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Published on May 28th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Alumnus donates $100,000 to SC State University

Pictured above Kenneth Ravenell.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Everything about SC State University alumnus Kenneth Ravenell, ‘81, is a big deal. He is one of the most successful trial attorneys in the U.S., boasting an exceptionally high acquittal rate of close to 70 percent. A senior partner at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore, Md., Ravenell has won more than 250 jury trials throughout the country and is known for his “dogged determination, incredible work ethic and legal brilliance.”

But that is not the only thing that makes Ravenell a big deal. He’s the son of a sharecropper who transferred the energy and hard work of picking cotton as a child to his academic studies at SC State University. He graduated cum laude from SC State in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

Inspired as a youth to pursue law as a way to help protect the rights of African-Americans by the life and work of Thurgood Marshall, and fueled with resoluteness and purposefulness, Ravenell graduated with his Juris Doctor from the Maryland School of Law in Baltimore in 1984.

While these accomplishments and more are, indeed, a very big deal, what makes Ravenell so special to SC State is a singular event that took place on Sunday, March 2, 2014. On that day, Ravenell delivered the keynote address during the university’s 118th Founders’ Day Program.

Amongst family, friends, alumni and community leaders, he boldly stated how much he owed SC State for providing the foundation on which he has built a very successful career. And he declared before those assembled that he pledged a gift of $100,000 to his beloved alma mater.

During a recent visit to the Washington, D.C. area to meet with SC State University alumni, President Thomas J. Elzey met with Ravenell and began the process of turning the pledge into a donation.

During the meeting with Ravenell, Elzey stated, “I am moved by the part SC State University played in your success.” Elzey thanked Ravenell by saying, “Thank you for your leadership and support. Your gift will ensure that the SC State University legacy of excellence will continue.”

Ravenell chose SC State University and he excelled while at SC State because of the solid educational foundation and nurturing, supportive environment. To his fellow classmates and other alumni, Ravenell says, “I strongly encourage you to support SC State with the fruits of your success.”

Founded in 1896 as a land grant institution with a mission of providing service to the citizens of the state, South Carolina State University has evolved from a small teachers’ college into a major University center of learning and research. Located in Orangeburg, S.C., with a student population of some 3,200, South Carolina State offers more than 50 different fields of study on the undergraduate and graduate levels. South Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools.


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