HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Drake State Community and Technical College is offering a free professional development training course for middle school and high school science teachers. For one week, teachers will earn a $500 stipend for participating in a fun-filled, educationally packed immersion into NASA inspired curriculum. Plus, the training meets professional development CEU requirements. The program will equip teachers with tools that will enable them to design and implement lesson plans that are connected to NASA’s goals and mission.

When: June 13-17
Where: Drake State, 3421 Meridan St.
Time: 8:30 am – 2 pm

“This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to learn about industry best practices and trends in the science and engineering world,” said Dr. Marina Kinsbury, Director of Sponsored Programs. “The program will expand their knowledge in STEM education and help prepare students for careers in engineering.”

Those interested in participating can sign up online at https://form.jotform.com/221216920976155.

About Drake State Community & Technical College
Drake State Community & Technical College offers flexible, affordable university-transfer and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized skills training to fulfill the diverse workforce needs of employers. Visit www.drakestate.edu for more information.

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April is celebrated as Community College Month. The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a nonprofit advocacy and educational organization, recognizes the community colleges designated as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Community College Month is an opportunity to demonstrate the vital importance of how community colleges impact the surrounding communities and make an undeniable case for why these colleges deserve greater public support. Many people don’t know that some of these institutions do exist and that they serve a greater purpose in the HBCU community for traditional and non-traditional students. The majority of the community colleges are partnered with surrounding four-year institutions to make associate degrees, and course credits transferable to those four-year colleges or universities to complete bachelor’s degrees.

Furthermore, community colleges partner with area businesses to create academic and workforce training programs; for instance, Drake State is an excellent example as it is the first and only institution of its kind in Alabama. It offers its students comprehensive academic and technical training programs and certificates. Drake State also provides flexible, affordable university-transfer degrees and customized skills training to fulfill the diverse workforce need of employers.

Shorter College campus in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo is courtesy of HCF media team.

As a result, in total there are eleven community colleges that exist and have HBCU designation with Alabama having the most of six institutions. With hopes to provide financial support from the HBCU Campaign Fund in the near future, three of the current serving presidents of the two-year institutions have been recognized as a Most Dominant HBCU Leader by the organization for their outstanding work in moving the institutions forward.

Bishop State Community College
• Coahoma Community College
• Denmark Technical College
• Drake State Community and Technical College
• Gadsden State Community College
• Hinds Community College at Utica
• Shelton State Community College
• Shorter College
• Southern University at Shreveport
• St. Philip’s College
• Trenholm State Community College

Drake State Community and Technical College changed its name in 1966 to J.F. Drake State in honor of the late Joseph Fanning Drake, a long-time president of Alabama A&M University. The institution has established university articulation agreements with Alabama A&M University, Oakwood University, Athens State University, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. With these agreements, it expands options for its students and makes it possible for graduates with technical associate degrees in computer information systems, electrical engineering technology, and business programs to transfer seamlessly to those universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Patricia Sims, Drake State is also the first and only historically Black community college to be awarded a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) by NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center (MSFC) Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP). Graduates of Drake State are known to have started their own businesses, and the institution has had a strong influence on economic development in the region. Dr. Patricia Sims was named among the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2020 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

Denmark Technical College President Dr. Willie L. Todd, Jr. seen awarding a student during the college’s Honors Convocation. Photo courtesy of Denmark Technical College.

On the other hand, Denmark Technical College is also making pathways for its students. The college is located in Denmark, South Carolina, just an inch before you get to the camping grounds of Voorhees University. And just like Drake State, Denmark Technical is the only technical college in South Carolina with on-campus housing. It is a two-year, historically Black technical college that provides students within the area with affordable opportunities for associate degrees, diplomas, or certificates. It is an HBCU that is on the rise, though previously, it had its reputation for being in financial trouble and a threat towards closure. According to Diverse Issues of Higher Education, under Dr. Willie L. Todd, Jr’s leadership, Denmark has overcome its obstacles; its nursing program increased by 150% and its workforce program revenue by 1101%. Job placement rates after graduation are currently at 87%. Dr. Todd has served as the ninth president at the institution since 2020.

