|Denmark Industrial School, |
Voorhees Industrial Institute for Colored Youths,
Voorhees School and Junior College
|President||W. Franklin Evans|
|Colors||Royal blue and white|
|Athletics||NAIA – Independent|
Voorhees College is a private, historically black college in Denmark, South Carolina. It is affiliated with the Episcopal Church (United States) and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 1897, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright founded Denmark Industrial School for African Americans. Located in a rural area and the small town of Denmark, it was modeled on the well-known Tuskegee Institute of Alabama. The first classes were held on the second floor of an old store.
In 1902, Ralph Voorhees, a New Jersey philanthropist, gave the school a donation to purchase land and construct buildings. In 1904 the South Carolina General Assembly renamed the school and incorporated it as the Voorhees Industrial Institute for Colored Youths.
In 1924, the school was affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. In 1947, its name was changed to Voorhees School and Junior College. In 1962, with the addition of departments and four-year curriculum, it became accredited as Voorhees College.
In 1969, the school's predominantly Black student body demanded more Black study programs and the hiring of Black faculty, as well as outreach to assist the local lower income community of Denmark with scholarships. The Voorhees administration, made up of mostly whites, ignored the students' plea.
A demonstration of 500 students began as a response, which eventually inspired 75 students to command a two-day armed student occupation of the college. The President of Voorhees agreed to the students' demands, but filed a formal request to the South Carolina National Guard to subdue the students. The protesters surrendered, but were subsequently arrested. Many were suspended.
Main article: Voorhees College Historic District
This historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 21, 1982. It includes thirteen contributing buildings constructed from 1905 to 1935. The historic district is noteworthy as an example of pioneering education for African Americans in the early 20th century, and for its association with co-founder Elizabeth Evelyn Wright. In addition, the buildings, constructed mostly by students, showed ambitious design and masonry techniques. Many of these buildings were constructed by the students of Voorhees College as part of their crafts program. Photographs of some of the buildings are available.
Voorhees' athletic teams, nicknamed the Tigers, compete as an independent member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Voorhees was a full member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference between 2013 and 2015. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country and track & field; women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, softball, track & field and volleyball.
The university has chapters for eight of the nine National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations.
|Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority||ΑΚΑ||Eta Nu||ΗΝ|
|Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity||ΑΦΑ||Eta Iota||ΗΙ|
|Delta Sigma Theta sorority||ΔΣΘ||Eta Phi||ΗΦ|
|Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity||ΚΑΨ||Epsilon Omega||ΕΩ|
|Omega Psi Phi fraternity||ΩΨΦ||Sigma Theta||ΣΘ|
|Phi Beta Sigma fraternity||ΦΒΣ||Zeta Gamma||ΖΓ|
|Sigma Gamma Rho sorority||ΣΓΡ||Eta Omicron||ΗΟ|
|Zeta Phi Beta sorority||ΖΦΒ||Theta Epsilon||ΘΕ|