FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence-Darlington Technical College held a long-delayed inauguration ceremony Thursday for its president, who took over the job more than two years ago.

The ceremony for Dr. Jermaine Ford, which had been on hold because of COVID-19 restrictions, included several speakers, including Ford and South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette. It also featured a performance by Bishop Micahel Bue and the Door of Hope Christian Church.

In his speech, Ford, the school’s fifth president, encouraged everyone to attend college.

Other speakers included state Sens. Mike Reichenbach, Gerald Malloy and Kent Williams. Williams said that even though Ford is not from South Carolina, his Louisiana roots prepared him for the job.

“Dr. Ford Understands rural America because he comes from a state with similar circumstances,” Williams said. “That statement alone, I knew With Dr. Ford’s appointment would come with an unwavering commitment, a fresh perspective and innovative ideas for the betterment of this college community.”

Since being appointed president in October 2021, Ford has helped expand the school’s service to nearby areas like Marion County.

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Dennis Bright is a Digital Producer at News13. He joined the team in May 2021. Dennis is a West Virginia native and a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Follow Dennis on, Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and read more of his work here.