Voorhees officially opens its 2012-2013 academic year

August 27, 2012

Voorhees College will officially welcome its new and returning students to campus for the 2012-2013 academic year during Opening Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 6 in the Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center.  

The speaker for the event is Patrena N. Benton, who became dean of the Graduate College at Hampton University in January 2012. Prior to this position, she served as the assistant vice president for academic affairs and director of the Edwin P. McCabe Honors Program at Langston University. In that capacity, she worked closely with the vice president to advance the mission and vision of the University across multiple campuses. As director of the honors program, she facilitated the matriculation of approximately 80 scholars.     

In addition to her academic affairs background, Benton has more than a decade of experience in medical education. As the chief executive officer of a statewide inter-institutional center in the University of North Carolina System, she worked in collaboration with constituents to develop a series of program components to facilitate a sustainable educational training model for student exposure and enrichment in the health care professions. She is often called upon as a motivational speaker as well as a national presenter on health disparities and the lack of minority presence in the health care work force.  

Benton has a B.A. in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.S. in adult education and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University. She also holds higher education/leadership certificates from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Hampton University and the University of North Carolina System. She is a member of several civic organizations including Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated and the LINKS, Incorporated.  

Opening Convocation is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Teesa Brunson, director of communications, at 803-780-1194 or at