Becoming Beloved Community Center key exchange 1 scaled
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Voorhees College acquires facility for Becoming Beloved Community initiative

Denmark, S.C. – The Bamberg County School District Two Board of Trustees has provided land and facilities for Voorhees College to develop its Becoming Beloved Community initiative. Approval of the transfer of the land and facilities was finalized at a November meeting of the board. The transfer of deed for the property, located adjacent to the Voorhees campus, was completed in early February and a ceremonial transfer of the property was held Feb. 8, when Dottie Brown, superintendent for Bamberg School District One, transferred keys to the building to Voorhees President Ronnie Hopkins.

The property, which contains more than 13 acres of land, a building that was formerly an elementary school and several other facilities, will be used for community engagement and teaching and learning through the Becoming Beloved Community initiative. The initiative will be comprised of several centers of excellence including the Center for Women’s Empowerment and Advancement, the Center for Community Engagement and Development, the Institute for Social and Environmental Justice, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Voorhees College Rural Community Development Institute. The Voorhees University Pictorial Museum also would be housed under Becoming Beloved Community along with a proposed Center for Arts and Humanities, for which funding is being sought.

Formerly Denmark-Olar Elementary School, the property presents an ideal opportunity for Voorhees to expand its community engagement efforts and provide a venue that promotes both student and community development.

“We are privileged to own a facility that will help us broaden our community outreach efforts, develop cultural forums and allow students, faculty, staff and the greater Denmark community to learn and grow together,” said Hopkins. 

“We look forward to working with community leaders, the business community, and educational leaders, like Dr. Brown, who envision the next level of excellence for our city, the county of Bamberg and our institution through the Becoming Beloved Community initiative,” Hopkins said.

“Nothing but good can come from this relationship,” said Brown. “It ensures continuity of education beyond public school walls and presents lifelong learning opportunities for our citizens.”

Though extensive renovations will be required over time, Voorhees will begin making improvements to the property immediately with the goal of having programming in the facility within the next year. 

A high-resolution image of Hopkins and Brown during keys exchange is available at

A high-resolution image of Hopkins and Brown posed at newly acquired property for the Becoming Beloved Community initiative is available at

President Ronnie Hopkins (left) and Superintendent Dottie Brown.
President Ronnie Hopkins (left) and Superintendent Dottie Brown.
President Ronnie Hopkins (left) receives the keys from Superintendent Dottie Brown.
President Ronnie Hopkins (left) receives the keys from Superintendent Dottie Brown.

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


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