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HBCU Classic organizers push STEM

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Organizers of the HBCU Classic in Greenville’s Sirrine Stadium are using the occasion to push minority youth toward STEM programs at historically black colleges and universities.

Two teams from out of town, Columbia’s Benedict College and Fort Valley State University from Fort Valley, Ga., will clash on the field Sept. 28 but organizers say they want come together before the game to accomplish more than their original mission of bringing attention to the value of HCBUs — specifically, the value of science, technology, engineering and math in creating strong career paths.

“We believe that exposing the youth from the Upstate to STEM programs offered at historically black colleges and universities will encourage students to realize the importance of a college education and its correlation to career advancement opportunities,” organizer Brandon Brown said in a statement. “The planned events promote these ideas and will expose community leaders to the importance of sustaining HBCUs.”

Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility and Maritime Missions Organization, will deliver the keynote address during the HBCU Classic luncheon on Sept. 27 at the Crowne Plaza on Congaree Road.
McLean is responsible for the company’s C-130, LM-100J, C-5 and P-3 programs. He serves as the leader for the Marietta, Ga., facility and oversees sub-assembly sites in West Virginia and Mississippi, according to the news release. A 25-year Lockheed Martin employee, he most recently led the Integrated Fighter Group.

The luncheon is part of a day-long conference on sustaining HBCUs, including sessions aimed at exposing Upstate youth to STEM education opportunities.

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