SC State University alumnus and city council member of the Charlottesville, Virginia City Council, Dr. Wesley “Wes” Bellamy, will keynote SC State’s Founders’ Day Program on Sunday, March 3. The event will be held at 4 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center on campus and is free and open to the public.
The Founders’ Day Program is a celebration of SC State University’s 123 years of excellent service to the community, state, nation and the world. This year’s theme is “Embracing Our History, Transforming Our Community.”
Bellamy, an Atlanta, Georgia native, received a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in management from SC State University in 2009. In 2014, he received a Master of Arts degree and in 2017, he earned a Doctor of Education. Both graduate degrees are in education administration and supervision from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.
The former vice mayor of Charlottesville is deemed a problem-solver, a team-player who is able to establish a positive rapport with others, a creative, energetic self-starter motivated to succeed and a skilled strategist who transforms strategic plans into workable solutions and benchmark performance for key operational targets and goals. His profile is evident in all facets of work in academia and the community.
Bellamy is the youngest individual ever elected to the Charlottesville, Virginia City Council. He came into the national spotlight after leading the effort to remove statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from city parks. He developed a comprehensive plan, the “Equity Package,” which included nearly $4 million in aid for marginalized communities and pushed it through city council.
His primary focus is on improving the lives of those who lack resources and positive role models in their lives. He serves as a nonprofit founder and executive, local activist, organizer and civic leader.
While looking to connect African American millennials throughout the country, he spearheaded the inaugural Black Millennial Political Convention in Washington, D.C. This event featured more than 200 black millennials from across the country who have different political backgrounds, expertise, upbringings and philosophies, but share one common goal: empowering and connecting African American millennials. Bellamy is also the founder and executive director of “We Code, Too,” a computer programming and coding nonprofit focused on building a pipeline for black and Latino youth in the technology industry.
He is currently a political science professor at Virginia State University and Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. Bellamy is also president of the award-winning mentoring organization, 100 Black Men of Central Virginia; a member of the Charlottesville Housing and Redevelopment Board; co-chair of the Gang Reduction through Active Community Engagement (GRACE) task force; and a member of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Jail Authority Board.
Some of Bellamy’s honors and awards include: The 2016 Virginia State Board of Education Appointee, 2016 Omega Psi Phi “Citizen of the Year,” 2015 National Alliance of Black Male Educators Newcomer of the Year and the 2014 SC State University Distinguished Alumnus.
He has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA TODAY, Huffington Post and has made appearances on CNN, MSNBC, PBS NewsHour, NPR and “On One” with Angela Rye.
This year’s Founders’ Day Program honorees include distinguished alumni and community leaders. The honorees are as follows:
Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1968 and 1973
Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
Dr. Wesley “Wes” Bellamy, ’09, Charlottesville councilman
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Demar Roberts, ’08, vice president of Operations for First Choice Sales and Marketing Group Inc.
Outstanding Accomplishments and Achievements Award
Dr. Judith D. Salley, ’75, chair of the SC State Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Distinguished Community Service Award
Oliver “Buddy” Pough, ’75, ’79, SC State head football coach
For more information about the Founders’ Day Program, contact Juanita H. Strait at (803) 536-7045 or [email protected].