SC State Celebrates 118th Founders' Day

Sunday, March 2, 2014

SC State University alumni continue to ‘sing the praise and rally to the call of dear S.C.C.,’ a noted line in the university’s beloved Alma Mater, which is deeply rooted in the hearts of SC State’s 30,000 alumni. To celebrate the university’s rich legacy and its promising future, SC State University will observe its 118th Founders’ Day on Sunday, March 2 at 4 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.

This year’s program culminates the inaugural celebration of the university’s 11th president, Thomas J. Elzey, and exemplifies the inauguration’s theme: Pursuing Excellence Through Legacy and Leadership.

For generations, SC State has produced highly skilled, competent and socially aware graduates that work and live productively in a dynamic and global society. Distinguished alumni of the university will be recognized for their renowned achievements.

This year’s distinguished alumni honorees are:

Virginia Berry White, a native of Orangeburg, S.C., received her B.A. in social work. She is currently serving as the executive director for the Low Country Healthy Start Program at the South Carolina Office of Rural Health. White will be awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award.

Michael A. Allen, a native of Kingstree, S.C., received his degree in history education from the university in 1982. He is currently one of the founding board members of the International African American Museum, which is slated to open in 2018 in Charleston, SC. In addition, he is in the formative stages of developing the Low Country Lighthouse Charter School, expected to open in August of this year. Allen will be awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Ted Crews, a native of Columbia, M.D., received his B.A. in professional English in 1999. With over 14 years of experience in the NFL and sport communications, Crews currently serves as the vice president of communications for the Kansas City Chiefs. Crews will be awarded the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

The Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to the Class of 1963 and accepted by Patricia B. Lott, ‘63.

In addition, the Thomas E. Miller Society award will be presented to Patrena Rice, ‘71. The society is named after SC State’s first president and recognizes cumulative philanthropy from individuals who demonstrate commitment to the university and higher education by sharing their resources at the $100,000 level.

Employees who have dedicated 25 years of service will be inducted into the Quarter Century Club. The Professor of the Year awards and Staff Employee of the Year awards will also be announced.

The Founders’ Day keynote address will be delivered by Kenneth W. Ravenell, Esq. ‘81. Ravenell is a senior partner at the Baltimore-based Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, where he oversees all criminal defense cases presented to the firm.

His colleagues describe him as tenacious and prepared, character traits which Ravenell says were engrained in him during his early years. Growing up as the son of a sharecropper in rural South Carolina, he learned the importance of education and began his college career at SC State at the age of 18. He then later graduated cum laude in 1981 from SC State. Ravenell will be the recipient of the Outstanding Accomplishments and Achievements Award.