Voorhees prepares for the virtual Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Denmark, S.C.- Voorhees College will induct five new members into the
Hall of Fame during the 18th annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on
Friday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. via the institution’s Facebook and YouTube live
The ceremony will occur during the virtual Homecoming 2020 celebration,
which will be held from Nov. 12-15. Voorhees alumni, Reverend Dr. Willie
D. Abney, Zelma Coleman, Anson Garlington, Dr. Lawrence L. Rouse, and
Dr. Sandra Thompson-Smith have been selected for induction into the Hall
of Fame based on their outstanding contribution and service to their
communities, all of which are in the good name of “dear ol’ Voorhees.”
Reverend Dr. Willie D. Abney graduated from Voorhees College in 1978
with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Later in life, he attended the
Southern Bible Institute and Seminary of Thomson, Georgia, where he
earned a master’s and doctoral degree in Christian education. In 2002,
Abney was licensed to preach and ordained in 2006; at the Bland Baptist
Church in Johnston. In 2010, he became Pastor of the Morrison Grove
Baptist Church, Millen, GA.
Currently, Abney serves as the pastor at his home church, Bland Baptist. He
is a member of the Central Savanah River Area Voorhees Alumni Chapter,
where he serves as president, the Mt. Canaan Baptist Association, Inc.,
where he serves on the Ordaining Council for licensing ministers and the
Advisory Board. He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.,
and is a member of the Aiken Alumni Chapter.
Abney is married to his wife Luchelle, and they have three children, Shequita, Willie, II, and Samantha, and
one grandchild, Shamariah.
Zelma Coleman graduated from Voorhees College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in business
administration. After graduation, she relocated to Washington, D.C., where she was employed by the Law
Firm of Hopkins, Jones, and Caldwell. During her employment at the firm, she served as bookkeeper, office
manager, and paralegal.
For Immediate Release
November 4, 2020
Rev. Dr. Willie D. Abney
In 1975, Coleman began her federal government career, extending through
three federal agencies (Smithsonian Institution, Administrative Office of
U.S. Courts, and the U.S. Department of Treasury). After 29 years of
service, she retired from the United States Department of Treasury in 2004.
She is a member of the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington. She
served as a Board of Trustee member, member, and president of the Shiloh
Gospel Choir, church clerk, church circle vice leader, and business service
Recently, she relocated back to South Carolina, where she is enjoying
Anson Garlington graduated from Voorhees College in 1989 with a
bachelor’s degree in business administration. While at Voorhees, he was a
member of the Pre-Alumni Council, Voorhees Concert Choir, Phi Beta
Lambda Business Fraternity, the Eta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha
Fraternity, Inc., and the Voorhees College Track & Field team.
Currently, Garlington serves as the division chief overseeing the largest
U.S. contingency of federal law enforcement investigators, representing the
Department of State at more than 120 U.S. Embassies and Consulates
worldwide. He is a member of the Peace and Concord Masonic Lodge 445
in Lima, Peru, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement
Executives. In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton named
Garlington as a career member of the United States Foreign Service
When not in Washington or abroad on assignment, he enjoys being in
Columbia, where he calls home.
Dr. Lawrence L. Rouse graduated from Voorhees College in 1978 with a
bachelor’s degree in sociology. He earned a master’s degree in education
from the University of South Carolina. After receiving his master’s degree,
Rouse was selected as one of four South Carolinians to receive a Kellogg
ACCLAIM Fellowship to attend North Carolina State University, where he
earned a doctoral degree in adult and community college education.
Currently, Rouse serves as the fifth president of Pitt Community College in
Winterville, North Carolina. He is a member of the North Carolina
Association of Community College Presidents (current President), the
Greenville Noon Rotary Club; the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, the Greenville Committee of 100; Phi
Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., where he serves as the regional director, to name a few.
Rouse is married to his wife Janie, and they are the proud parents of three adult children, Retrick, Lee, and
Dr. Sandra Thompson-Smith graduated from Voorhees College in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in
history. Thompson-Smith earned a master’s degree in history from Fisk University and a certificate in
French from the University of Poitier in LaRochelle, France. Also, she earned a doctorate in sociology from
Special Agent Anson Garlington
Dr. Lawrence L. Rouse
Dr. Sandra Thompson-Smith
the University of Florida and a certificate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s
Institute for Educational Management.
Currently, Thompson-Smith is a higher education consultant and is a retired vice president of institutional
effectiveness and former interim president of Florida Memorial University. She is a member of Delta Sigma
Theta Sorority, Inc., the National Association of Black Sociologists; the Association of Women in Higher
Education, Parents and Friends of Children with Autism; the Board of Trustees of Kinad, Inc., the African
American Success Foundation; and the Institute of Black Family Life.
Thompson-Smith is married to her husband Cyril and is the mother of Rahmaan and Lilian, the
stepmother of two, and a grandmother.