Voorhees College recently held the virtual 2021 W. Franklin Evans Honors College Induction Ceremony: “Prepared for Change,” where 20 students were inducted.

Mr. Voorhees College Denzel Walls, an honors college member himself, said the occasion highlights the candidates’ scholarly achievements and he hopes the inductees will inspire others to pursue the path for academic excellence.

“God endowed each individual with talents and abilities and each student should embrace and utilize those talents,” Walls said. “We are excited to recognize, compliment, and celebrate these unique individuals.”

Dr. Damara Hightower-Mitchell

Dr. Damara Hightower-Mitchell

Followed by the resolution read by Dr. Lugenia Rochelle, assistant professor of English, the inductees received a message from Dr. Damara Hightower-Mitchell, executive director for the Center of Excellence, on the significance and change behind being a member of an honors college.

Hightower-Mitchell said she will unpack the notion of prepared. “When you became a candidate to be inducted it meant you were prepared. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of how you became prepared, you are right where you are supposed to be.”

She continued with, “When one is prepared, you were made with intentionality, mixed with the right ingredients at the right temperature, and guided with just the right pace,” Hightower-Mitchell said. “Scripture tells you were carefully and wonderfully made, but not just made but prepared.”

Hightower-Mitchell explained that more important than preparation is what one is prepared for. “When one is prepared, one has been made for use and one has been ready to do or deal with something in particular.”

She told the students they were born with a purpose to study at Voorhees to earn their degree. “By getting indicted into the honors college you are preparing to discover and work in your chosen professions.”

Hightower-Mitchell concluded with saying to the inductees that they are not just prepared for change to occur, but they are prepared to make change happen and help others. “You are the change the world needs. No one loves this esteemed institution more than our beloved founder Ms. Elizabeth Evelyn Wright,” Hightower-Mitchell said. “Her recognition as the first African-American woman to establish an Historically Black College and University, represents the importance ofhelping others.”

She added, Wright’s work was to help create change to empower others, yet she recognized her efforts were bigger than her. “You all have been prepared to achieve similar accomplishments. You are being inducted into the honors college which means you are about to begin this process.”

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