Representative Bakari Sellers to Keynote SC State University's Fall Convocation

Thursday, September 09, 2010

“Raising the Bar.  Rising to Excellence!” This is the theme that will be echoed to SC State University’s freshman class during Fall Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 at 3 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial (SHM) Center.


Bakari SellersServing as an avenue to formally welcome the class of 2014 to SC State, Fall Convocation familiarizes students with athletics programs, student organizations and academic protocol in higher education. Dr. Carl E. Jones, Convocation co-chairperson and assistant vice president for Academic Success and Retention, further explains the significance of one of the University’s most important academic traditions.  “Fall Convocation symbolizes the formal opening of the new academic year, as well as conveys to new students, especially first-time freshmen, that SC State is a community of scholars.”


Representative Bakari T. Sellers will serve as keynote speaker for Fall Convocation.  Sellers currently represents District 90 (Bamberg, Barnwell and Orangeburg County) in the South Carolina General Assembly and is employed with Strom Law Firm in Columbia, S.C.


“SC State is delighted to have Representative Bakari Sellers as its keynote speaker. He is indeed a trailblazer, especially as he was elected in 2006 at the age of 22 and became the youngest member of the South Carolina General Assembly.  The example he has set is one worthy for students to emulate,” stated Jones. 


Sellers began his journey in the realm of politics by working for United States Congressman James Clyburn, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, and the Southeastern regional director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). While at Morehouse College, Sellers was elected Student Government Association president and, by virtue of his position, served on the College's Board of Trustees. These experiences have inspired him to engage in “not politics, but public service.”


Sellers passion for both education and activism has been instilled though his family lineage.  His mother, Gwendolyn Sellers, has been in higher education over 20 years while his father, Dr. Cleveland Sellers, has been a champion for civil rights in South Carolina and served as the director of African American Studies at the University of South Carolina (USC).  He is now the president of Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C.


Education being a top priority, Sellers graduated from the South Carolina public school system and then proceeded to Morehouse College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. He earned his juris doctorate from USC’s School of Law. Sellers currently serves on the House of Representatives judiciary committee and on the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus’ education, roundtable and financial literacy committees.