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Denmark Tech president receives SC Commission for Minority Affairs 2021 Shining Star Award

This morning, Denmark Technical College President Dr. Willie L. Todd, Jr. was named the 2021 Shining Star by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs.  

The CMA started awarding individuals in 2020 during Black History Month. However, this is the first year for the Shining Star award. 

The CMA plans to give the award yearly, moving forward, to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to an organization’s mission, vision and purpose, in addition to going above and beyond the call of duty.

“Dr. Todd was chosen because of his commitment to the values and goals of Denmark Technical College and for his dedication to rebranding and restoring the legacy of this two-year HBCU. He has proven the ability to make a beneficial difference in students’ lives and positively add to the development of the school’s environment,” said Cynthia Haddad, CMA’s  African American affairs program manager. 

The award is designed to demonstrate grateful appreciation and recognition of an individual’s commitment to the values and goals of an organization and the display of high-level engagement in the community.  

“I’m humbled and honored to have this honor bestowed upon me by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. While this award may have name on it, it also serves as a tribute to DTC and everyone who is working so hard to revitalize the college,” said Todd.   

Todd joined Denmark Technical College in the fall of 2019 as vice president for academic affairs and student services and was quickly elevated to president and CEO, assuming the role on January 13, 2020. Since his presidency began, Todd made an immediate impact by purchasing new furniture for every classroom, executing a plan for grounds beautification, implementing sweeping technology upgrades, renovating residence halls, overhauling the website, improving course offerings and building relationships throughout the state, making way for opportunities for internships, job placement and connection.

“I have observed Dr. Todd’s impact for many years at numerous HBCUs across the Southeast and the Midwest. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor. As the first- ever Shining Star recipient, I have no doubt that Dr. Todd will represent the CMA well and advance Denmark Technical College as a premier HBCU,” said Dr. A. Cliffton Myles, DTC’s executive vice president for administration and innovation. 

“I’m blessed to have the privilege to lead Denmark Technical College. As South Carolina’s only HBCU in the technical college system, DTC plays a vital role in our state’s history and we are working hard to restore her to her former splendor,” added Todd.  

You can see Dr. Todd’s virtual acceptance and Black History Month speech here.  


Denmark Technical College is a two-year HBCU in rural Bamberg County, South Carolina. Denmark Tech serves over 500 students with a focus on technical career training, associates degrees and a four-year college transfer program

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