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Denmark, SC – Voorhees University held its 126th Commencement exercise on Saturday, May 6, with seventy students graduating with undergraduate degrees and seven receiving the University’s first-ever graduate degrees. Shelley Ann Bronson, Aliska LaShaun Brown, Ruthie Furse Brown, LaTayvia Shlequia Green, Madyson Simone Harris, Equanda Maria Wearing, and Denigia Kenu Williams were the inaugural graduate class members receiving master’s degrees in teaching and learning.

The Commencement address was given by Birmingham Mayor, the Honorable Randall Woodfin who commissioned graduates to “embrace your future” and reminded them that “they are destined to be the change makers we need in our communities today.”

Voorhees University President Ronnie Hopkins presided over this year’s commencement, expressing the significance and excitement of this year as Voorhees makes history. “Our 126th Commencement will forever be remembered as a significant milestone in our school’s history and an educational milestone in our graduate degree students’ lives,” states Hopkins.

The Voorhees Class of 1973 also gathered to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  Fourteen of the Golden Anniversary graduates returned to their Alma Mater to celebrate this milestone.  President Hopkins and the current class of 2023 gave special recognition and homage to the golden class during the commencement exercises.

The Baccalaureate/Hooding Ceremony preceded commencement on Friday, May 5 at the University’s St. Philip’s Chapel. The keynote speaker for this event was Rev. Gregory Myles Williams, pastor of the Power of Good News Community CME Church in Lithonia, GA. Preaching from the thought, A Lesson from a Loser, Williams reminded the graduates that no matter where they started from, with determination and an abiding faith in God, they can be successful and win in life.

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About Voorhees: Voorhees University, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897, is a private, coeducational institution affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Its mission is to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Voorhees as a #1 best value, #3 in social mobility and #33 among regional colleges in the south in 2022-2023; and #26 among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, nationally. Additional information about Voorhees University can be found at

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