Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn: Educational and Spiritual Leader - Doherty Memorial High School

The Reverend Dr. Lester A. McCorn is a visionary leader, scholar, author, activist and college president. He is the 13th President of Clinton College. Clinton College is a private historically Black college (HBCU) founded in 1894 by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church. It is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, just south of metro- politan Charlotte, North Carolina. Newly branded as “A Beacon for Leaders,” Clinton has experienced dramatic growth in student enrollment and has implemented new programs focused on student success, including a leadership/ mentorship program called Everyday COACHES, the Department of Education Project Success program, which provides emergency assistance to students in financial crises, and a new Academic Success Center. 

Eleven of the students published a book of poems and essays chronicling their journey from trauma to college entitled, “Shattered Glass: A Generation Explains.” Dr. McCorn was chosen in December of 2017 to be a part of a delegation of HBCU presidents to premier universities in China in order to expand the HBCU-China exchange program. At the 2018 commencement ceremony President McCorn awarded the Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Clinton College after she delivered the commencement address.

Dr. McCorn was recently chosen to be a part of the 2019 cohort of the Harvard University Seminar for New Presidents. The HBCU Campaign Fund named President McCorn as one of the “Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2019.” As Clinton College prepares to celebrate its Quasqui- centennial (125th) Anniversary, President McCorn will be leading an aggressive capital campaign to construct new start-of-the-art residence halls, academic buildings and an athletic complex to accommodate a growing student population and expanded campus. He commissioned a commemorative portrait by renowned artist Synthia Saint James entitled, “A Beacon of Light” in honor of the 125th anniversary. The College has adopted the mantra, “Excellence Without Excuse.” Clinton students, known as the Golden Bears, now proudly wear “The Clinton Blazer” for the weekly “Beacon Forum” campus assembly on Wednesdays and for other special occasions. The College has also established a chapter
of Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honors Society. President McCorn was inducted as an honorary member in 2018.

Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and a former pastor of churches in Baltimore, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and New Haven, Connecticut. He is an alumnus of Morehouse College, Yale Divinity School and Chicago Theological Seminary, he holds the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Ethical and Creative Leadership, with a concentration in Martin Luther King Jr. Studies and Social Change, at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is married to Mrs. Charlene M. McCorn, an elementary school teacher in Fort Mill, South Carolina. They are the proud parents of three adult children William Elijah Benjamin, Maliaka (Mal-LIE-ah-kah) Kenyetta, and John-Charles Wesley.

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