         
Mascot Tigers
Website www.voorhees.edu

Voorhees College is a private, historically black college (HBCU) in Denmark, South Carolina. It is affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Voorhees College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

History[edit]

In 1897, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright and Jessie Dorsey founded Denmark Industrial School for African Americans. Located in a rural area and small town, it was modeled on Tuskegee Institute. It began in the upstairs of an old store.

In 1902, Ralph Voorhees, a New Jersey philanthropist, gave the school a donation to purchase land and construct buildings. In 1904 the South Carolina General Assembly renamed the school and incorporated it as the Voorhees Industrial Institute for Colored Youths.

In 1924, the school was affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. In 1947, its name was changed to Voorhees School and Junior College. In 1962, with the addition of departments, it became accredited as Voorhees College.[3]

In 1969, the school's predominantly Black student body demanded more Black study programs and the hiring of Black faculty as well as assisting the local lower income community of Denmark with scholarships. The Voorhees administration, made up of mostly Whites, ignored the students' plea. A demonstration of 500 students began as a response and this eventually led to a 2 day armed student occupation of the college. The President of Voorhees agreed to the students' demands but he subsequently called on the South Carolina National Guard to overtake the students, arresting them after they had already surrendered. Many were suspended.

Voorhees College Historic District[edit]

See Main Article: Voorhees College Historic District

This historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 1982. It includes thirteen contributing buildings constructed from 1905 to 1935. The historic district is noteworthy as an example of pioneering education for African Americans in the early 20th century, and for its association with Elizabeth Evelyn Wright. In addition, the buildings, constructed mostly by students, showed ambitious design and masonry techniques. Many of these buildings were constructed by the students of Voorhees College as part of their crafts program.[4] Photographs of some of the buildings are available.[5]

Athletics[edit]

Voorhees College teams, nicknamed athletically as the Tigers, are a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Voorhees joined the GCAC in July 2013. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, softball, track & field and volleyball.

Greek letter organizations[edit]

The university has chapters for eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority ΑΚΑ Eta Nu
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity ΑΦA Eta Iota HI
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority ΔΣΘ Eta Phi
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity ΚΑΨ Epsilon Omega
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity ΩΨΦ Sigma Theta ΣΘ
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity ΦΒΣ Zeta Gamma
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority ΣΓΡ Eta Omicron HO
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority ΖΦΒ Theta Epsilon ΘE

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Dr. Pamela Wilson 1994 President of Allen University [1]
Dr. Jim Reeves 1977 Deputy Chief, Forest Service Research and Development, United States Forest Service [2]
David Miller 1984 co-owner of the OurWeekly, a weekly periodical for the African-American community in Los Angeles [3]
Jackie Dinkins 1971 NBA player with the Chicago Bulls [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Orangeburg figure Sellers will lead Voorhees College". 
  2. ^ http://voorhees.edu/public/files/docs/VC%20Policy%20Manual%20Vol%201.pdf
  3. ^ Edgar, Walter (2006). South Carolina Encyclopedia. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. pp. 999–1000. ISBN 1-57003-598-9. 
  4. ^ "NHRP Nomination form". 
  5. ^ "South Carolina Department of Archives and History". 
  6. ^ "Jackie Dinkins NBA statistics". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 

External links[edit]