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Voorhees College student first-ever South Carolinian to win prestigious fraternity award

A Voorhees College student is the first member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. in the state of South Carolina to win the Alain Leroy Locke Academic Achievement Award. The award was presented to Donald Lauer, IV, Aug. 6, by the fraternity during its 2021 conclave in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The award is named in honor of Locke who was the first Black Rhodes Scholar. It is presented to a fraternity member who demonstrates high academic achievement, exceptional leadership abilities and a commitment to serving his campus and community.

“I am honored by this recognition,” said Lauer. “I think this award is my hard work over three years paying off.”

Voorhees College President Ronnie Hopkins said, “Mr. Lauer’s commitment to academic excellence, scholarship, work ethic, and devotion to career success truly reflects the spirit of pioneer, scholar and educator Dr. Alain Leroy Locke.”  

Lauer, who has earned the title of “Esteemed Brother Donald Lauer, IV,” is a senior computer science/cyber security major and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in December, with academic honors distinction. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in computer science or cyber security.

During his matriculation at Voorhees, Lauer, a resident of Charleston, S.C., has maintained a 3.9 grade point average and is a presidential scholar. He is a member of the W. Franklin Evans Honors College, a pitcher on the baseball team, and an intern with the Voorhees Information Technology Department. He participated in the HBCU-STEM Internship Program facilitated by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce as a career development initiative of U.S. Senator Tim Scott, during his sophomore year. Earlier this year, he was selected as the 2021 Southeastern Region Collegiate Brother of the Year by the fraternity.

He has participated in various community service activities including adopt-a-highway, the Voorhees Thanksgiving Food Drive, Toys for Tots and the Community Food Blessing Box at his church.

After graduate school, one of Lauer’s career goals is to become an entrepreneur in the 3D printing industry. He hopes to encourage use of the technology and help people understand its value in today’s world. He also is interested in serving in the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command as a U.S. Naval Officer.

Lauer is a member of the Voorhees Zeta Gamma Chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

A high-resolution image of Lauer is available at

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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