The state of Alabama consists of six of the eleven HBCU community colleges; all of them fall under the umbrella of the Alabama Community College System, including Drake State. The others are Bishop State Community College, Gadsden State Community College, Lawson State Community College, Shelton State Community College, and Trenholm State Community College. Additionally, Southern University at Shreveport is also part of a system, the Southern University System, the only historically Black university system in America. However, Shorter College in Little Rock, Arkansas, may not be part of a system. Still, it is the only private historically Black college and university (HBCU) junior college in the nation.

Another unique and thriving HBCU community college is St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas. It is America’s only college that is federally designated as both Historically Black College (HBC) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). It too is part of the Alamo College District system. It was founded by the Episcopal Church in 1898 to educate and train slaves. Today, SPC serves approximately 12,696 students and offer over 70 academic and technical options. A product of Alcorn State University, SPC current president Dr. Adena Williams Loston was selected as one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

St. Philip’s College President Dr. Adena Williams Loston is seen speaking with faculty, staff and students. Photo courtesy of St. Philip’s College.

Traditionally, community colleges are known to be the most affordable, given that Coahoma Community College has repeatedly been named the most affordable HBCU in the nation by StudentLoanHero.com. Matriculating at a community college can always be a starting point to beginning your collegiate journey. It can also be a point in your life where you may not be quite ready to attend a four-year college or university. Many community colleges offer flexibility and the resources you need to make it possible to stay enrolled and complete your chosen program. These institutions are also dedicated to dual enrollment students or even may have high schools incorporated on the campuses. Do your research, and contact the college’s admission office for more information.

Just as crucial as any higher education institution, our community colleges are that important to the space. If HCF can be of any assistance in your college journey, please feel free to reach out to our representatives, who are always open to assisting. We welcome you to contact our office via email at support@hbcucampaignfund.org.

Join us in April of every year as we honor and celebrate the important work of community colleges. Embrace those who are designated as an HBCU, support its mission. Happy Community College Month!

Dr. Dennis Shields

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Southern University System Board of Supervisors named Dr. Dennis Shields has the next president of the Southern University System and chancellor of Southern University and A&M College during it’s meeting on February 18. Shields, the current chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Platteville, will succeed President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton, who announced his retirement in 2021. Belton’s contract ends on June 30.

“I think the selection of Dennis Shields represents our belief that he’s the best fit to lead the University following Dr. Belton,” said Edwin Shorty, chairman of the Southern University System Board. “We felt that Mr. Shields comes with the right mix of qualities to further advance the University.”

Shields, who has been the chancellor for the University of Wisconsin Platteville since 2010, has spent most of his career advocating for better access to higher education – especially those who have been historically underrepresented. Under Shields’ leadership, the campus has had tremendous growth. Enrollment grew nearly 11 percent from 2010 to fall 2016. Most recently, he led successful efforts to gain legislative and gubernatorial approval to build a new $55 million state-of-the-art engineering facility on campus as well as a $23.7 million renovation project for one of the liberal arts buildings on campus. Those two projects, plus a $15.3 million Williams Fieldhouse expansion, will give the university more than $93 million in upcoming growth and improvements. Additionally, he led the construction of two residence halls, one with a dinning facility.

“I am humbled and honored by your confidence in me to take on this role at this wonderful institution of higher education,” said Shields to the Southern University Board via live stream video during the meeting. “I had a remarkable and inspiring visit (to campus) and was able to spend some time with the students. I take it as a great responsibility to help continue to rise of the Southern University System.”

Prior to his current position in Wisconsin, Shields held administrative positions in admissions at the University of Iowa College of Law, University of Michigan Law School and Duke University School of Law. He has also held a deanship and a teaching position at Phoenix School of Law and act as the vice president for student affairs at The City College of New York.

A champion of diversity and access, Shields served as the first chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group of the National Collegiate Athletics Association for Division lll. With Shields at the helm, the University of Wisconsin Platteville, has focused more on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Initiatives have successfully doubled the number of students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds over the course of the past decade.

