Morris College to be designated a Purple Heart College Dec. 3



Morris College has several notable events happening next week on the school's campus.

First will be a commissioning ceremony for Cadet Justin Jermaine Walker, who will become the 54th officer commissioned at Morris. At 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, Walker will be commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Army. The ceremony will take place in the O.R. Reuben Chapel on campus.

Cadet Walker, a senior from Columbia, will have completed all graduation requirements at the end of this semester. He will receive the Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice on May 4, 2019. Following his graduation from Morris College he will serve in the United States Army as a transportation officer. His next assignment is to attend Basic Officer Leadership Course at Ft. Lee, Virginia.

Walker is the son of Jermaine and Cherry Walker and a 2012 graduate of Ridge View High School. He is also a member of the United States Army Reserve. He was sworn in as a contracted cadet in the United States Army ROTC Program on Nov. 19, 2015.

Immediately following the commissioning ceremony, Chapter 817 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart will designate Morris College as a Purple Heart College. This honor is in recognition of the college's outstanding support to military members, including veterans and their families. In addition to installing Purple Heart College signs at the entrances to campus, the college will also reserve a parking space near the Veterans Resource Center for members of the Purple Heart Chapter and others who have been wounded during combat while serving in the Armed Forces.

Dr. Leroy Staggers, the college president, is proud to be at the helm of a military friendly institution. In August, a dedication ceremony was held for the college's Veterans Resource Center. "We owe our freedom to veterans," he stated, "and we can't thank them for their service often enough." Following the MOPH designation, a resolution will be signed by Staggers to make the designation official.

This honor places the college among the more than 40 colleges and universities nationwide to receive this designation. Among those attending will be local officials, members of Sumter's MOPH chapter, as well as other veteran organizations throughout Sumter.

Pre-Christmas Worship Service

Morris College will observe its traditional Pre-Christmas Worship Service on Thursday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Neal-Jones Auditorium. The message will be delivered by the Rev. Dr. George P. Windley Sr. He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam era and was the first black senior chaplain with the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Since 1978, he has served as the pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Manning. In addition to serving his community in various capacities, he also serves on the Morris College Board of Trustees and Clarendon Health System. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morris College and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the former Morris College School of Religion. The college also conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.