Elizabeth Evelyn Wright | Carolina Snaps

Elizabeth Evelyn Wright’s dream of establishing a school in South Carolina would come true in 1897. A graduate of Tuskegee Institute had a deep desire to open a school where black boys and girls could be educated in industrial and agricultural work.

Despite her determination, she faced many obstacles which included arsonists burning her schools down three consecutive times. Not giving up, Wright made attempts at five different locations before she settled in Denmark, SC. The Denmark Industrial School was successfully founded April 14, 1897.

Her most generous benefactor, Ralph Vorhees, supplied $5,000 for the purchase of 280 acres and the construction of a schoolhouse. In 1902, the name was changed to the Voorhees Industrial School. Today, this HBCU is known as Voorhees University.


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