Shields, an Iowa native, earned a bachelors degree in business administration from Graceland College in 1977, and a juris doctoral from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1982.

Shields will officially begin his term once a final contract is approved by the Southern University Board.

About Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College, an Historically Black, 1890 land-grant institution, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is to provide a student-focused teaching and learning environment that creates global leadership opportunities for a diverse student population where teaching, research, service, scholarly and creative expectations for students and faculty are achieved through the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs offered at the institution via different instructional modalities and via public service. For more information, visit www.subr.edu.

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Budget Outlines Important Investment in Students and Public Institutions

The proposed budget will support college affordability and focus on closing equity gaps in Illinois education.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) applaud Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal that outlines significant investment in Illinois’ higher education institutions and students. Illinois four-year universities, which includes Chicago State University (CSU), Illinois’ only designated Predominantly Black Institution, would receive a 5% increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 relative to this year’s current budget. The proposal would also add an additional $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year 2022. If approved by the General Assembly, the budget would provide critically needed resources for the University and CSU students.

Governor Pritzker’s budget also strengthens financial aid for students by, among other things, increasing funding for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for low-income students by $122 million.

Governor Pritzker’s pushed the proposal for the fiscal 2022-23 budget investment early last year to provide stability for higher education institutions in Illinois, including CSU.

“Governor Pritzker’s budget recognizes the unparalleled value of higher education to the Illinois’ economy,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Our data shows that each year CSU adds $1.6 billion to the Illinois economy and a strong return-on-investment for our students. As the University remains laser focused on equitable education and workforce development, this investment will allow CSU to further strengthen its economic impact as well as our student success.”

“I would like to express sincere gratitude to Governor Pritzker for his continuous attentiveness of how much a crucial impact and value that higher education has on the state of Illinois and its economy,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO of HBCU Campaign Fund. “Chicago State University is a necessary jewel to the Black community of Chicago, and we must not neglect how much economic support and return of investment CSU nourished for its students and the state of Illinois. CSU continues to focus on providing equitable education and workforce development that allows CSU to supply to underserving and low-income students. I dearly commend President Zaldwaynaka Scott on her outstanding leadership, and we thank the Governor for his continued investment in a brighter future for the students in Illinois.”

Last year, CSU released its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, that demonstrated the institution is driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, supporting 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

HCF President Johnson stated that the organization is elated to continue to play the role as a strong advocate and supporter of Chicago State University.

Click here to view Governor Pritzker’s Budget Fiscal Year 2023.

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Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University.

CHICAGO, IL – ComEd recently announced the appointment of Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, president of Chicago State University, to its board as independent directors. Scott joins Smita Shah, CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., 2022 appointment, and Ricardo “Ric” Estrada, president & CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, named to the board in November 2021.

“Z and Smita are distinguished business and civic leaders from our community and have proven track records of innovation and leadership experience. We are pleased to welcome them to the ComEd board,” said Gil Quiniones, ComEd CEO. “Their respective expertise, combined with their shared passion for closing the opportunity gap for women and minorities, will serve the company well as we continue to work to create an equitable clean energy future for all communities.”

As president of Chicago State University, Scott has overseen the development and advancement of its strategic plan for 2020 to 2025 to ensure the institution leads with the mission of transforming students’ lives through innovation and excellence in ethical leadership.

Scott is also a well-known advocate for equity in higher education. She formed and co-chairs the Equity Working Group, a body of leaders from across the education, public, private, philanthropic, and community development sectors to address Black students access and success in Illinois higher education.

“I’m honored to join ComEd’s board of directors and advance its values of integrity, forward thinking, openness to ideas and principled decision-making,” said Scott. “I’m excited to support ComEd’s important work to build a cleaner and brighter future for communities across Chicagoland and northern Illinois.”

Scott serves on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago board of directors where she also sits on the board’s Audit and Compliance and the Nominating and Governance Committee. In addition, she serves on the board of trustees for the John H. Shedd Aquarium and the United States Coast Guard Academy. Scott is also a member of The Chicago Network where she chairs the Government Committee.

