US Rep. James E. Clyburn speaks for ECSU Founders Day Gala
Kesha Williams February 23, 2007
Elizabeth City State University will welcome U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn, majority
whip for the 110th Congress, as the keynote speaker for the Founders Day Black Tie
Gala at 6 p.m. on March 10, at the K. E. White Graduate Center. Other special guests
include U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield and ECSU alumna and jazz vocalist, Karla Crump.
Clyburn was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January 1993 after serving
as the first African-American advisor to a South Carolina governor (John Carl West)
since post Reconstruction. For nearly 18 years, he served as that state's Human Affairs
Commissioner but resigned that position to pursue his seat in Congress.
Clyburn began his steady climb on Capitol Hill winning election as co-president of
his freshman class. Six years later, he was unanimously elected chair of the Congressional
Black Caucus and to a seat on the coveted Appropriations Committee. In 2002, he was
elected in a three-way race to serve as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus,
and in January 2006, his peers unanimously elevated him to chair of the Caucus. In
addition to serving as House Majority Whip, Clyburn serves as leader of the House
Democrats' Faith Working Group.
In 1961, Clyburn married his wife, Emily. He worked as a Charleston S.C. history teacher
and she worked as a public school librarian. He went on to serve as an employment
counselor, director of two youth and community development programs, director of a
migrant and seasonal farm workers programs. Today, the Clyburns have three daughters,
Mignon, Angela and Jennifer Clyburn Reed; a son in-law, Walter Reed and two grandchildren,
Walter A. Clyburn Reed and Sydney Alexis Reed. The Clyburns are staunch supporters
of their alma mater, South Carolina State University, where they have raised over
$1.5 million for an Archives and History Endowment there. Sixteen other colleges and
universities have awarded Clyburn honorary degrees.
For more information on the Founders Day Black Tie Gala, please contact Dr. Richard
Lucas in the ECSU Division of Institutional Advancement, 252-335-3225.