Joshua Gayle with President Hopkins scaled
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Voorhees University alum commissioned as second lieutenant

Denmark, S.C. – Voorhees University alumnus Joshua Gayle was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army on Sept. 16, during a South Carolina State University (SCSU) ceremony. Gayle graduated from Voorhees in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is from Augusta, Ga.

In an earlier interview, Gayle said, “I see myself having a career in the military—a long-term career. It sounds a bit ambitious to say, but I hope to reach the rank of general. In the short term, I hope to be a field artillery officer and go through all of the command and staff positions.”

Gayle said he had been motivated by that young junior cadet who had the feeling and idea to become an officer (speaking of himself), the instructors who saw something more in him, and his mother who told him he could do anything to which he set his mind and committed the time.

While at Voorhees, Gayle was the first Voorhees student selected to serve as a cadet battalion commander in the SCSU Army ROTC program in more than 20 years, in 2021. He was also president of the Voorhees Student Government Association and was named an HBCU Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Second Lieutenant Gayle excelled in leadership during his matriculation at Voorhees, and I am confident he will continue to be a consummate leader in the military,” said Voorhees President Ronnie Hopkins. “Students and alums like Second Lieutenant Gayle are shining examples of what the next level of excellence looks like at Voorhees.”

Antonio Pittman, professor of military science at SCSU, has said that Gayle is a proven leader. He is committed to service and he cares about his cadet colleagues.

The SCSU Army ROTC serves Voorhees and other colleges and universities in the area. It hosted the commissioning ceremony, where three other cadets were commissioned along with Gayle. The keynote speaker was Colonel Samuel B. Glover II, who has served 29 years of active duty and reserve service in various tactical, operational, and strategic military assignments.

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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