USCB selects commencement speaker, honorary degree recipients

info@islandpacket.comApril 12, 2012 

Two local leaders will be honored at the University of South Carolina Beaufort graduation later this month.

Colden Rhind Battey Jr. and Emory Shaw Campbell will receive honorary degrees at the ceremony on April 27. Campbell also will deliver the commencement address.

Campbell, a fifth-generation native of Hilton Head Island, has worked extensively to preserve Gullah culture in the area.

He has served as the executive director of the Penn Center. During his time in that role, he created the Penn Center Heritage Days Celebration and revived the center's educational and family-farm program.

He also expanded the York W. Bailey Museum's programs to attract writers, artists, linguists, environmentalists and filmmakers, who in turn documented and interpreted the language and culture of the Gullah people.

He was elected chairman of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, which was created by Congress to develop programs that preserve and promote Gullah culture from North Carolina to Florida. He also won the Governor's Award at the 1999 S.C. Historic Preservation Awards ceremony and has been inducted into the S.C. Black Hall of Fame.

Battey moved to Beaufort County after earning his law degree in 1963 from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a senior partner at the law firm Harvey and Battey.

Battey has been the chairman of Beaufort County Council and the local United Way chapter, and has served on other local boards and commissions.

Battey is being recognized for his support of USCB's transition from a two-year regional campus to a baccalaureate degree-granting school. Battey supported the shift and USCB's second campus in the Bluffton area in his time on the Beaufort-Jasper Higher Education Commission. He also worked to established the Beaufort College Art Scholarship Committee.

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