Monthly Voorhees College E-Newsletter
May   2014
In This Issue
Alumni Conference Call
Three Voorhees students interning in California
May Alumni Highlight
Beal lands internship with Sonoco
Voorhees wins $10,000 Tier II grant from The Home Depot
Griffin awarded honorary doctorate degree
Voorhees holds 117th Commencement Exercise with higher education advocate
Did you know?
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The Voorhees College Family congratulates the Class of 2014.  On the college's 117th Commencement Day, 117 degrees were awarded.  May also saw the hard work of alumni, students, faculty and staff come to fruition as Voorhees was one of this year's winners in Home Depot's Retool Your School competition.

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


Alumni Conference Call - Tuesday, June 3 @ 8p.m.  

Calling all alumni and supporters:  There will be a conference call held on Tuesday, June 3 at 8 p.m. about Goal 1897, a month-long fundraising campaign for Voorhees in June.  The dial-in number for the conference is 605-475-4000.  The access code is 1095348.  For more information about Goal 1897, contact Teesa Brunson, communications director, at 803-780-1194 or at 

Three Voorhees students interning in California


This summer, Voorhees has a recent graduate and two current students interning at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) in Livermore, Calif.

According to its website, LLNL has a mission of strengthening the United States' security through development and application of world-class science and technology to enhance the nation's defense, reduce the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and respond with vision, quality, integrity and technical excellence.

LaQuinn Nimmons, who graduated in May 2014 with a degree in computer science, is doing malware research and supercomputing at LLNL. In addition, he will continue to support the efforts started at Voorhees College in reference to the "Raspberry Pi Project" through the eSmart Program. After completing his internship this summer with LLNL, Nimmons will begin pursuing a master's degree in computer science at North Carolina A&T University.

Additional students completing internships at LLNL are rising junior Tony Small Jr., who is working with the Information Technology department, focusing on desktop and software support, and Stayce Greene, a rising sophomore, who will also work in the Information Technology department focusing on networking.

These internship opportunities were all funded through the National Nuclear Security Administration Department of Energy. All of these students have been or are current interns in the Information Technology department at Voorhees.

Latonya Gillespie

May Alumni Highlight  


The May alumni highlight is Latonya Gillespie, a 2009 alumna and former Miss Voorhees College 2008-2009.  Gillespie recently graduated from Marquette Dental School making her the first doctor in her family.

While at Marquette, Gillespie not only excelled academically but also with extracurricular activities. She was president of the Student National Dental Association. Additionally, she organized the first Oral Cancer Walk, where she and her colleagues also organized a continuing education course for dental students and offered free oral cancer screenings.

Information in this article was obtained from the Student Spotlight in Marquette University School of Dentistry's Dental Images Winter 2014 issue. To read the full article on page 17, click HERE.

Brandon Beal

Beal lands internship with Sonoco

Brandon Beal, a May 2014 graduate, has secured a marketing internship with Sonoco, originally known as the Southern Novelty Company established in Hartsville, S.C.

According to its website, Sonoco works with customers to provide innovative packaging solutions that enhances and optimizes businesses and brands.

Beal will be interning for Sonoco each summer while pursuing a master's degree in business administration at Alabama A&M University. After graduating from Alabama A&M University, Beal will transition into a permanent role with Sonoco in the marketing department.

Beal, who interned in the Information Technology department at Voorhees, said Voorhees has prepared him to be successful in a global society.

"This is just a testimony that it doesn't matter if you go to a prestigious school or a small one. With hard work, perseverance and faith, anything is possible," Beal said.

"I am truly grateful for my experiences at Voorhees, and I'll never forget the people who helped me along the way to get me where I am today."

All of the May 2014 graduating cyber interns, including Beal, will be pursuing master's degrees in the fall. Those interns are LaQuinn Nimmons, Raven Moore, Andrea Harry and Tandria Allen.

Nimmons will be pursuing a master's degree in computer science at North Carolina A&T University. Moore will be pursuing a master's degree in computer science at Norfolk State University. Harry will be pursuing a master's degree in computer and information science at the College of Charleston. Lastly, Allen will be pursuing a master's degree in computer science at Norfolk State University or Alabama A&M University.

Voorhees wins $10,000 Tier II grant from The Home Depot


Voorhees College is one of 13 HBCUs that won a $10,000 Tier II grant in The Home Depot's 2014 Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program.

Voorhees' win will allow the institution to beautify the campus with additional assorted flowers, shrubbery, trees, planters, a drip line irrigation system, garden benches and gazebos.

"We thank everyone who supported our efforts and voted for Voorhees throughout the competition. We would also like to thank The Home Depot for partnering with us to promote healthy living and learning for our students and all the constituents we serve," said Marcus Burgess, vice president of institutional advancement.

According to the competition rules, Voorhees was selected based on relevance to the proposal requirements, completeness of the proposal, ability to executive the project within the budget, ability of the project to make lasting, positive transformations on the campus that are noticeable, use of sustainable, eco-friendly and/or energy-saving materials and online voting score.

"After the completion of the project, it is our hope that we can create a more welcoming and refreshing meditative space for students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends to gather, connect with nature and reenergize their spiritual being," Burgess said.

To see a complete listing of all the 2014 Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program winners, click HERE

Rosemary Griffin
Griffin awarded honorary doctorate degree

Rosemary Griffin, director of the Voorhees College Concert Choir, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the Carolina Theological Bible Institute.

Prior to coming to Voorhees, Griffin taught in the public schools of South Carolina for more than 35 years.  She also has been the musical director for both the Summer Youth Arts Camp at Voorhees and South Carolina State University's Clemson University 1890 Extension STAR program.

She has been a member of the National Education Association, Orangeburg County Education Association and the Orangeburg Calhoun, Bamberg Advisory Council of the Consortium of the Arts. In December 2010, Bobby Jones of BET's Bobby Jones Gospel presented Griffin with the Renaissance Foundation of Columbia S.C. Trailblazer Award.

Griffin holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Southern Illinois University. She is also a graduate of Mildred Louise Business College. She has done further studies at South Carolina State University, Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Voorhees College awards 117 degrees to graduates at 117th commencement


Voorhees College held its 117th Commencement Convocation Saturday, awarding 117 bachelor of science degrees.

In opening the commencement, President Cleveland L. Sellers Jr. said he was proud of the class of 2014 for staying the course.


"The class of 2014 has proven that hard work and willpower does take you a long way," Sellers said. "There are many who would like to be where you are today. There are many who started out with you on this journey four years ago, but they did not continue on the same path you did, which led you to becoming a college graduate."


He told the graduates they must continue to remember all the obstacles Voorhees' founder endured to establish the college.


"You are now expected to carry the torch first lit by our founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Menafee. The torch represents her values of resilience, determination and persistence," Sellers said.


Billye Jewel Aaron, wife of baseball legend Hank Aaron, was the commencement speaker. Aaron, whose grandparents are from Newberry, commended the class of the 2014 for their persistence.


"I want to congratulate you on staying the course, for keeping your eyes on the prize," she said. "I want to congratulate you for being conscientious students who have matured to get your degree from Voorhees College."

Click HERE to read the entire article.
Did you know...quick bits of news and knowledge about Voorhees College

Voorhees College will be hosting SummerStart sessions for prospective students to get an early start for enrolling in Fall 2014. The sessions consist of early testing, advising, and financial aid counseling. The dates are June 14, June 28, July 12, and July 26. The sessions will begin at 8 a.m. in Massachusetts Hall Auditorium. To register for a SummerStart session, visit



- Voorhees College has a presence on various social media outlets to reach current students, alumni, 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!