Archives For news

Scholarship Honors Professor’s Legacy

By John Stabinger
Posted on 3 January 2020 | 5:43 pm — 

“We’re just wild about Harry” was the phrase in the mind and hearts of nearly 300 friends and former students of Harry W. Freeman ’43 in establishing an endowed scholarship upon his retirement from the College in 1990. The sentiment also served as the theme for the gathering – where the new scholarship was announced – to honor his 39 years of service to the College.

“Anyone who was lucky enough to have had Dr. Freeman as a teacher remembers him as a special person, the quintessential professor and one who will be deeply honored if the scholarship drive is successful,” says James Smiley, then-chair of the department of biology.

The drive’s success is indisputable, as nearly $150,000 was raised toward the original $100,000 goal. As a distinguished professor and chair of biology as well as past president of the Alumni Association, it’s only appropriate that Freeman’s scholarship supports both areas.

The scholarship, awarded by the Alumni Association, pays tribute to his unwavering loyalty to the College and is available to relatives of alumni. John C. Duane ’94, son of John P. Duane Jr. ’57 and Ann Wulbern Duane ’60, was selected as the inaugural recipient. After graduating from the College, he attended the University of South Carolina School of Law and was selected as the 2014 Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Year, Charleston Division. He is now senior counsel at Motley Rice LLC.

Learn more about the scholarship.

Guide to Giving

By John Stabinger
Posted on 22 November 2019 | 4:45 pm — 

As a donor to the College of Charleston, you have the power to enrich the academic environment, personalize the experience and shape the future for more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Thanks in part to private philanthropy, more than two-thirds of our students receive scholarships or financial aid support. With tuition dollars covering approximately one-third of the real cost of a College of Charleston undergraduate education, your philanthropic dollars are critical to student success.

When you have more than 300 senior citizens passionate about lifelong learning, like at the College of Charleston’s Center for Creative Retirement (CCR), it’s only natural that a scholarship for younger students would emerge.

In its 25th year, CCR is composed of a diverse group of seniors who share an enthusiasm for education. This self-governing group holds weekly meetings throughout the academic year and offers field trips to historical and cultural sites.

In 2004, CCR established the Center for Creative Retirement Scholarship. Today, it provides $5,000 a year in scholarships to students studying gerontology at CofC.

“With our growing aging population, it’s important that we recognize students who are focusing on the gerontology discipline,” says Jean Marterre, chair of the CCR scholarship committee. “In fact, it would be great to see a gerontology major or even a minor at the College.”

Kylie Vorhis, represents the 19th student to receive the gerontology scholarship. Vorhis, a sociology major and psychology minor, has taken two gerontology-related courses, works with respite care and conducts home visits for a life-care company in Charleston.

Learn more about the scholarship.

Before graduating, astrophysics major Wendell Roberson ’18 conducted a research project titled, “Numerical Simulations of the Interaction Between Planets and Protoplanetary Disks.”

“I studied how planets that are roughly the size of Earth migrate within a gaseous disk,” says Roberson. “We did this through simulations using a code that is written to help simulate these developments.”

The “we” includes his faculty adviser, Ana Uribe, but he might also be referring to Horatio Hughes ’05 (that’s 1905) – who taught chemistry and physics at the College from 1923 to 1950 – given that his eponymous scholarship covered the cost of Roberson’s research and other expenses.

“The scholarship really helped put my mind at ease,” says Roberson. “You want to make sure you have done everything you needed to do to ensure that all of the money you need is there for the year, and, with the scholarship, I knew I was covered in some areas.”

Hughes’ daughter Patricia Hughes Farrow ’48 and her husband, Thomas Ferguson Farrow ’49 (the two met while at CofC) established the Horatio Hughes Memorial Scholarship in 2011 through a charitable trust that began funding scholarships after both had passed away. The trust funds about $30,000 in scholarships for 10-15 science students a year, along with a handful of research stipends, like Roberson’s.

Read more about this scholarship.

Robert Ivey Scholarship in Dance is a Moving Legacy

By John Stabinger
Posted on 19 June 2019 | 1:43 pm — 

Most anyone in South Carolina with the slightest interest in dance would recognize the name Robert Ivey. After all, for decades, the late local legend attached to that name was a beloved dancer, choreographer, instructor and College of Charleston professor. In each of those roles, he lifted others up, often in every sense of the word. In doing so, Ivey was able to share with them the moving power of dance.

In 2017, the College of Charleston’s Robert Ivey Scholarship in Dance became fully endowed thanks to a reinvigorated effort by friends and family. Among those leading the philanthropic charge were Matthew Kennedy ’01, a former student of Ivey while on a dance scholarship at the College, and adjunct professor Eliza Ingle, a close colleague of Ivey.

Because of these efforts, which doubled the fund, the scholarship is primed to ensure that others are able to follow in Ivey’s path and similarly uplift others.

“He was one of the first people to teach dance at the College,” says Todd McNerney, associate dean of the School of the Arts, who attributes Ivey as being instrumental in starting the dance program at the College.

Ivey began teaching at the College in the early 1980s and became a full-time professor in 1993. He taught dance technique in ballet and modern 20th-century dance, introduction to theater, history of dance, choreography, dance ensemble and the popular Maymester course on the Spoleto Festival.

Learn more about the scholarship.

If there is a clear constant for James Mulvaney and his family, it may likely be a commitment to education. After all, the Mulvaneys count among their ranks career educators, such as James’ wife Carol and his daughter Christine, and other family members, like his late father William and son Patrick, who have demonstrated a deep interest in teaching those around them.

