Congressman Clyburn named Denmark Tech Commencement Speaker

April 10, 2024

Denmark Technical College has announced the Honorable James E. Clyburn, as the 2024 commencement speaker. The annual ceremony takes place on the Denmark Technical College campus at 10:00 a.m. on April 27, in the William L. McDuffie Student Life Center.

“It is a great honor to have such a phenomenal civil rights icon to impart wisdom to our graduates as they embark upon their careers or further their educational pursuits,” said Willie L. Todd Jr., Ph.D., president and CEO of Denmark Technical College. “Congressman Clyburn has been a champion of underserved communities for many years. He has also been a great supporter of Denmark Technical College.  He is a much-needed voice, at the national level, on issues of equity and social justice and is certain to deliver a powerful message to our newest alumni as they prepare to forge onward to greatness.”

Congressman Clyburn

Clyburn is the U.S. Congressman representing South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and Chairman of the Democratic Faith Working Group. He previously served as Assistant Democratic Leader from 2011 to 2018 and 2023 to 2024, and House Majority Whip from 2019 to 2022 and 2007 to 2010, making him the first African American to serve multiple terms as Majority Whip. A native son of South Carolina, Clyburn has represented the state’s Sixth Congressional District since 1993.

Clyburn’s humble beginnings in Sumter, South Carolina, as the eldest son of an activist, fundamentalist minister and an independent, civic-minded beautician, grounded him securely in family, faith, and public service. A 1961 graduate of South Carolina State he began his professional career as a public-school teacher in Charleston, SC.

Clyburn has led efforts to preserve and restore historic buildings on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  He sponsored legislation creating the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, the Congaree National Park, the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park and expanding the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, DC.

The recipient of 36 honorary degrees, Clyburn holds numerous awards including: the Lyndon Baines Johnson Liberty and Justice for All Award in 2015; the Harry S Truman Foundation’s Good Neighbor Award in 2021; and the NAACP’s highest honor – the Spingarn Medal – in 2022.