Six Outstanding Women Honored by Morris College

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SUMTER, S.C. — Morris College recently recognized the achievements of six women at its 102nd commencement.  Dr. Dorothy Campbell, Moorestown N.J.; Mrs. Burley D. Armstrong, Mullins, S.C.; Mrs. Elouise Johnson, Bishopville, S.C.; Ms. Deidre C. Odom, Darlington, S.C.; Mrs. Beatrice Peoples, Florence S.C.; and Mrs. Magnolia Robinson Williams, Sumter, S.C.

Campbell, a native of Hartsville, S.C., was bestowed with the honorary Doctor of Letters degree. A retired high school educator of more than 30 years, she earned a B.S. degree from Benedict College and the M.Ed. degree from Arcadia University, formerly Beaver College, Glenside, Pa. Campbell is a highly sought lecturer and leader in Christian Education. She has received numerous awards for her work in the areas of mathematics and science as well as Christian Education, including a citation from the State of New Jersey General Assembly.

Armstrong, Johnson, Odom, Peoples and Williams were honored with the Morris College 2013 Presidential Citation.

Alumna Burley Armstrong was recognized for her “wise counsel as a retired educator who has dedicated and engaged her life to serving others.” She has made vast contributions to the Woman’s Baptist Pee Dee District Department, the Woman’s Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, Camp Julia A. Starks/Dunbar Gandy and served as coordinator of World Day of Prayer.

Elouse Johnson, a credentialed, retired public school teacher of 38 years, was recognized for “poise, precision, and resourcefulness that has gone beyond her teaching years to touch the lives of so many.” She is the immediate past president of the Woman’s Missionary Auxiliary of the Wateree Baptist Association, Lower Division and serves in several ministries. She earned the B.S. degree from the college.                                                            

Deidre Odom was recognized for her service to young women in her role as advisor to the State Baptist Young Woman’s Auxiliaryand as assistant program director of its Health Ministry. She has served in numerous capacities at Macedonia Baptist Church in Darlington as well as president of the Pee Dee District YWA, the State Baptist YWA and a member of the Morris College Board of Trustees. Odom earned the B.S. degree from Francis Marion College, Florence, S.C.

Beatrice Peoples is a retired English and business instructor, and banker. She was recognized for her outstanding service as a high school educator and for her support of the college in her capacity as president of the Woman’s Baptist Pee Dee District Department and treasurer of the Woman’s Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina. She earned the B. S. degree from Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. and the M.Ed degree from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C.

Alumna Magnolia Williams, licensed funeral director and president and CEO of Williams Funeral Home, Inc., of Sumter, SC, was recognized for “immeasurable contributions and outstanding service through various ministries and organizations designed to empower and help improve the quality of life for others.”  She has touched lives through her work on the Mary McLeod Bethune component of the National Council of Negro Women, the Interdenominational Ministers’ Wives Alliance and the Rafting Creek Baptist Church of Rembert, SC. She established the Rev. Frank Williams, Sr. Endowed Scholarship at the college in honor of her late husband. The City of Sumter honored her by proclaiming April 17, 2011 as “Magnolia Robinson Williams Day.”