Scott holds a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

About ComEd
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information, visit ComEd.com.

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Dr. Jenkins is second longest tenured leader in Livingstone College’s history

Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., second longest tenured president of Livingstone College.

SALIRBURY, NC – Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., announced to the Board of Trustees on Feb. 9 that he will retire from his role on July 1, 2022, after 16 years of service.

Jenkins was appointed to lead the historically black college in February 2006. He is the second longest tenured president in the history of the school.

Prior to Livingstone, Jenkins served as president of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla., where a gymnasium there bears his name. Before that, he made history by becoming the first alumnus of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) to serve as chancellor, after earning both his master’s and doctorate degrees in biology from Purdue University. A science building at ECSU is named in his honor.

The Livingstone Board of Trustees reluctantly accepted Jenkins letter and recognized his constructive feats as president. New board chairman Bishop Kenneth Monroe said that Jenkins will remain in role as president until a successor is appointed, and trustees and the college prepare for a series of events commemorating his tenure.

“Having labored 38 years as a college and university president has been exhilarating and exhausting,” said Jenkins. “I am grateful for the great support from the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, our alumni, the people and leaders of the City of Salisbury and Rowan County, donors and friends of the college. There is a strong sense of melancholy in the realization that a long career is ending, yet to quote Kenny Rogers, you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them – and I believe that time has come. The city has been good to me and my family as evidenced by the kind of collaborative support that has been demonstrated over these past 16 years.

Rev. Dr. Nilous M. Avery, II talks with Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins as they process to the Founder’s Day program at Varick Auditorium. Thursday, February 11, 2016, in Salisbury, N.C. / JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST

During his tenure, Livingstone has undergone significant progress. At his hiring, Jenkins challenged the Board of Trustees to use his experiences to change the college approach to educating students often troubled by socio-economic difficulties, thus creating the Holistic College model.

Under Jenkins’ leadership, the campus saw its first major construction in more than 40 years in that of Honor Hall, apartment-style united for new students with high grade-point averages.

He is credited with saving the college from closure from its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission Colleges (SACSCOC). Today, the college boasts reaffirmation of accreditation for the next 10 years without a single recommendation.

jenkins also raised the net asset value of the college by $15 million; acquired a former Holiday Inn to established the hospitality management and culinary arts program; and reactivated the college’s 40 acres of land to grow food and supply culinary arts.

College enrollment grew 35 percent to 1,400 students, the largest in school history (pre-COVID), resulting in Livingstone purchasing College Park Apartments, a four-building complex that houses 100 students.

“Livingstone College was its lowest ebb when we began our search for a new president in 2006,” said Bishop George W.C. Walker, former chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Jenkins became the best candidate in the search process and ultimately the president. He provided the greatest tenure of a president in the history of the college. Dr. Jenkins phenomenally lifted the college to extraordinary heights. Without question, Livingstone College is in a much better place because of his presidency.”

Jenkins was named one of ‘The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021′ by the HBCU Campaign Fund, citing the past accomplishments as president of Edward Water College, vice chancellor and chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, and currently at Livingstone College.

Jenkins’ retirement announcement comes the same week Livingstone held a ribbon cutting on a new state-of-the-art science annex, and on the heels of several major developments at the college including new upgrades to Alumni Memorial Stadium, construction of an esports arena; and application for Livingstone to apply for Level lll status to award graduate degrees and be renamed Livingstone University.

Additionally, under Jenkins’ leadership, Livingstone started a Study Abroad Student Exchange Program with students studying and living in five foreign countries; became a gated campus with decorate wrought iron fencing; relocated the Blue Bear mascot to the front lawn and painted it blue, and established a campus radio station, WLJZ 107.1M.

“Emphasis is always placed on leadership – the pilot – but we cannot forget the ground crew,” Jenkins recently told faculty and staff at opening session. “The pilot is important, but the work is executed by the ground crew. Your work is critical to our success.”

The goal, he said, was to create an environment where young men and women would not only obtain a degree, but have the capacity to command their rightful place in the global society, Jenkins said.

