Voorhees University

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Voorhees University (formerly Voorhes College) is a private historically black university in Denmark, South Carolina. It is affiliated with the Episcopal Church (United States) and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Voorhees University
Former names
Denmark Industrial School,
Voorhees Industrial Institute for Colored Youths,
Voorhees School and Junior College,
Voorhees College
TypePrivate historically black university
Established1897; 125 years ago (1897)
Religious affiliation
Episcopal Church
Academic affiliations
NAICU[1]
UNCF
PresidentRonnie Hopkins
Students600
Location, ,
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
CampusRural
ColorsRoyal blue and white[2]
   
Sporting affiliations
NAIAIndependent
MascotTiger
Websitewww.voorhees.edu

HistoryEdit

In 1897, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright founded Denmark Industrial School for African Americans. Located in a rural area and the small town of Denmark, it was modeled on the well-known Tuskegee Institute of Alabama. The first classes were held on the second floor of an old store.

 
Voorhees Industrial School, c. 1910

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 and four-year curriculum, 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 outreach to assist 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, which eventually inspired 75 students to command a two-day armed student occupation of the college. The president of Voorhees agreed to the students' demands, but filed a formal request to the South Carolina National Guard to subdue the students. The protesters surrendered but were subsequently arrested.[4][5] Many were suspended.

The institution changed its name to Voorhees University in 2022 when it celebrated its 125th anniversary.[6]

Voorhees College Historic DistrictEdit

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 co-founder 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.[7] Photographs of some of the buildings are available.[8]

AthleticsEdit

Voorhees athletics teams are the Tigers and Lady Tigers. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an independent within the Continental Athletic Conference since the 2015–16 academic year. The Tigers and Lady Tigers previously competed in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) from 2013–14 to 2014–15; and formerly as a member of the defunct Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC) from 1983–84 to 2004–05.

Voorhees competes in ten intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country and track & field; women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, softball and track & field.

Greek letter organizationsEdit

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 ΗΝ
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity ΑΦΑ Eta Iota ΗΙ
Delta Sigma Theta sorority ΔΣΘ Eta Phi ΗΦ
Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity ΚΑΨ Epsilon Omega ΕΩ
Omega Psi Phi fraternity ΩΨΦ Sigma Theta ΣΘ
Phi Beta Sigma fraternity ΦΒΣ Zeta Gamma ΖΓ
Sigma Gamma Rho sorority ΣΓΡ Eta Omicron ΗΟ
Zeta Phi Beta sorority ΖΦΒ Theta Epsilon ΘΕ

Notable alumniEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "NAICU – Member Directory". Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
  2. ^ Institutional Governance & College Administration Policies (PDF). Vol. 1. May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 5, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  3. ^ Edgar, Walter (2006). South Carolina Encyclopedia. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. pp. 999–1000. ISBN 1-57003-598-9.
  4. ^ "ABC Evening News with Howard K. Smith - April 29, 1969". ABC Evening News. American Broadcasting Corporation. April 29, 1969. Retrieved February 23, 2019.[dead link] Vanderbilt Television News Archive
  5. ^ "Campus Unrest / Voorhees / Arms | Vanderbilt Television News Archive". tvnews.vanderbilt.edu. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  6. ^ Boyd, Tamia (February 22, 2022). "'We're like family': Voorhees College, a private historically Black institution in Denmark". The Greenville News. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  7. ^ "NRHP Nomination form" (PDF).
  8. ^ "South Carolina Department of Archives and History".
  9. ^ "Jackie Dinkins NBA statistics". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "Review of African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, 1865-1945".

External linksEdit