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Dr. Rolundus Rice delivers a Black History Month message on Begin. Believe. Become.

The Voorhees College Black History Month opening program was virtually embraced by a message from guest speaker Dr. Rolundus “Dapper Dean” Rice about African-Americans being on Earth for serious business highlighting the institution’s tagline: Begin. Believe. Become. to achieve change. 

Rice said before students can Begin, they must plan or study, referencing E.D. Nixon, Jo Ann Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks, who all planned before making a change. 

He mentioned that Believe means to accept something as truth. “We must believe we are equal to anyone because it is the unshakeable bedrock of personhood. Believe that regardless of the color of your skin, you are entitled to hold yourselves in the same esteem as anyone else.” 

Rice discussed that Become simply means to be aware that something is coming to pass or an experience of the manifestation from efforts put in overtime. “Before President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Senator Raphael Warnock, could be the firsts, black people had to labor and protest for the right to vote.” 

He added how black voter suppression from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s was at an all-time high. It required planning and collaboration to achieve equality. 

“Understand Voorhees College we are drinking from wells we did not build. All of us are enjoying the shade of trees we did not plant. It is our responsibility to respect and appreciate those who have sacrificed for us,” Rice said. “Think about Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis, Hosea Williams, and Jesse Jackson who had families and other responsibilities like many of us today, but still put life and limb on the line every single day to make a change.” 

He concluded with, “As I close, Voorhees think about what people had done before us, before they began they had to plan, they believed they were as equal as anyone else, and projected things would come to pass and our people would become and experience something greater.” 

For more information, contact the Office of Communications, at 803-780-1191 or at communications@voorhees.edu. 

About Voorhees University

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 www.voorhees.edu.


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