“I still feel this is why God has had his hand on this institution,” he said. “We serve the underserved, but that does not mean they are not deserving. They may be disadvantaged, but certainly not disregard. I’m glad my life work has been at an HBCU.”

About Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop student potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.

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PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Office of Recruitment is preparing to host it annual Lion Fever day on Friday, April 1, 2022, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Lion Fever Day is UAPB’s biggest high school preview days, and is designed to allow high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to see various parts of UAPB campus life and experience speaking with college advisors personally in an effort to gain details about his or her desired area of major. Activities will include a college fair, campus tour, a chance to hear the university’s marching band and view performances form select Greek organizations.

Interest students or school groups that would like to participate must RSVP by clicking here. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about Lion Fever Day, contact UAPB’s Office of Recruitment at (870) 575-8963.

About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community. For more information, visit www.uapb.edu.

Drake State Community & Technical College campus, Huntsville, Alabama.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Students at Drake State Community & Technical College will have access to new scholarship dollars over the next year thanks to an anonymous $200,000 donation.

“Receiving the email about this gift to the college was both a pleasant surprise and welcome recognition of the good work of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Patricia G. Sims, Drake State President. “So many students will benefit from the scholarships funded by this donation.”

The anonymous benefactor chose Drake State because they admire the college’s growth and development over the past few years and the school’s rapid response to the pressures of COVID-19 and increased need for skilled workers in today’s workforce.

At Drake State, we’ve worked hard to develop the programs students need to be successful,” Sims noted. In the past few years Drake State:

  • Became the first and only Historically Black Community College to be awarded a Cooperative Agreement Notice from the NASA/MSFC Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) in support of NASA’s Moon to Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technologies.
  • Was awarded a $1.3 NASA/MSFC MUREP grant to develop a STEM pipeline for minorities and underrepresented populations.
  • Increased enrollment and retention rates despite the challenges colleges faced from COVID-19. Of note, Drake State saw its completion rate increase by 92.27% since 2020, including a significant increase in short-term certificate awards, showing the call for workers to upskill and return to the workforce.

The donor also expressed interest in supporting Drake State’s work with Veterans and military families and applauded the college’s ability to provide these students with an extra measure of attention.

The nature of this donation will allow the college to remove financial barriers for many students completing short-term certifications or academic degrees.

“We are humbled by the faith shown to our institution and look forward to reporting inspiring success stores about students benefiting from these new scholarships in the months ahead,” Sims added. “I invited other individuals and businesses in our community to learn more about the good work we are doing and step up to support our efforts.”

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MISSISSIPPI – In the early morning hours on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, five of Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities received an unsubstantiated bomb threat to our campuses. Once the threat was received, we each worked with our Department of Public Safety and local emergency response personnel to thoroughly investigate and determine the extent of the threat. Subsequently law enforcement officials cleared all campuses. The fact that these threats came on the first day of Black History Month proves these actions were intentional attempts to disrupt, invoke fear and discourage our faculty, staff, scholars, and the campus communities. Despite these threats, Mississippi’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities – WE STAND UNITED!

Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College, Tougaloo College, Coahoma Community College, and Hinds Community College, Utica have long served our state and nation as educational beacons and have been a critical engine of life-changing opportunities for thousands of graduates and current students. We remain committed to ensuring each institution’s continued growth and success while guarding the safety of our greatest assets – our students.

Though we are forced to navigate some of the most politically and socially polarizing times in this nation’s history, collectively, we will remain strong and resilient and not be intimidated or fearful. As Mississippi’s HBCU community, we will continue our mission to inspire and empower the next generation of change agents who will go on to boldly confront hatred and injustice as it exists in all its forms.

The threats we received, along with several other HBCUs across the country, Illustrate the need for us to support one other. We are stronger together. As HBCUs, our histories speak of trials and triumphs, contest and courage, limitations and longevity. We are here on purpose, and we must be diligent in preserving and promoting our past, present, and future to further prove our importance and relevance to this nation’s economy and landscape.

