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Office of Communications

Voorhees announces the 2021 Black History Month kickoff

Voorhees College kicks Black History Month off with orator, professor, and university administrator Dr. Rolundus R. Rice during a virtual assembly on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. via the institution’s Facebook and YouTube pages. 

Rice is currently the central region director of adult education with the Alabama Community College System. He provides leadership for the adult education programs for seven community colleges within Alabama’s “Black Belt.” 

Known as the “dapper dean” by his students, Rice previously served as the dean of humanities and fine arts at Talladega College. He is one of the youngest academic deans at an accredited four-year institution in the United States. The “Dapper Dean” was responsible for leading the reorganization of the history, English, music, mass media, and fine arts curricula. 

He was also instrumental in securing a $1.25 million implementation cluster grant from the United Negro College Fund’s Career Pathways Initiative to fund projects to increase Talladega students’ chances of securing meaningful employment upon graduation. 

His subsequent work and experiences at various institutions of higher education include chief diversity officer, assistant provost for academic affairs, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, and assistant vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. Rice was identified as a subject-matter expert on the Civil Rights Movement who has been interviewed by CNN, the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” and the “Montgomery Advertiser.” 

Rice has used these platforms to inspire thousands of students to earn high school diplomas, baccalaureate, and advanced degrees by sharing his firsthand experiences as a troubled youth who spent his elementary years in the behavior and learning disorders programs in the Dekalb County School System before dropping out of high school. His “Pilgrimage to Purpose,” narrative arc, which he has shared with more than 800,000 people, chronicles his life from a GED to a Ph.D. recipient. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from DeVry University. Rice earned a master’s degree in history from Alabama State University and a doctorate in history from Auburn University. He is the first GED recipient to earn a Ph.D. in Auburn’s 163-year history. He is also the second African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in the discipline of history. 

Rice is married to his wife Dana, and they have four children: Madison, Marley, Rolundus II, and Remington. 

To view the Black History Month kickoff, please like, subscribe, and follow our YouTube page @VoorheesCollege1897 and our Facebook page @VoorheesCollege. 

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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