At the College of Charleston, the Mulvaney Family has made a vested commitment to furthering the education field by way of their philanthropy. In 2016, they established the William and James Mulvaney Family Endowed Scholarship to support a declared education major at the College of Charleston in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance.

James Mulvaney first came to appreciate the importance of education from his father, who is recognized in the scholarship’s name.

Middle grades education major Rodrick Bellamy is a recipient of the Mulvaney Scholarship.

A renowned urologist in Cincinnati, William Mulvaney developed two drugs to dissolve kidney stones. He then placed the proceeds from that work in a charitable trust, which is managed by James Mulvaney and his siblings. The endowed scholarship at the College of Charleston was created with a $150,000 donation from the trust.

“He felt that everyone should be treated the same and have the same opportunities,” says James Mulvaney of his father, recalling how as a child he had observed the physician treating everyone at the hospital with equal respect.

William Mulvaney was also pioneering in his championing of diversity, often breaking new ground in his hiring of minorities in the Ohio medical community. In light of this, the scholarship endeavors to provide support in particular to minority, male undergraduate students at the College who are majoring in middle grades education.

Learn more about scholarship.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded junior Courtney Beckham with the DoD SMART Scholarship, securing funding for her tuition for her final two years of school and a job for her first two years after graduation. It also means she receives an annual stipend and an 8–12-week internship with her sponsoring facility next summer.

“I’ll be getting a feel for the workplace and the type of job I’ll have upon graduation,” says Beckham, a math major in the Honors College, whose sponsoring facility is the Defense Intelligence Agency. “It will help me prepare not only for my job in the future, but also going into my senior year to determine what area of mathematics I want to hone in on, and to help me figure out any specific classes I might want to take that are more advantageous to the field that I’ll be going into.”

The DoD SMART Scholarship is awarded to graduate and undergraduate students in STEM fields with the goal of increasing civilian participation within the DoD.

It’s not on the National Register of Historic Places. It wasn’t built or owned by some prominent 19th-century Charlestonian. It doesn’t lay claim to any state-of-the-art student-focused attributes. In fact, it was never even intended for students. In many ways, it’s the College’s architectural and aesthetic black sheep. But for the thousands of students who’ve called it home, there’s no place quite like College Lodge.

This sentiment certainly holds true for Kristen Faretra Bowden ’95, who lived in College Lodge for four of her five years as a CofC student. Many of Kristen’s best memories at the College of Charleston involve College Lodge. That’s why she and her husband Greg created the 402 Scholarship in celebration of College Lodge. The name honors Kristen’s old room number: 402.

As the first scholarship in the College’s history to support students in a particular residence hall, the Bowdens’ gift is proof that philanthropy can be fun!

Sure, College Lodge is still a little at odds with the rest of buildings on campus, but residents past and present agree that there is no place like College Lodge. Thanks to the Bowdens, this quirky residence hall can also lay claim to the one and only residential hall scholarship at the College of Charleston

Commitment for the Future

By fallalumniweekend
Posted on 1 November 2017 | 12:46 pm — 

Hilda Debacker, a much-admired professor emeritus of neuro-anatomy at MUSC, is honoring her late husband and supporting CofC students with the Rene and Hilda Debacker Endowed Scholarship, a legacy commitment to the College of Charleston.

A 92-year-old professor emeritus at the Medical University of South Carolina who enjoyed a career powered by the brain, teaching neuro anatomy for almost 30 years, Hilda Debacker continues to crackle with sharp observations, holding forth with wry wit on life and career as well as the entwined roots of the extended family she and her late husband, Rene, established in their beloved adoptive city of Charleston. Recently, she has also focused her thoughts on supporting the College of Charleston. Honoring the wishes of her husband, who died in 1997, she announced the Rene and Hilda Debacker Endowed Scholarship, a legacy commitment to the College that provides merit-based support for students from Charleston County, S.C.

Debacker knows firsthand how scholarships can transform the lives of those students who need them: It was thanks to a Regents Scholarship, New York State’s merit-based scholarship, that enabled her to attend Cornell University. She won an additional scholarship, as well, and thus covered all of her tuition and costs. With those credentials, she was primed to continue her studies in Charleston, and eventually embark on a long and deeply rewarding teaching career there.

Many years after retiring from teaching, Debacker still enjoys frequent interactions with students from decades ago. Like the network of nerves branching out from the brain, the network the Debackers created throughout their lives continues to reach far and wide. As beloved partners, committed mentors and considerate philanthropists, the Debackers have much to teach us about family, living and giving.

An Inspiring Legacy

By fallalumniweekend
Posted on 28 August 2017 | 7:53 pm — 

A week after Alison Piepmeier passed away, people came forth to create the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a full-time studentmajoring or minoring in women’s and gender studies who has demonstrated arecord of feminist activism and leadership.

Piepmeier, who created the College’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program and directed the program for over a decade, passed away last December after a six-yearstruggle with brain cancer. She was a beloved activist, advocate, mentor, mother andfriend, and her legacy lives on through the Alison Piepmeier Scholarship. Leigh Friar ’17 is the first recipient of that scholarship.

“Dr. Piepmeier had a significant influence on me – not only on my academic career but on my personal growth,” says Friar, who plans to continue gender and sexuality studies at the graduate level and one day get a Ph.D. in social work and to teach and inspire others, just as Piepmeier did.

“I watched as Dr. Piepmeier inspired students to unapologetically carve out space for themselves,” says Friar. “I want to focus my teaching career on ethics in social work and intersectionality in academia.”