VC Digest

Monthly Voorhees College E-Newsletter
December   2013
In This Issue
Alumni elect Donald as president of NAA
December Alumni Highlight
Voorhees family donate Thanksgiving food baskets
Seller's statement on the passing of Nelson Mandela
Did you know?
Quick Links

The December issue of the VC Digest arrives wishing you a blessed and joyous holiday season!  Be sure to check out the Fall 2013 issue of The Voice in the Quick Link section.

To share any recent accomplishments of alumni, please e-mail Teesa Brunson, communications director, at
Gloria J. Donald

Alumni elect Donald as president of NAA



During Homecoming 2013, alumni elected Gloria J. Donald as the new president of the National Alumni Association. Donald began serving in this role immediately following homecoming and will serve for two years.


As the new president, some of her goals include working diligently through the alumni chapters to help the college achieve its recruiting and fundraising goals, bridging the gap between younger and older alumni in an effort to maximize the full potential of alumni and increasing alumni giving and participation overall.


"We need all alumni to support Voorhees College and participate in college events and activities in order to make our alma mater the place that every student will want to attend," Donald said.


Donald graduated from Voorhees in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She has more than 40 years of leadership and administrative experience in corporate America. She is currently an executive with Travelers Insurance and resides in the Greenville, S.C. area.


As a major financial supporter of Voorhees since graduation, she has served as president of the Voorhees Piedmont Alumni Council, was inducted into the Voorhees College Hall of Fame in 2008, and recognized as the 2013 Outstanding Alum of Voorhees by the United Negro College Fund. Additionally, Donald also serves as a mentor to several students at Voorhees.


The other new national officers elected during Homecoming 2013 were David Miller of Los Angeles, Calif. as first vice president, Phillip Fuquan Stanford of Avenel, N.J. as second vice president, Johnny Blake of Sylvester, Ga. as third vice president, Mary Suber Stover of Columbia, S.C. as recording secretary, Deltricia Zanders of Goose Creek, S.C. as corresponding secretary, Martin Richberg of Jonesboro, Ga. as business manager, Horace Lamback of Martinez, Ga. as parliamentarian, Zenna Farley-Williams of Lithonia, Ga. as treasurer, Clyde Holliday of Columbia, S.C. as chaplain and Leah Durphy Taylor of Denmark, S.C. as board of trustees representative.


"I congratulate all of our new officers of the National Alumni Association, and I look forward to working with them as we continue the mission of Voorhees set forth by our founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee," said President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr.


Rickella Kelly

December Alumni Highlight 



The alumni highlight for December is Rickella Kelly, a May 2013 graduate with a bachelor's degree in mass communications.


Kelly was recently hired at Asec Interactive in Lexington, S.C. Asec Interactive is a U.S. corporation and a premier provider of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) solutions. This company provides an extensive range of graphics services, internet content management, web design, document management, information processing and customer contact solutions.


Kelly was hired as a copywriter for the corporation. Her responsibilities include writing content for various websites across the United States and uploading information to the websites.


"What I love most about this job is seeing my finished product," Kelly said. "I thank God every day for blessing me with the opportunity of jumping right into my field."


Kelly, a native of Cayce, S.C., was a member of various organizations while at Voorhees including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., E.E. Wright Players and the Mass Communications Club.


If you know a Voorhees graduate who should be highlighted, please e-mail a bio and picture of that person, along with your contact information, to or
Voorhees family donate
Thanksgiving food baskets


Voorhees faculty, staff and students began the Holiday Season by giving back to families in the community.


Prior to leaving for Thanksgiving break, the Voorhees family attended the final chapel service of the year in St. Philip's Episcopal Chapel and donated approximately 30 Thanksgiving food baskets. Following chapel service, the baskets were delivered to the community.


