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Clinton College Graduates Called to be "Social Engineers"

May 15, 2019

Rock Hill, SC (May 7th, 2019) – The work is not over for the 2019 Clinton College graduates who walked across the stage at Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center on May 4th – they are now being called to be “social engineers.”

Former Ohio State Senator and current Bernie Sanders staffer Nina Turner was the keynote speaker and cited the Bible scripture Micah 6:8 to encourage the graduates to be advocates for their communities.

“Justice requires us, black folks who have degrees, to know that we know that so many folks before us put it on the line.”

Turner says she was inspired by the words of Charles Hamilton Houston, who was the Dean of Howard University Law School and a mentor of Thurgood Marshall. She says Houston believed people who earned law degrees had a responsibility to be “social engineers” and called those who did not, “parasites.”

Quoting Houston, Turner said, “The most important thing is that no negro tolerates any ceiling on his ambition or imagination.”

Turner closed with words of wisdom she says she learned from her grandmother – the three bones needed through life: the WISH bone that gives hope, the JAW bone that allows courage and boldness and the BACK bone that will stand through trials and tribulations.

After her speech concluded, 32 students received their degrees, including an honorary posthumous degree given to the family of Reverend John L. Mackins who passed away in April.

The entire service can be viewed on the Clinton College Facebook page.

About Clinton College

Clinton College is a historically black, private institution with a strong Liberal Arts tradition. The College was founded in 1894 by The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church to meet the needs of descendants of slaves who did not have access to higher education. Today, the doors of the institution are open to all, those who have achieved academically and to those who have yet to reach their full potential. In keeping with its rich tradition, the College continues to provide a learning milieu for students to promote academic achievement and positive moral and spiritual development. This environment fosters leadership qualities and encourages students to be good citizens who can contribute to a global society. For more information about Clinton College please visit


For more information, please contact Erin Giddens at or 803-327-7402 ext. 6387.