ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Students lined up outside of Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center (SHM) at South Carolina State University's campus on Tuesday morning, some as early as 9 A.M. for a chance to see United States Vice President Kamala Harris.
The university canceled classes for the day as the VP was set to take the stand during the school's freshman convocation ceremony. It was one of two stops Harris made on the day - starting her afternoon at a roundtable discussion on Claflin University's campus.
Before the ceremony started, students flocked to SHM in a line that stretched across the street. Lataye Walker and her friends were in attendance Tuesday to hear the vice president, who is also an HBCU graduate, address the students.
"She came down, and she came to socialize with us. She came to take pictures with. She came to speak with us, to know our names," Walker said.
Walker says seeing an HBCU graduate and woman of color making history history can give schools like SC State the attention they deserve.
"To know that she is the highest female in the US, and she came from an HBCU gives us hope, gives us motivation," Walker said.
Harris is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a sorority that is active on SC State's campus. Zykia Young is the chapter president.
"She's doing something to help our country and to communicate with us. It's amazing, just to know that we're a part of the same sorority and knowing that I could possible one day do that too."
Harris spent about two and a half total hours in Orangeburg visiting the schools before heading back to Columbia Metropolitan Airport, where she boarded Air Force Two for her return trip to Washington, DC.