Hundreds rally at South Carolina Statehouse to save Denmark Technical College


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) — The fight to save Denmark Technical College made it to the South Carolina Statehouse.

“We’re gonna fight, we’re gonna fight,” Craig Culver told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

With a bill in the Statehouse threatening to close South Carolina’s only historically black technical college, dozens appeared on its steps to send a clear message to lawmakers. “Denmark Technical College means a lot to all of us. It taught me how to be a man and other things,” Culver added.

If passed, a nine-member committee would study the possibility of re-opening it as a trade school.

“We realize Denmark Tech is a necessity for those of us who don’t want to get lost in the crowd at a 4-year institute,” Babette Culver said.

Cosmetology allowed her to plant roots in the area. She says the school gave her something she couldn’t learn elsewhere. “Denmark Tech is the reason why I am who I am. it afforded me a husband and a job for 40 something years. We work together we met at Denmark Tech,” she said. “We work together and we are still working business together in our communities,” she added. 

It was a nearly two-hour event with students, alumni, and those in power giving speeches demonstrating their commitment to the college’s next 72 years. 

“And for Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell counties, Denmark Technical College is that vehicle that would move those areas forward,” Interim President Dr. Christopher Hall said.

Out of several who spoke, one a family who said it was because of school they were able to not only complete multiple degrees but during their time at the college, the people on campus became more of a family.

“This was supposed to be a stop gap for us but it became a pathway to a new future and it became an extended family that we didn’t know we needed,” Travis Tucker said.

It’s a place where you can find programs not offered at other trade schools.

“it has done so many things for our young people keeping them out of trouble giving them purpose,”

“You need common laborers and I’m proud to say that I’ve been one for 40 something years and I’ve never gone hungry thanks to Denmark Tech,” Babette Culver added.

Craig Culver, Babette’s husband, feels talk of the closure is strictly political but he has this message for senators come November. 

“Let me tell you this,  if you don’t help us now, we won’t help you at the polls,” he said.

“And to close it up would be a travesty because not everyone is meant to get lost in the shuffle,” Babette Culver said.

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