This event is highlighted as it has become known as a signature event of Orangeburg County Community of Character.
It is important to acknowledge great character; and it is crucial to instill great character at an early age. In our schools, years ago, guidance counselors (professional school counselors) introduced initiatives that highlighted the importance of integrating the teaching of character traits into the school curriculum. In 2002, a rippling affect took place in our schools. Classroom curriculum, guidance programs, school assemblies and community programs focused on character building. Counselors led the way for the implementation of these programs. Former school superintendent, Melvin Smoak, felt character building would assist in enhancing student achievement and help control school environments; therefore, he agreed to start a District-wide Outstanding Character Recognition Program for all fifth graders. This program has continued to grow and expand throughout the great County of Orangeburg.
Orangeburg County Community of Character, working with the professional school counselors at each school, brings together fifth graders from all across Orangeburg County and recognizes those who have exemplified outstanding character. Over 18 elementary schools and about 1500 fifth graders participate in this event. Students, faculty, administrators, public officials and special guests share and hear messages promoting good character. The program also features special performances and a keynote motivational speaker.
|2002||Senator John W. Matthews, S.C. State Senate, Retired Education Administrator||Martin Luther King Auditorium, SCSU|
|2003||The Late Honorable Ernest A. Finney, Former Chief Justice S.C. Supreme Court||Martin Luther King Auditorium, SCSU|
Dr. Carl Jones, SCSU Executive Director for Student Success and Retention
|Martin Luther King Auditorium, SCSU|
|2005||Mrs. Gloria Kirkland, OCSD4 Youth Program Coordinator||Smith Hammond Middleton Memorial Center, SCSU|
|2006||Mr. Craig Melvin, TV Anchor||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2007||Reverend Henry Hennegan, CEF Volunteer Leader||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2008||Mrs. Alice Carson Tisdale, First Lady Claflin University and Educator||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2009||Mr. Michael Douglas, Harlem Globetrotter||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2010||Honorable Glenda Hatchett, Judge||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2011||Reverend Artie Knight, Former Basketball Coach||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2012||Coach Mike Ayers, Head Football Coach, Wofford College||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2013||Sheriff Leroy Ravenell, Orangeburg County Sheriff||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2014||Mr. Al Duncan, Motivational Speaker||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2015||Mr. Laymon Hicks, Motivational Speaker|
Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University
|2016||Dr. Stephen Peters, Ed.D., Education Administrator||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|
|2017||Coach Willie Jeffries, Coach Emeritus, SCSU||Jonas T. Kennedy Center, Claflin University|