Monthly Voorhees College E-Newsletter
February   2014
In This Issue
Lewis shares history of the movement
February Alumni Highlight
Butler-McIntyre encourages students to uphold legacies
Geathers will be honored at 2014 President's Scholarship Gala
King of kings: Hyland makes history
Voorhees College makes first appearance in Gulf Coast tournament
Did you know?
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The February issue of the VC Digest comes after a month of awesome Black History Month celebrations.  February also marked the start of this year's Retool Your School voting!  (Click the image below to cast your vote now)

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

Rep. John Lewis

Civil rights journey: Congressman Lewis shares history of movement, power of reconciliation


Special to the VC Digest 


"The lynching of Emmett Till, the action of Rosa Parks, the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. inspired me," U.S. Congressman John Lewis said.

"I was so inspired that as a teenager I went to check out books at the Pike County Library and was told by the librarian that the library is for whites, it's not for colored," the Georgia Democrat said.
A crowd of nearly 150 gathered in the historic Massachusetts Hall Auditorium on the campus of Voorhees College Tuesday morning to hear the human rights advocate.

"As we celebrate and commemorate Black History Month and our struggle to make America different, to make America better, to make our world better, you must never ever give up, never ever give in, don't get lost in the sea of despair," he said.

After writing a letter to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in the late 1950s after being denied admission into then Troy State College, Lewis said he met King and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy face to face after receiving a round-trip bus ticket courtesy of King.

"Are you the boy from Troy?" King asked Lewis. "Are you John Lewis?"
Timid and afraid, Lewis said he spoke up and said, "Dr. King, I am John Robert Lewis. ... That was the beginning of my civil rights journey and I haven't looked back since."

Lewis, the last living member of the "Big Six" leaders of civil rights organizations, helped organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. He was 23.

Voorhees College President Dr. Cleveland Sellers said Lewis is his friend and mentor, "a beacon of hope for restoring civil rights all around the world."
No stranger to the civil rights movement, Sellers organized sit-ins throughout the South and was the only person jailed for his participation in the events of 1968 that have come to be known as the Orangeburg Massacre.
"Thank you my friend and brother for the great contribution that you made to our struggle," Lewis said to Sellers.

Named one of the most courageous figures in the civil rights movement, the 72-year-old Lewis is an author and recipient of numerous national, international and humanitarian awards. President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, in 2010.

Lewis said he returned to the Pike County Library in 1998 for the signing of his book "Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement."

"Black and white citizens showed up and they gave me a library card," he said.
With over 40 arrests in the 1960s, the advocate for peaceful nonviolence spoke of his violent, near-death beatings at the hands of police and angry white mobs as protesters demanded an end to segregation and unfair treatment of blacks.
"On a freedom ride, right in Rock Hill, South Carolina, I and my white seat mate was beaten on May 9, 1961, and, on February 2009, one of the white men who beat us came to my office with his son to apologize," Lewis said.

"We hugged and everyone was crying," he said. "That shows the power of our faith and the power to be reconciled, because we all live in the same house. Not a Voorhees house or a Fisk house or an American house. ... We live in a world house."

Lewis exclaimed, "We are one people, one family, one love. It does not matter whether we are black, white, Latino, Asian or Native American, we are one people. Dr. King said it best: 'We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.'"

This article was printed in the online edition of The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg on February 18, 2014. To read the full article, click here.

Jasmine Addison

February Alumni Highlight 


The alumni highlight for February is Jasmine Addison. Addison graduated from Voorhees in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics.

She currently resides on the island of Oahu in Honolulu County in Hawaii. She has been teaching eighth grade mathematics and science at Wheeler Middle School for approximately two years.

Addison has also established a hip-hop dance group at the school, Skoolyard Krew, and they have performed all over the island. She began her teaching career through the Teach for America Program.

While at Voorhees, Addison was a member of various organizations including the Eta Omicron Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Culture Club and Math and Computer Science 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

Cynthia Butler-McIntyre

Butler-McIntyre encourages students to uphold legacies

By: Willie Waters III, senior mass communications major

Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, the 24th national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., asked the audience, "Aren't you glad that we get to celebrate?"
"I'm glad of this month! I get to celebrate who I am! That's what Black History Month means to me."

Butler-McIntyre was the featured speaker at Voorhees' Black History Month kickoff program on Feb 6.
Butler-McIntyre said that it is imperative that African Americans control their past and present by studying and understanding the rich history of the African American culture.

"We have to study our history to know where we come from and to continue to create change." she said.  "If you don't know your history, you will be bound to your past."  She said that African Americans must always keep in mind the legacies and struggles of African Americans before who came before us.  "We are the evidence of their success on their journey."

She challenged the students as well as the faculty and staff to uphold the legacies and to continue building upon the legacies of those who came before them.

Butler-McIntyre, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is a graduate of Dillard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education. She went on to earn a Master of Education degree from the University of New Orleans.  She is also an educator who currently serves as a director of human resources for the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Harvey, La. 

