USCL recognizes scholarship winners; thanks donors at event

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By Jesef Williams

You may think of the University of South Carolina’s main campus as the sun and all the university’s branches as planets that revolve around it.

Dr. Harris Pastides, who became USC’s 28th president earlier this year, wants to defuse that thought. He sees each campus as an equal star that helps create a unique constellation.

One of those stars, the University of South Carolina at Lancaster, continues to shine bright, as officials say it offers more scholarships than any other USC branch besides the main campus.

Pastides was the guest speaker at USCL’s scholarship appreciation luncheon, held Tuesday at USCL’s Bradley Arts and Sciences Building. The annual event is an opportunity to thank the scholarship donors while congratulating the students who received those awards.

Pastides spoke of USCL’s expansion over time and its desire to grow larger. He said he will advocate for better funding for the Lancaster campus and will help prepare it to be ready when the economy recovers.

He recognized USCL Dean Dr. John Catalano for making changes amidst budget cuts without compromising the quality of education and quality of life on campus.

“I think of the university as a constellation of stars that twinkle,” Pastides said. “It’s entirely appropriate to look at USCL as that twinkle.”

Donors and recipients

Organizers of the luncheon try to ensure that the donors of a scholarship and its recipient are seated at the same table.

USCL freshman Danielle Blackmon, who received the Thomas and Davis Scholarship, said it was a good feeling to sit beside the people responsible for her award, which is $250 for each semester.

She said the money helped out a lot with book expenses.

“It’s awesome to be able to get this,” said Blackmon, a business management major. “I feel so fortunate.”

Jeffrey Hartman, a freshman media arts major, was this year’s winner of the James Edward Dodds and Mary Morse Dodds Scholarship. He said he was thankful for the renewable $750 scholarship, but was disappointed that the donors weren’t in attendance.

“It would have been really nice to meet them and thank them,” he said.

However, his table did feature other donors and their families, including Mitchell and Lynda Faulkenberry.

They were representing Lynda Faulkenberry’s late cousins, who established a scholarship in their name – the William Porter Clyburn and Ruby Clyburn Memorial Scholarship.

“The city of Lancaster and the community meant a lot to them,” Faulkenberry said of William and Ruby Clyburn, who were siblings. “They were very concerned about the youth.”

Scholarship information

More than 100 scholarships were awarded in 2008 to either USCL freshmen or continuing students.

A student has to be admitted to USCL before he or she is considered for a scholarship, and the admissions process must be completed before the Feb. 1 scholarship application deadline.

For details about available scholarships, contact a local high school guidance office or USCL’s Office of Admissions and Records at 313-7000.

Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152