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Renaissance Man John Rivers’ Lasting Legacy at the College

John Minott Rivers Jr. has supported the College of Charleston for nearly three decades

John Minott Rivers Jr. has supported the College of Charleston for nearly three decades. Although his alma mater is the University of North Carolina, Rivers has an honorary degree from the College as well as a Founders’ Medal. Most importantly, his multifaceted and generous giving to the College has changed not only the lives of countless students but also the face of campus.

Rivers is the grandson of former CofC president M. Rutledge Rivers (1925–1940) and son of John M. Rivers ’24, the namesake of the John M. Rivers Communications Museum, which helped establish the communications major at the College. He is also the cofounder and former chair of the Friends of the Library Board and has served on the Upward Bound and Foundation boards and on the Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board.

Years before the BOUNDLESS Campaign, Rivers’ gifts created Rivers Green behind the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library, the CofC Cougar Classic women’s golf tournament and a scholarship fund for communications and English students.

During BOUNDLESS, Rivers expanded his annual giving to support numerous scholarships; the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture; the College of Charleston Fund; many athletic teams; the Ted Stern Book Project; the International Piano Series; Charleston Music Fest; the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs; and the School of the Arts.

Rivers has been instrumental in enhancing the rare book collections in Special Collections and played a key role in encouraging the Addlestone Library’s partnerships with the S.C. Historical Society and with other S.C. and university libraries. In addition, Rivers has named the College as a beneficiary in his estate plans, ensuring a rich future for both the Friends of the Library Fund and the Rivers Communications Museum.

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