ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Preparations are underway at South Carolina State University for Founders' Day. 

This weekend is a celebration of SC State University’s 124 years of service to the community.

Founded in 1896 as the state's sole public college for African American youth, SC State has played a key role in the education of students from South Carolina and afar.

This year’s theme is: “Celebrating Our Legacy, Embracing our future.” Throughout the weekend, speeches will be given and festivities will be held to honor the university’s past and also to look forward to a brighter tomorrow. 

Every year, the university community gathers to celebrate the institution’s journey in providing a quality higher education. 

"My hope and my prayer is that when they leave Founders' Day on Sunday, they will realize SC State is still here after 124 years of dedicated service to our students, staff and our community and let them know our doors are always open," says Dorris Felder, co-chair 124th Founders' Day. 

The Founders’ Day Program will also honor distinguished alumni and community leaders. The honorees are as follows:

Distinguished Alumni Award: Combined philanthropic gifts totaling over $1 million

Class of 1959, 1969 and 1974

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Travis Love, actor and filmmaker, ’02

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Charlton Singleton, founding member of Grammy Award-winning band, Ranky Tanky, ’94

Distinguished Alumna Award

Gloria Pyles, student enrichment advocate; SC State University Title III director, ’70

Distinguished Community Service Award

Cecil Williams, renowned photographer; historian

Outstanding Accomplishments and Achievements Award 

William “Bill” Hamilton, MEAC Hall of Famer; retired SC State University Sports Information Director, ’73, ’79

Other events during Founders’ Day Weekend include the Thomas E. Miller Society Induction Ceremony, Quarter Century Club Luncheon and Scholarship Gala and Tribute.

The Thomas E. Miller Society is the university’s largest giving society. The organization includes members who each give cumulative philanthropic gifts that total at least $100,000, and are committed to serving SC State University.

2020 Thomas E. Miller Society Inductees 

Earl, ’77 and Mary G. Wilson, ’78

Dr. Odell Stuckey, ’67

The Quarter Century Club of SC State honors employees who have 25 years or more of distinguished service to the institution. Annually, membership is increased in this select body of men and women who have contributed to the continued growth and development of SC State University.

2020 Quarter Century Club Honorees

Cynthia Davis, instructor, Math and Computer Science

Rodney James, research associate, 1890 Research and Extension

Derral Linder, professor, Industrial and Electrical Engineering Technology

Chrystel Rogers, paralegal, Office of the General Counsel

Jafar Sadighi, instructor, Math and Computer Science

Philip Scriven, associate professor, Counselor Education Program

The Scholarship Gala and Tribute is the signature fundraiser for the SC State University Foundation, and its proceeds are allocated to student scholarships. The event, which features an awards ceremony, is also an annual opportunity to honor students, called ‘Shining Stars,’ who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating a commitment to service, integrity and excellence.

2020 Shining Stars

Alexis Douglas, senior, accounting major

Carena Kelly, junior, nuclear engineering major

Taylor Guthrie, junior, special education major

Niyah Hopkins, junior, criminal justice major

Brandon Sutton, junior, biology major

To learn more and sign up for the festivities, click here