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Voorhees College is an economic engine Print E-mail
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

“Voorhees College is expanding. There are a lot of good things happening at Voorhees,” Voorhees College President Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers Jr. told the nearly 20 representatives of area businesses, corporations, organizations and quest assembled at the President’s House on the Voorhees College campus for a “Town N Gown” After Hour Social on Thursday evening October 3.

Dr. Sellers noted in his address to the assembled quest that for 117 years Voorhees College has been “ a viable” part of the community in Denmark and Bamberg County and was looking at expanding and increasing its enrollment to 1,000 students. The college it was noted has been reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and two students are currently in the last phases of the Teacher Education Program. With a budget of $20 million per year and 150 employees the college has “a tremendous” economic impact on the community.

Dr. Sellers, who is only the eighth president of the 117 year old college, stated the college will be calling on the community to see how to generate more resources for the community. “We want to tap into corporate South Carolina and work in a partnership,” Sellers said. He noted the college has done a “tremendous job” in building “good citizens” that have gone on to graduate school and other careers and done “a remarkable job.”

“We’ve got the economic engine if we’re smart enough to use it,” Vice President of the Voorhees College Board of Trustees Saint Clair P. Guess said. Guess stated that some of the “brightest” lawyers, doctors and educators are at Voorhees College right now. He sighted trustee board member, doctor and NASA Astronaut Robert Satcher as an example. Guess gave the example of four small towns like Denmark (Livingston Alabama, Magnolia Arkansas, Cullowee North Carolina and Alpine Texas) that “embraced” their colleges and have thrived in noting Denmark could do the same having Voorhees in its back yard.

Denmark Mayor Dr. Gerald E. Wright stated that Denmark is “a special place” in large part because of Voorhees College. The mayor noted Voorhees College has made the “quality of life” in Denmark above that of many small towns in South Carolina. “When Voorhees is healthy and doing well, Denmark is healthy and doing well,” Wright said noting the city annexed the college into the city limits in 2010.

Bamberg Mayor Blain Crosby stated that he had two reasons he wanted to see Voorhees College moving forward. The first reason was Voorhees College is the only four-year college in Bamberg County. And like himself, President Sellers was born in the town of the college he now leads and he was born in the city of Bamberg, which he now leads. “That’s just an amazing thing. I’m one who was raised in Bamberg and ready to move my city forward too,” Crosby said.

Teesa Brunson, communications director at the college recognized and thanked all the elected and public officials and businesses in attendance at the event.

She noted that the college would be observing homecoming on November 8th and 9th.

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