Geathers will be honored at 2014 President's Scholarship Gala


Jerome Geathers 
The 2014 Keeper of the Flame honoree is Jerome Geathers, a 1972 Voorhees alumnus. Geathers is president and CEO of Geathers Enterprises, Inc., which he founded in 1994.
Geathers Enterprises, Inc. operates airport concessions in Charlotte, N.C., owns and manages commercial and residential rental properties and nets annual sales of more than $5 million. Geathers Enterprises, Inc. employs 20 employees.

Geathers previously served as the district director for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. In this role, Geathers was responsible for non-discrimination, affirmative-action and equal employment opportunities for federal contractors and sub-contractors throughout North and South Carolina. He also managed 35 district employees in this role.

In 2000, Geathers established an annual scholarship at Voorhees in the amount of $5,000, which he continues to fund today.

Some of Geathers' awards include receiving the Secretary of Labor Exceptional Achievement Award 15 times, Secretary of Labor Outstanding Performance Award 12 times, Secretary of Labor Distinguished Career Service Award and Regional Excellence Award in Recognition of Quality Teamwork.

He is involved with various organizations through community service work. Some of those organizations are A Child's Place, American Cancer Society, NAACP Life Member, United Way, Urban League, Airport Minority Advisory Council and Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Phi Pi graduate chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Geathers obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting at Voorhees. He was the first Voorhees graduate to pass the Federal Service Entrance Exam (FSEE).  He was also a 2007 inductee of the Voorhees College Hall of Fame.

Geathers will be honored at the 2014 President's Scholarship Gala on Saturday, April 5 at the Charleston Marriot in Charleston, S.C. Click HERE for sponsorships or ticket information, or contact Marcus Burgess at (803) 780-1199 or

King of kings: Hyland  
makes history

By: David Mathis, senior mass communications major 

Mr. Voorhees College, Anthony Hyland, made history by winning the 10th Annual Mr. HBCU: Kings Leadership Conference and Competition, held early February at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.

Additionally, this was the first time Voorhees was represented in the pageant throughout the pageant's 10-year history.

Hyland, a native of Philadelphia, Penn. majoring in mass communications, competed against kings from 14 HBCUs including Howard University, North Carolina A&T University, Tuskegee University, Fisk University and Bethune-Cookman University.

In addition to winning the competition, Hyland was awarded the Mr. HBCU proclamation from Missouri state senator, Mike Kehoe, and also a $1,500 scholarship.

"We are very proud of Mr. Hyland's achievements," said President Sellers. "This is not just a victory for Mr. Hyland, this is a victory for the entire Voorhees College family."

On returning to Voorhees, Hyland was embraced by Voorhees faculty, staff and students for his performance and also making history at Voorhees.

When asked about his victory, Hyland responded with simply six words, "If you believe, you can achieve."

Since his junior year, Hyland has served as president of the Eta Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He also founded a non-profit organization, Hyland Enterprises. Through this non-profit organization, he strives to motivate and educate young minds into a more diverse mindset of thinking. 

His philosophy of life is, "If we don't continue to give back, our youth will continue to give up."

Voorhees College makes first appearance in Gulf Coast tournament  


By: Willie Waters III, Mass Communications major 


The Voorhees College men and women's basketball teams will attend the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time on March 5 -9 in New Orleans, La.

The 2013-2014 academic year marked the first year that Voorhees was a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). The institution moved to the GCAC from the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I). 

The GCAC tournament will include Edward Waters College, Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans, Tougaloo College, Philander Smith College, Fisk University, Talladega College and Xavier University.

The Tigers are heading into the tournament with their top players having some of their best games against teams in the conference.

James Williams of the men's basketball team recorded 23 points against Philander Smith and Fisk University. He is ranked #24 in NAIA Division I in three-point field goals made per game and #35 in Division I in total three-point field goals made.

The Lady Tigers Amber Johnson averages 17 points and 12 rebounds per game and recorded 22 points against Fisk University. She is ranked #30 in NAIA Division I in points per game and #5 in NAIA Division I in total rebounds per game. She is also ranked 8th in offensive rebounds and 11th in defensive rebounds.

After a four-year run of success with two conference regular season titles, a conference tournament championship, all-conference players, a NAIA all-American, NAIA all-academics, and many other accolades and achievements, Voorhees College Women's Basketball Head Coach Edward Glover knew that the 2013-2014 team would be an ongoing work in progress.

"This season has been and still is a work in progress," Glover said.  "When you lose a lot of players to graduation and a few of those players that graduate are juniors on the court, it takes the program back a few steps, but you don't want to rebuild but reload and try to continue and have some success". 

Going into post season play, the Lady Tigers will rely on Johnson to lead the way with a team that includes seven freshmen, three sophomores and two juniors.

"With these young players, this season has been an ongoing work in progress and we are still trying to find ourselves. We just have to work harder, smarter and play together to have a successful run in the conference tournament."

The seedings for the GCAC will be announced on Monday, March 3.

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

- Voorhees College has a presence on various social media outlets to reach current students, alumni and supporters, and potential students.  Most recently, Voorhees joined Instagram, the most used photo-based social media app.  Connect to VC on all the sites/apps below!



- 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 



- 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!


- Voorhees College was selected again this year to compete in The Home Depot Retool Your School competition. 

Be sure to cast your votes EVERY DAY from ALL of your web-enabled devices (computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, media devices, etc.)  



Vote for VC at the following link: