Cleveland Sellers Named President of Voorhees College

Cleveland Sellers grew up on the campus of Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. His mother was on the college faculty. Sellers attended a private high school affiliated with the historically black college. Now more than a half-century later, Sellers is returning to Voorhees College as its new president.

Sellers is a graduate of Howard University. After college he returned to South Carolina as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In February 1968, Sellers was shot by police on the campus of South Carolina State University in what became known as the Orangeburg Massacre. Sellers was charged with inciting a riot and spent seven months in jail. He was the only person ever convicted of a crime as a result of the incident in which three black students were killed.

Sellers went on to earn a master’s degree from Harvard University and an educational doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He recently retired as a professor and head of the African-American studies program at the University of South Carolina.