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      SC State Alumnus: "Loyal sons and daughters do not give up"

      Orangeburg, S.C. (WACH) - Hundreds are expected to show up at the Orangeburg City Square on Saturday to rally behind South Carolina's only state supported historically black college.

      South Carolina State University alumni have put together the Bulldog Pride march and rally to make a stand for their school. "We needed to galvanize the community," said Evia Thomas, who graduated from SCSU in 1962. "Show a unified front and support for our beloved alma mater."

      The university has fallen into financial turmoil in recent months.

      This past spring, the state budget and control board gave South Carolina State a six million dollar loan to help pay its bills. Now the institution is asking for $12 million more.

      However, Governor Nikki Haley says she won't lend another dime until the university hires a financial consultant.

      "We are going through our crisis right now, but we will survive because loyal sons and daughters do not give up," added Thomas.

      Bulldog alumni like Thomas hope Saturday's rally will unite and challenge power brokers in state government to see the importance of keeping SCSU operating.

      "South Carolina State is a vital part of Orangeburg," said Thomas. "We hope that everyone will come away with, I will work and we challenge everyone to have that attitude."

      The event is set to begin at 9:00 a.m.

      Officials say supporters will convene at the downtown Orangeburg City Square and march in solidarity toward the K.W. Green Student Center Plaza on the university's campus.

      Organizers expect a host of supporters, including local leaders such as Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler and Orangeburg County Council Member Willie B. Owens.

      SC State President Thomas J. Elzey, along with many others are also scheduled to speak.

      In case of inclement weather, the Bulldog Pride march and rally will be held at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium located on the university's campus.