Student organizations, clubs, divisions, departments, and programs that donated baskets were the Eta Omicron Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Fiscal and Administrative Affairs, Student Affairs, Office of Admissions, Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Campus Security, Pan Hellenic Council, Division of General Studies, Department of Education, Bamberg S.C. Workers & Center for Excellence in Rural Minority Health, White Rose Social Club, Department of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, Scales of Justice, Early Head start, Booker T. Washington Building Staff, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., residents of Menafee Hall, Voorhees College Track and Field Team, the Eta Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Student Support Services Program, Voorhees College Gospel and Concert Choir, Academic Affairs and Academic Support Area, Male Mentoring Program, and the Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Culture Club.  


"These generous donations are a blessing to many of our less fortunate brothers and sisters in our community, especially during this Thanksgiving Holiday," said Father James Yarsiah, college chaplain.  "May God richly bless you and prosper the work of your hands."


Sellers' statement on passing of Nelson Mandela


President Sellers (2nd from left) with other SNCC members bailed out by Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. Click image for all individual's names. * 
Most recently, the world celebrated the life of the late Nelson Mandela, who helped end apartheid. Mandela passed Dec. 5. Many world leaders shared their personal stories on how Mandela inspired them. President Cleveland L. Sellers, Jr. also shared how he was touched by Mandela's fight for human rights around the world.  


"As the father of South Africa, a statesman, and an apostle of hope for mankind, as we look over the life of the late Nelson Mandela, we must remember his life sacrifice, persistency and courage. These are key characteristics of who he was as a "Lion of Africa."


He went from 27 years in prison to the presidency of new South Africa without the stench of inhuman treatment of apartheid, which denied black South Africans their dignity and humanity. He set the tone for being the person with the most charisma and political courage of the 20th century.


His movement was revolutionary. He will be missed as a role model for others who have been marginalized and oppressed and used him as a symbol of hope.

Although I was never able to meet Nelson Mandela, our struggles were aligned during that time before it became popular to rally against apartheid. Supporting the fight against apartheid put us on the opposite side of the powers to be. Our fight against injustice tied both of our nations together with our struggle against racism and oppression.


In my youth, I was involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Through this involvement, I became intricately aware of the apartheid in South Africa, which was similar to the struggles of the South involving segregation.


In 1965, I, along with Congressman John Lewis and members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was arrested at South Africa's Consulate Office for protesting in memory of the Sharpeville Massacre, where police shot and killed several unarmed protestors. After we were arrested, we were later bailed out of jail by Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. Three weeks later, we went to the Embassy in Washington, D.C. and protested again for five hours, which resulted in us being arrested again.


As young demonstrators, we were aware of Nelson Mandela and his anti-apartheid movement. We knew the struggle of Nelson Mandela and others involved with their fight for the African National Congress, who rallied against apartheid or racial separation. This movement was similar to our movement in the Apartheid South against segregation and the right to vote.


In 1968, after the shooting on the campus of South Carolina State College involving students of this institution and Claflin College, we were trying to characterize what happened. We realized that what happened in Orangeburg was very similar to the Sharpeville Massacre. This is how we named the incident we now call, "The Orangeburg Massacre."


I will forever be grateful for Nelson Mandela's fight for justice. He embodies the values we try to teach our students at Voorhees, which are persistence, determination and resilience."


* In the photo above, in New York in 1966, Sellers, along with others such as Congressman John Lewis, was arrested for protesting against the Sharpeville Massacre in Africa. The picture is of Sellers, Lewis and others being bailed out of jail by Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier.  

Did you know...quick bits of news and knowledge about Voorhees College
Historic Blanton Hall

- Voorhees College was featured on various websites and media outlets this semester, including highlights on the Tom Joyner Foundation facebook page and a story on South Carolina A-Z website, Click HERE or on the photo of Blanton Hall to the right to read the story.

- Are you planning an upcoming reunion for Voorhees Homecoming 2014? Reunions can include fraternities, sororities, organizations or classes. If so, please contact the Division of Institutional Advancement at (803) 780-1199 to assist you with this endeavor. We are here to make sure your reunion experience is successful, memorable and enjoyable!



- The 2014 President's Scholarship Gala will be held on Saturday, April 5 in Charleston, S.C.  For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (803) 780-1194 or