talladega college

A Moment in History

The Amistad Murals consists of three panels: The Revolt, The Court Scene, and Back to Africa. They are housed in Savery Library and are known as one of artist Hale Aspacio Woodruffࢥst known works.

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Released On:
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Contact: Office of the President/Ms. Theresa Spence Telephone: 256-761-6211 E-mail: thspence@talladega.edu


Featured speaker at Talladega College’s Opening Convocation was Victoria Rowell;
Actress spoke to campus, did 2 book signings, then enjoyed Art & History Tour

Renowned African-American soap opera star Victoria Rowell inspired students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests today at Talladega College’s opening convocation. Ms. Rowell is best known for her role as Drucilla Winters on CBS’s number one daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless.

“I’m a farmer from Maine,” Victoria introduced herself to the crowd. She then gave the history of how she was raised as a foster child in Maine. Victoria’s foster mother already birthed and raised 10 children; but later in life, she raised 6 foster children, of which included Victoria. “We sold hay, we tapped our trees for syrup, and we canned our own foods.” Ms. Rowell then went on to tell how the “power of a book” and help from her foster mother opened doors for her to become a ballerina. She acknowledged that she was raised by many women and men who helped shape her into what she has become. The memoirs of her upbringing were penned into a bestselling book entitled, The Women Who Raised Me. Victoria is the Co-Executive Producer of the upcoming feature of her book on HBO.

“As a student, you have the responsibility to recognize who a mentor is. It’s the one who helps you to achieve, the one who makes sacrifices, sometimes tells you no; it may be your coach, the doctor, or the headmaster. The person who goes without sleep and sheds tears while making sure you have everything you need.” After giving this charge to students, Victoria then told how she found one of her mentors, her first ballet teacher when she was a child. She told the students, “There is no excuse not to find someone nowadays.” She urged students to go back and find their mentors even if they have to use the internet and social media in order to say thank you and to practice reciprocity. “When you go forward, you bring so many with you,” she stated as she encouraged students to finish their education at Talladega College. She also told the students that her background is the cornerstone of her strength and that no matter where you come from, make it your cornerstone and not a pitfall.

As she concluded, Victoria urged Talladegans to “soar, be of service, share, be grateful, have an open heart and ear because there will be tests and trials, but ask your mentor, friend, and higher power to pull you through.” The crowd gave her a standing ovation. Ms. Rowell was then presented with a gift: a framed depiction of the famous Amistad Murals and opening day of Talladega College. Sorority members of Sigma Ghamma Rho of Jacksonville State University were on hand also to present flowers to their soror, Ms. Rowell.

The event finished with a choral performance from Talladega College’s remarkable choir and closing remarks from President Hawkins, Provost Evelyn White, and alumni guest from the United Negro College Fund in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Hawkins encouraged students by concluding, “Everything we do here is for you. But we all have a responsibility to do our part. There’s a lot that’s coming and our future is bright.” Following the convocation, Victoria then held a book signing where copies of The Women Who Raised Me and Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva were available. Her day at Talladega College will commence with a luncheon, a tour of the Savery Library and the famed Amistad Murals, and lastly a second book signing on the campus.

By staff member, Mrs. Nicola Lawler

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Office of Admissions
Talladega College
627 Battle Street West
Talladega, AL 35160

Phone: (866) 540-3956
or (256) 362-0274
Email: admissions@talladega.edu



The history of Talladega College began on November 20, 1865, when two former slaves William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, both of Talladega, met in convention with a group of new freedmen in Mobile, Alabama.

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