For Roger Harrison ’01, his start on the stage at PC launched a career that has landed him roles in films including Bessie, Ride Along 2, The Nice Guys, Triple Nine and Selma.
Harrison graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor of arts in fine arts and concentrations in theatre and vocal performance. As a student, Harrison was involved on campus in a variety of activities—utilizing his musical and theatrical talents in the PC by taking on lead roles in several plays and serving as president of the PC Choir, in addition to singing the National Anthem at the PC volleyball games. Outside of the arts, Harrison was a Student Government Association (SGA) class representative and an athletic trainer for the football and baseball teams. “Being able to participate in a variety of activities was one of the prime reasons I chose PC,” says Harrison. “I turned down an appointment to West Point, as well as acceptances to Emory University and University of Georgia.”
Currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, Harrison enjoys traveling near and far to pursue his love of acting. He has achieved many roles in the film and television industry, and states how his professors at PC greatly influenced his growth as an actor, including his relationship with Dr. Dale O. Rains and Lesley Preston in the theater department, and Drs. Charles Gaines and Porter Stokes in the Department of Music. “One of the many benefits of being trained in smaller departments at a small school is that you are able to learn how to accomplish virtually any task needed during a production,” says Harrison. “I am as prepared as an actor as I am to step off the stage and help the production team get the job done.”
Harrison’s most recent role as a United States Senator in Selma was particularly memorable for the seasoned actor. “When working on a production, you really only get to experience small pieces of the puzzle often out of sequence,” explains Harrison. “Watching the completed production [of Selma] was a very moving experience. To see what had only been told to us by elders or written in history books come to life on the silver screen really made the time period and struggle more relevant to younger generations.” Harrison hopes this production will one day become utilized in history classes and incorporated into curriculum when discussing the Civil Rights Movement.
Outside of his acting career, Harrison is also actively involved in his community, living out the PC motto ‘While We Live, We Serve.’ He is the chairman of the Georgia Governor’s Honors Alumni Association and secretary of the Foundation for Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Harrison is also a past board member of Goodwill Industries and a former State of Georgia chairman for The Blue Ridge Institute. Because of his dedication and acts of service, Harrison received the honor of being named a University of Georgia Service Learning Fellow in 2009, followed by the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award at Georgia College in 2013 for dedication to both his profession and nonprofit volunteer work.
His time at Presbyterian College instilled in Harrison not only a love for his community, but also a love of acting, and you’ll be able to find him in upcoming feature films such as Marvel’s Ant Man, Insurgent and Magic Mike XXL. Additionally look for him on the small screen in The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Finding Carter, Satisfaction, Red Band Society, Constantine, and If Loving You is Wrong.