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December 22, 2006

Sherman College Grants Hardee Honorary Degree


Sherman College has presented its former president Jerry L. Hardee, Ed.D., with an honorary Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities (DCH) degree in recognition of his commitment to the chiropractic profession and to Sherman College. Interim President and Sherman College founder Thomas A. Gelardi, D.C., made the presentation during the college’s 108th commencement ceremony on December 16. Hardee then presented the commencement address to the graduates.

Hardee was named the third president of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in July 2001, and by virtue of that appointment, he became the first African-American president of an accredited chiropractic college. He quickly spread his passion for Sherman College and its mission, chiropractic the profession and the local community.

“To say that service has shaped Jerry Hardee’s life is to tell only half the story,” Sherman’s Interim President Thom Gelardi says. “His service to humanity speaks for itself, yet as I think of Jerry Hardee, I think of a man who has fashioned his life to make a difference in the world. Dr. Hardee’s dedicated service has meant so much to me personally, to Sherman College and to the chiropractic profession.”

A lifelong educator, Hardee began his career as a teacher in 1960. His administrative career began just 10 years later, and he has served as an executive administrator at five different institutions of higher education in the Georgia State Educational System. 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 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 has been recognized by the Levi Strauss Foundation in honor and appreciation of his years of service and leadership with Project Change, an anti-racism initiative in Valdosta, GA.

As president of Sherman College, Hardee spearheaded efforts to reach out to 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 has demonstrated great leadership to impact the growth of minority interest in the profession.

While president of Sherman College, Hardee continued his humanitarian work in the local community by serving on the Advisory Board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Board of Directors of the Senior Centers of Spartanburg County; the Advisory Board of the University of South Carolina-Upstate, College of Education; the Board of Directors of the Mount Moriah Baptist Church Foundation; and the Carolina Foothills Artisans Center. While serving on these non-profit boards, Hardee remained active in Kiwanis International and the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce.

In 2004 he was named Humanitarian of the Year by the American Black Chiropractic Association, and the World Chiropractic Alliance presented him with an Outstanding Service Award. The South Carolina Chiropractic Association named him Chiropractic Friend of the Year in 2005.

Currently Hardee serves as the Dean of the Life University College of Arts and Sciences in Marietta, Georgia. His wife, Wyonnie, has been enjoying a long career as an elementary school teacher in Valdosta, GA. They have a son, Sidney Hardee of New York City, and two grandchildren.

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