Together we will forge ahead with a common purpose to advance academic excellence, promote good moral character, maintain professional integrity, and stand on the truth, and our institutions will continue to persevere as many of us have done for more than 100 years. We ask that the alumni and friend/supporters of our institutions join us as we stand against hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. This is our voice. This is our fight. These are our HBCUs.

Felecia M. Nave, Ph.D., President – Alcorn State University

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., President – Jackson State University

Jerryl Briggs, Ed.D., President – Mississippi Valley State University

Ivy R. Taylor, Ed.D., President – Rust College

Carmen J. Walters, Ph.D., President – Tougaloo College

Valmadge T. Towner, Ph.D., President – Coahoma Community College

Stephen Vacik, Ed.D., President – Hinds Community College, Utica

ORANGEBURG, SC Fifty-four years ago, on this day in 1968, the Orangeburg Massacre events happened in Orangeburg, South Carolina, on the campus of South Carolina State University.

Pictured: Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond Jr., and Delano Middleton, the three men who were killed in the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre that happened on the campus of South Carolina State University.

In the fall of 1967, some of the black leaders within the community tried to convince Harry K. Floyd, the owner of a bowling alley to allow African-Americans. Floyd was unwilling to desegregate which resulted in protests in early February 1968.

On February 6, 1968, a group of students (approximately 200) from South Carolina State University entered into the bowling alley and left peacefully after they were asked to leave by Floyd. The next night more students led by John Stroman returned and entered the bowling alley. This time, there were police waiting for them and several students were arrested including Stroman. After the arrests, more students began showing up angry, breaking a window of the bowling alley and chaos occurred. Police began beating student protesters with billy clubs. That night, eight students were sent to the hospital.

On the night of February 8, 1968, students started a bonfire in the front of South Carolina State University’s campus. As law enforcement attempted to put out the fire, Officer David Shealy was injured by a thrown object. Shortly after (around 10:30 p.m.) South Carolina Highway Patrol officers began firing into the crowd of around 150 protesters. Eight Patrol Officers fired carbines, short guns, and revolvers at the protesters, which lasted around 10 to 15 seconds in an attempt to calm the crowd. South Carolina State students Samuel E. Hammond Jr., Henry E. Smith and high school student Delano Middleton (who attended the local Wilkinson High School) were killed, along with twenty-eight people who were injured in the shooting.

In the aftermath of this event, the federal government brought charged against the State patrolmen in the first federal trial of police officers for using excessive force at a campus protest. All nine defendants were acquitted although thirty-six witnesses stated that they did not hear gunfire coming from the protesters on campus before the shooting and no students were found to be carrying guns.

In a state trail in 1970, the activist Cleveland Sellers was convicted of a charged of riot related to the events on February 6 at the bowling alley. He was the national program director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

South Carolina State University’s gymnasium is named in the memorandum of Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith (S-H-M Memorial Center), the three men who were killed. A monument was erected on campus in their honor, and the site has been marked.

Each year since 1968, the University has held an observance to commemorate the lives of 18-year-old SC State students Henry Smith and Samuel Hammond Jr., 17-year-old high school student Delano Middleton. This often neglected and overlooked tragedy is not nearly as well known as the shootings at Kent State and Jackson State in 1970, although it had a profound effect on the Orangeburg community and surrounding area.


“Today, we pause to remember three young men, Henry Smith, Samuel Hammond, Jr., and Delano Middleton, who were killed on South Carolina State University campus by SC Highway Patrol on this day in 1968, 54 years ago. Henry, Samuel, and Delano gave a fight to desegregate the South.

The event occurred to convince a local bowling alley in Orangeburg to allow African Americans, and the outcome was rejected. Later, claiming the lives of three young men ended as what we know it as the Orangeburg Massacre.

We pay homage to these three teenagers, along with the twenty-eight people who were injured, recommitting us that we must continue to fight for social justice and get in good, necessary trouble. Their legacy lives on as we shall not live in silence about ending discrimination in all forms across this nation.

— Demetrius Johnson Jr.
Founder, President & CEO