Thomas W. Dortch to speak at 111th SC State Founders' Day Convocation

Monday, February 19, 2007

ORANGEBURG – South Carolina State University will honor the 111th anniversary of its establishment at its annual Founders’ Day convocation.

The event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. The keynote address will be delivered by Thomas W. Dortch Jr., chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men of America Inc.

The University will also announce distinguished alumni and service award recipients and ten- and 20-year faculty and staff service award recipients, as well as 2007 inductees to the Quarter Century Club and Thomas E. Miller Society.

Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to the Class of 1956, Annie Adams Jamison, ‘56, ‘64, and the Honorable John L. Scott Jr., ‘75.

Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Thomas W. Dortch Jr., Hattie P. Hunter and John E. Smalls.

The Quarter Century Club recognizes SC State employees who have dedicated 25 years of service to the institution. The 2007 inductees include Dr. Edwin D. Ayers, Dr. Enoch K. Beraho, Dr. James L. Boettler, Willie V. Brailey, Debra A. Darby, Dr. Margaret A. Felder-Wilson, Dr. Barry Frishberg, Nathaniel Gant, Dr. Clarence W. Hill, Louellen Murph, Sharon Wade-Byrd and Ishmel Washington Jr.

The 2007 inductees to the Thomas E. Miller Society will be Hattie P. Hunter and Dr. Samuel D. Stroman, ‘50 (posthumously). Individual members of the society – named for SC State’s first president – have contributed $100,000 or more in cumulative giving to SC State through the SC State University Foundation.

SC State’s Professor of the Year Awards will be presented to Dr. Barbara L. Adams, College of Business and Applied Professional Sciences; Dr. Ronald E. Speight, College of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences; and Dr. Hasanul A. Basher, College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technology. The University-wide Professor of the Year Award recipient will be announced at the convocation.

Staff Employee of the Year Awards will be presented to employees from the University’s six administrative divisions, including Debra A. Darby, ‘01, ‘04, Academic Affairs; Dr. Myron Samuels, ‘87, Finance, Facilities and Management Information Systems; Tracy K. Thomas, Institutional Advancement; Sandra E. Scott, Office of the President; Edoe Agbodjan, Research and Economic Development; and Myrtle G. Berry, ‘70, Student Affairs. The University-wide Staff Employee of the Year Award recipient will be announced during the convocation.

Thomas W. Dortch Jr., chairman emeritus of 100 Black Men of America Inc. and chairman and CEO of TWD Inc., has established himself as a leader by diligently working to dismantle systemic barriers to empowerment.

Under his guidance, 100 Black Men of America expanded from 43 chapters in the U.S. to now include 102 chapters throughout the United States, Africa, England and the West Indies. Formed in 1986, the mission of the “100” is to improve the quality of life, and enhance the educational and economic opportunities for African Americans.

Dortch launched his formal career in 1972 writing proposals and developing fundraising projects for the State of Georgia that sought to aid marginalized members of society. He became the associate director of the Democratic Party of Georgia in 1974 where, during his four-year tenure, he assisted in the creation of the first charter for the state party and wrote the first Affirmative Action and Compliance Review Program for the party.

In 1978, Dortch began working with U.S. Senator Sam Nunn by providing technical assistance at conferences, meetings, and public hearings. In 1990, he became the state director and served as chief administrator over five field offices and one state office. Dortch was the first African American to serve in this capacity for a United States Senator.

In 1994, Dortch chose to apply the more than 20 years of experience and knowledge gained from working in government to his business interests. These include serving as chairman and CEO of TWD Inc., a consulting firm with emphasis on business development, public relations and fundraising; president of South West Investment Group (SWIG), a community development and investment group; and CEO of Atlanta Transportation Systems Inc., a paratransit system that manages non-emergency transportation for Fulton County Government. His other business involvements include serving as chairman and CEO of Cornerstone Parking, chairman of Lancor Parking Management LLC and managing partner of FAD Consulting LLC, a diversity management, marketing and events management company.

Thirty years ago, he wrote proposals and developed fundraising projects designed to empower single parents and communities to meet the needs of their children. More recently, he authored The Miracles of Mentoring: The Joy of Investing in Our Future, published by Doubleday Books. Today, he is the architect of the 100‘s Four for the Future.

Some of Dortch‘s other accomplishments include establishing the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation Inc., as a vehicle to continuously highlight the major contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their graduates; co-founding the Georgia Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (GAME) to fill a void as an advocacy organization for minority business development; and co-founding the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance as a capacity building and business development for the construction and transportation industry.

A partial listing of his involvement includes the National Drug Free Communities Act Advisory Commission, the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, the Black/Jewish Coalition, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the National Assault on Illiteracy Board and the National Business League. Dortch is the recipient of numerous awards and honors that celebrate his efforts. These include a U. S. Presidential Citation for Volunteerism, the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, the Concerned Black Clergy’s Salute to Black Fathers Leadership Award, the HistoryMakers Award, the 2002 National Black Caucus of State Legislators Nation Builder‘s Award, 2003 Turner Broadcasting Trumpet Leadership Award, 2004 Man of The Decade Award of 100 Black Men of America Inc., 2004 Father of The Year Award of the American Diabetes Association, 2004 CEO Networking Award of CEO Network-Nassau, Bahamas, The Institute for Advancement of Multicultural & Minority Medicine 2004 Survivors Award, The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation‘s 2004 Distinguished Phoenix Award and 2004 John E. Jacobs Community Service Award of Anheuser Busch Company.

He has had guest appearances on C-SPAN, the Montel Williams Show, Talk Back Atlanta, CNN, Good Day Atlanta and Fox News Channel The O‘Reilly Factor. In 2004, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential Black leaders in Ebony Magazine and 2004 publication of The Atlanta Business Chronicle. Additionally, he speaks to a wide range of organizations interested in facilitating the empowerment of others.

Dortch earned his B.A. degree in sociology and pre-professional social work from Fort Valley State University in 1972; a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Clark-Atlanta University in 1986. He also attended Georgia State University as a Ford Fellow in the urban administration program. Dortch has received honorary doctorates from Fayetteville State University and Jarvis Christian College.