Businessman, Politician, and Civil Rights Leader Dr. Charles Steele Jr. to Deliver the 2013 Commencement Address for Jarvis Christian College
On Saturday, May 4, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. Jarvis Christian College will hold its commencement exercises at the E. W. Rand Center in the Anthony Robinson Varsity Gymnasium on the Jarvis campus. The commencement speaker is Dr. Charles Steele Jr., President Emeritus and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
“We are pleased to have Dr. Steele deliver the commencement address. His experience as a businessman, politician and civil rights leader makes him interesting and relevant to our graduates. The 2013 graduating class could benefit greatly from his address,” said President Newman.
A Tuscaloosa, Alabama native, Dr. Steele graduated from Druid High in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and attended college at Mississippi Valley State University and Oakland University. He received his bachelors from The F.T. Bozeman school of Ministry and Global Evangelical Christian College of Louisiana. He also received his masters from F.T. Bozeman Global Evangelical Seminary and received an earned doctorate degree from Mt. Carmel Theological Seminary. Dr. Steele holds several Honorary Doctorate Degrees.
In 1985 he became the first African American elected to the Tuscaloosa City Council. In 1994 he was elected to the Alabama State Senate. In 2000 he was elected as a Senate member of the High Chamber (U.S. Parliamentary Group) of the International States Parliament for Safety and Peace. In 2004 he became President of SCLC and served for five years. During that time he raised over 10 million dollars including 3.3 million dollars for the SCLC international headquarters. In 2009, he resigned from SCLC to start his own consulting firm, Charles Steele & Associates (CSA). In 2011 the board of SCLC unanimously voted Dr. Steele as President Emeritus. On July 2, 2012, he was elected Chief Executive Officer for the second time. He is the first SCLC CEO to ever hold this position twice.
As councilman Dr. Steele organized the Unity Day Scholarship Fund, the Tuscaloosa Police Athletic League, and secured funds for purchase of Palmore Park and Barrs’ Quarters (Charles Steele
Estates). Dr. Steele obtained the funds to build the Bernice Washington Insight Center (a drug treatment center) and organized the Tuscaloosa Drug Task Force and the Partnership for a drug free Tuscaloosa.
As a state senator he played a key role in recruiting several new plants in his district. Dr. Steele sponsored a non-traditional educational program with Robert Townsend of Hollywood, California for the youth of his district. He also recruited the Rosa Parks movie to Alabama where he served as a consultant and associate producer to the production of the $7 million CBS movie project.
Under the slogan “New Day … New Way,” Dr. Steele and SCLC in October 2006 made history by breaking ground for their new and much anticipated $3.3 million international headquarters. Dr. Steele raised money for the project through corporate friends and sponsors. During his five years as SCLC President and CEO he raised over 10 million dollars including the 3.3 million dollars he raised for the headquarters.
Jarvis Christian College is a historically Black liberal arts, baccalaureate, degree-granting institution affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The mission of the College is to prepare students intellectually, socially, spiritually, and personally to pursue professional and graduate studies and productive careers, and to function effectively in a global and technological society.
P.O. Box 1470 US Highway 80 E. PR 7631 Hawkins, Texas 75765 ǀ www.Jarvis.edu