Hardee Inaugurated as Third President of Sherman College

To read Dr. Hardee's inaugural address, click here

MAY 28, 2002 - 
 Jerry L. Hardee, Ed.D., was inaugurated as the third president of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC, on Friday May 24, 2002, during the college's annual Lyceum program. A native of Valdosta, GA, Hardee is the first African American to head one of the nation's 16 chiropractic colleges.

"I firmly believe that Sherman College has found in Dr. Hardee an outstanding leader who possesses not only a high level of integrity and strong skills and experience in higher education administration, but also an individual who has demonstrated over the years his unwavering commitment to Sherman College and to the chiropractic profession," said former Sherman College Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas A. Gelardi, D.C.

In a profession historically populated by white practitioners, Hardee hopes that the appointment of an African American to this highly visible leadership role will impact the growth of minority interest in the field.

Since his appointment as president of Sherman College, Hardee has been meeting extensively with students, faculty and health care profession advisors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to inform them of the opportunities available in chiropractic and the academic background needed for admission to a chiropractic college. He is also working proactively with the American Black Chiropractic Association (ABCA) and served as the keynote speaker for the ABCA's annual convention last fall in Minnesota.

"Although the number of women in the chiropractic profession has grown in the past 15 years, minority representation in the field continues to lag way behind," Hardee said. According to 1998 National Board of Chiropractic Examiners data, more than 93 percent of practicing chiropractors are Caucasian and fewer than one percent are African American.

"Many students first become exposed to the rewards of a chiropractic career through a mentor who is practicing chiropractic," Hardee explained. "The lack of African American and other minority role models among doctors of chiropractic today makes it more difficult to mentor prospective minority students."

Before being named president of Sherman College, Hardee served as vice president for academic affairs at Albany State University in Georgia. Prior to that assignment he served as assistant to the president and professor of educational leadership at Valdosta State University. He is past Georgia director of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and has served on the boards of the American Red Cross and Boy Scouts of America.

He was recently recognized by the Levi Strauss Foundation in honor and appreciation of his years of service and leadership with Project Change, an anti-racism initiative sponsored by the foundation to increase racial and ethnic harmony. Under Hardee's leadership, the Valdosta chapter of Project Change sponsored multicultural educational workshops, worked with banks to promote home ownership among low-income families and helped increase minority enrollment in upper-level high school courses.

Hardee is active in Kiwanis International and served as president of the Valdosta Kiwanis Club and Lt. Governor of District 13 of the Georgia Kiwanis. He continues his humanitarian efforts in the Spartanburg, SC, community. He recently joined a Spartanburg chapter of Kiwanis and has been named to the Advisory Board of the Phyllis Wheatley Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program in the Greenville-Spartanburg area, and to the Advisory Board of the University of South Carolina Spartanburg (USCS) College of Education.

Hardee has been involved in educational administration for more than 30 years. He holds a doctorate degree in education and a certificate of advanced study in educational administration from Northern Illinois University, a master's degree in science education from Fisk University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Clark College.

He is married to Wyonnie Thomas Hardee, a fourth-grade teacher in Valdosta.

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P.O. Box 1452 , Spartanburg, SC  29304   800-849-8771