Tuesday, October 12, 2010
SC State University alumnus and Orangeburg native, Thurman D. Shuler, ‘57, recently published his literary book of poetry entitled: “Potpourri: A Medley of Literary Works.” Shuler has been writing poetry since the age of five. “My admiration for poetry took roots during my first three years at Riverside Elementary School in Orangeburg, S.C.,” said Shuler. “In first, second and third grade, our teachers taught us how to read poems. The rhythm and various rhyme schemes of the poems truly introduced me to new and exciting ways of expressing myself,” Shuler continued.
“Potpourri: A Medley of Literary Works” is a three-part book. “In this book, there are poems about death and about professional opportunities that have been presented to me,” said Shuler. The book also contains various poems that he has written since his childhood. Included are panegyric tributes, which are eulogies of the loved ones that he has lost along the way in his journey in life. There are sacred addresses of when he served as the president of the Orthodox Baptist Church Sunday School Convention (OBCSSC), located in Orangeburg. S.C. Shuler has written addresses from 1991 through 2001 to the OBC congregation.
Shuler has always had a desire to become an author. His first poem in the book is entitled “Me a Poet.” In this poem, Shuler speaks about his desires of one day becoming a poet. While growing up, he read artists such as Edgar Allen Poe, William Wadsworth and many other poets that influenced him. Shuler’s last poem is titled “President Barack Obama.” “President Barack Obama is a person that I admire and respect,” said Shuler.
Shuler began his journey of publishing “Potpourri: A Medley of Literary Works” in November 2009. He completed his mission of becoming an author in February 2010. “When I got wind that the book was finished, my thoughts were, ‘victory at last, mission accomplished,’” said Shuler.
Shuler has received many awards as a distinguished poet. He has also received an Award of Merit Certificate for “Flossie My Cat ” in 1988. He later received the Golden Poet Award in 1989 and the Silver Poet Award in 1990.
Shuler received his formal education in the public schools of New York City and Orangeburg, S.C. Shuler earned his bachelor’s degree in English education and a master’s degree in education from SC State University. Shuler is working towards a degree in British Literature in the doctoral program at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, S.C. Shuler taught English for 31 years at various places, including York, S.C.; Holly Hill, S.C.; Nesmith, S.C. and St. Matthews, S.C. In addition to teaching English, Shuler taught band, choir, adult education courses, French, social studies and typing. He was selected as Teacher of the Year twice in Calhoun County, and served as president of the Calhoun County Teachers Education Association.
Shuler served as minister of music for 47 years at Mount Calvary Baptist Church. He presently serves as a volunteer pianist for Mount Calvary Baptist Church Sunday School. He currently serves as a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a life member of the SC State University National Alumni Association (SCSUNAA). He is also a member of the SC State University Orangeburg Alumni Chapter and SC State University Club 1000. Shuler will be recognized in the 2011 SC State University Stellar Alumni Calendar.
Shuler currently resides in Orangeburg, S.C., volunteering his time to his beloved Alma Mater. He lives by the motto, “caring and sharing will take you a long way!”
Shuler’s book, “Potpourri: A Medley of Literary Works,” can be purchased for $18. It will be placed in the Orangeburg and Calhoun County libraries.