TNCC Names Photographer Keith Cephus as This Year’s Presidential Leadership Award Recipient

Published: January 8, 2013

Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) has selected award-winning photographer Keith Cephus to receive its Seventh Annual Presidential Leadership Award.

As part of TNCC’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observance, the award presentation takes place Thursday, Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. on the Hampton campus in the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium, Templin Hall. At TNCC’s Historic Triangle campus in Williamsburg, a reception takes place at 11 a.m. on the second floor landing.

The College established its Presidential Leadership Award to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by recognizing an outstanding community leader and important role model for students. Receiving the award is both inspiring and humbling for Cephus. “What a beautiful backdrop to be honored in a capacity like this. Dr. King has such a powerful and provocative message that still lives today,” he said.

Cephus is a Hampton Roads-based international and lifestyle photographer whose work has been featured in Essence, American Bride, Modern Bride, Vow and other publications. His celebrity portfolio includes President Barack Obama; athletes Michael Jordan, Sugar Ray Leonard, Darryl Tapp and Aaron Brooks; actor Shemar Moore; singer Toni Braxton and many others. His work was also showcased in a John Paul Mitchell Systems advertising campaign.

Serving as Hampton Roads Magazine’s Sports Editor also keeps the New York native busy. In his role with the monthly publication, he has photographed the Washington Redskins, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Charlotte Bobcats and New York Yankees. In addition, he serves on the Academic Review Board for the Art Institute of Virginia Beach and is a member of Wedding and Portrait Photographers International and Professional Photographers of America.

Cephus, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, fell in love with photography during his first tour of duty in Japan. He purchased a camera to send pictures to his friends back home, but soon found it hard to put the camera down. That’s when the self-taught photographer sought to hone his skills through internships and volunteer work, but was often turned away. “Believe it or not, I got so many doors slammed in my face. That’s why I vow to never turn my back on anyone,” he said.

Cephus often offers workshops and plans to sponsor a photography camp for underprivileged children. He also speaks to groups in the community about photography and business. Last year, he served as a keynote speaker during TNCC’s Black History Month celebration.

For more information about TNCC’s Presidential Leadership Award, or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observances, please call the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Special Events at 757-825-2725.


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