157th Founders' Day Convocation

Photo of some of the party platform from Honors' Convocation 2024

The final event of the week was the annual Founders’ Day Convocation. This year, JCSU commemorated the 157th anniversary of JCSU’s founding on April 7, 1867.

The event also served as the first stepping out of the Class of 2024 who, donned in their ceremonial commencement robes, took one of their final walks from Biddle Hall to the Jane M. Smith Memorial Church for the Founders’ Day Convocation along with several members of JCSU’s faculty.

The address was given by Garry L. McFadden ’81, who has served in law enforcement for nearly 40 years, and has been elected to the office of Sheriff of Mecklenburg County since 2018. This election made McFadden the first Black sheriff in Mecklenburg County.

“It is a dream to speak with you all today,” McFadden said. “If you think you’re too mall to make a difference, spend a night with a mosquito.”

McFadden discussed a time in which former President Donald Trump tweeted about McFadden’s stance on immigration, calling him “the most dangerous” sheriff in the world.

“I’m the descendant of a slave who arrived in Charleston in the belly of a slave ship,” McFadden said. “Do you think I’m worried about what people say on social media? To everyone who has watched my life, watched my successes and watched my struggles: stay tuned. Season two is coming.”

Kinloch closed the Convocation program by thanking McFadden, who she says has become a close friend, and encouraging the soon-to-be graduates to be who they are!

“Be who you are and stand in your grace,” she said. “You are beautiful, brilliant and magnificent, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” 


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Watch the full Founders' Day Convocation