Danny Carter Completes Master’s Degree

Posted by Monica Hoel
Completing his education was a promise to Fred Selfe (E&H ’69).

When asked about the accident that left him paralyzed, Danny Carter grins and says, “God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers.” It is this never-give-up attitude that has led to Danny receiving his bachelor’s degree in Sports Management in 2015 and his master’s degree in Community and Organizational Leadership in the Spring of 2019.

“I’m where I am right now because of my supportive family, and a lot of Emory & Henry people who helped me get here.”

Injured in 2001, Danny completed his undergraduate degree at Emory & Henry in 2015 and his masters degree in 2019. Ever ready with a wisecrack, Danny wryly says of the accomplishment, “It only took me 18 years.”

When Danny came to Emory & Henry as a first-year football player in 2001, he was in pre-season practices when he dealt a hard tackle at an unfortunate angle and wound up with a C4-C5 spinal fracture that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Plans for college got put on hold while he spent some time at places like The Shepherd Center in Atlanta and Project Walk in California where he gained strength for the muscles he could still use and guidance on managing his life.

He speaks of many people who offered support, encouragement, assistance, and guidance, but one name comes up more than all others: “Fred Selfe was an angel among us. He’d come get me and bring me to campus to work out in the weight room. He was really doing all the lifting, but it got me out and kept me busy. He wouldn’t let me stay stuck in my depression – he’d tell me to ‘get off my butt and get to work.’”

And there was one more thing Fred said to Danny: “Get your education.”

So in 2010, Danny returned to Emory & Henry with some different plans and expectations. Even with a raft of new hurdles, he completed a major in Health and Human Performance (HHP). With every account of those days, he speaks of gratitude for the support and resources he found at Emory & Henry.  “I’m very mindful of the numerous individuals in the Emory & Henry community who have helped me along my journey to where I am today. People like Beverly Sheddan, Rebecca Buchanan, President Jake Schrum, Tal Stanley, Jimmy Wallace, D.C. Cobler, Charles Sydnor, Joy Scruggs, Felicia Mitchell, Mike Puglisi, Amanda Gardner, and especially Talmage Dobbins with the Powell Resource Center.”

For instance, Talmage Dobbins in the PRC  helped him navigate his academic classes and a challenging campus filled with hills and antique buildings. Beverly Sheddan and Rebecca Buchanan found him a job at Emory & Henry serving as a student assistant for the faculty members in the HHP department. And Danny even speaks of the addition of automatic doors on campus, and is grateful for how certain campus improvements have made navigation easier not only for him but for students who have come after him.

His colleagues in the King Center rave about more than the professional level of Danny’s work – they speak of the quiet influence he has on young people. Because while Danny could tell a story of disappointment, he instead tells a story of deep gratitude.  “When I had my accident, life gave me a test I never studied for. But God provided me a study guide and it said, ‘Never give up.’”

  • Danny Carter in shortly after the 2015 E&H Commencement ceremony where he received his underg...
    Danny Carter in shortly after the 2015 E&H Commencement ceremony where he received his undergraduate diploma.
“I’m very mindful of the numerous individuals in the Emory & Henry community who have helped me along my journey to where I am today.”

– Danny Carter, E&H 2015, 2019

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