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DENMARK – The Technical College of Denmark and Voorhees University began the 2022-23 academic year with Operation Olive Branch, which will transfer 313 freshmen and students to the two campuses on August 9.
Operation Olive Branch is a joint initiative by the presidents of both institutions to enhance the college experience for new and transfer students. A key part of the event is the sense of belonging, inclusion, respect and family that students pledged during the day-long activities that began with a march from Voorhees to Denmark Tech for the regular program and special sessions for the students.
“Denmark Technical College and Voorhees University are in a prime position for collaboration, and Operation Olive Branch is the perfect way to help our students understand collaboration and unity. We are excited to combine our institutions’ resources and campus culture to take our students to the next level of excellence,” said Voorhees President and CEO Ronnie Hopkins. They said.
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We are pleased to bring Operation Olive Branch to life for students at the Technical College of Denmark and the University of Voorhees. Our two campuses have a rich history dating back to the founding of the Danish Technical College. We share borders, but more importantly, as HBCUs in rural South Carolina, we have a duty to engage, educate and empower our students not only academically, but socially as well. Denmark Tech President and CEO Willie L.
Hopkins and Todd welcomed students to the fall semester, encouraged them to strive for excellence, and reminded them that their social and emotional development is also important. The students took the Unity Pledge printed on their Project Olive Branch t-shirts. They also participated in sessions designed to solve their problems from the perspective of men and women. After the sessions at Denmark Tech, students headed to Voorhees Pecan Grove for a cookout and celebration, including food, games, eating contests, music and fun.
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“Many first-time students need to feel like a family as they adjust to college life and prepare for work. Our students will have a growing family gift beyond the Voorhees campus. They will have peers and higher education staff to support their academic and personal development. As one big family, we participate in many activities – Voorhees University and Denmark Technical College, said Charlene Johnson, Voorhees Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics. “What a wonderful opportunity.”
“At Denmark Tech and Voorhees, we wanted to start Operation Olive Branch to bring unity among the students, but also to educate them about their responsibilities to make social change and serve as leaders in the community. Lamar J. White, Vice President of Student Affairs at Denmark Tech, said this program will have an impact in Denmark and beyond. We are very happy to see you.
The proposal for Operation Olive Branch comes from a similar program at the Atlanta University Center among freshmen at Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and Morehouse College. Todd and White, both former employees and White a two-time graduate of Clark Atlanta, envisioned the program flourishing and the model becoming more successful at Denmark Tech and Voorhees.
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“We are getting this program off the ground and there is a lot of motivation behind it. We can’t wait to see the good things that come from Operation Olive Branch for the students and the community,” White said.