August 30, 2015

USC School of Medicine Greenville to provide early admission to Furman’s brightest

Furman University

Furman University

Furman University is looking to help its students apply to medical school while saving them money at the same time. The school said Monday that the USC School of Medicine Greenville will provide early admission to some of its best students. Up to five students will be selected each year.

As part of the agreement, up to five juniors will be recommended by faculty for admission to USCSOMG. These recommendations will take place during the first semester of their junior year. The students will then have to go through a screening process and will find out if they have been accepted by USCSOMG during the second semester of their junior year.

Furman biology professor Eli Hestermann said that if students are accepted into medical school early, then they will be able to save money. According to Hestermann, early-accepted students who plan on attending USCSOMG will no longer have to pay for other schools’ application fees or travel to in-person interviews during their senior year.

Hestermann believes that USCSOMG will benefit from the agreement as well.

“From the med school’s point of view, it gives them the opportunity to identify those top-notch Furman students and lock them in,” Hestermann said.

Rising juniors at Furman will be able to apply early to USCSOMG.

“This is a program where genuinely both institutions are excited about the possibilities that it brings,” said Hestermann.

Hestermann also said that the two schools have partnered on previous occasions. Both institutions are involved in the Medical Experience Academy, a summer program that helps high school and college students prepare for a medical career.

Out of the 280 students enrolled at USCSOMG, 33 of them are Furman graduates.

USCSOMG began accepting its first students in 2012.

Jeremy Urso contributed to this report.

Former SC State president, Obama Administration official dies suddenly

Former SC State President George Cooper (Courtesy: SC State University)

Former SC State President George Cooper (Courtesy: SC State University)

The former president of South Carolina’s only public historically-black college, whose resignation three years ago thrust the school’s infighting, corruption, and financial problems into the state spotlight, died unexpectedly Sunday.

Former South Carolina State University president George Cooper died suddenly, according to a release from the school. No cause was given. He was 70 years old.

Cooper was at the helm of SC State from 2008 until 2012, when he resigned three weeks after firing eight high-level school employees. Cooper cited family reasons, although he was also involved in a public struggle with the college’s board of trustees at the time. The next year, he was appointed as executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Under his leadership, he was instrumental in advancing progressive initiatives that served as the framework to strengthen the university and reaffirm its mission as a public land-grant university committed to enhancing the quality of lives for all citizens,” the school’s interim president W. Franklin Evans said in a statement. “He also envisioned the university as a formidable model amongst the best institutions of higher learning in the world.” [Read more…]

Clemson approves 3.24 percent tuition increase

Clemson University trustees approved an operating budget of $989 million for the 2015-16 academic year, including tuition, room and board fees at the board’s summer meeting in Greenville on Friday.

Trustees approved a 3.24 percent tuition increase for in-state students, or $218 per semester, and a 4.25 percent increase for out-of-state students, or $669 per semester.

Graduate tuition will increase by 3.25 percent, with dollar amounts varying among academic programs.

Revenues from the fee increases will help cover the unfunded portion of state-mandated bonus, retirement and health insurance costs, inflation, enhanced maintenance and stewardship of facilities, increased funding for safety and security, and planned investments in Road Map priorities.

An average increase of 3 percent approved for housing and dining plans will add an average of $45 per semester for dining and $87 per semester for housing. Actual costs will depend on the residence hall and meal plan selected. New meal plans are being introduced to provide more flexibility for students.

Revenues from the increases will cover inflation, increased dining hours, ongoing maintenance and stewardship, replacement of outdated equipment, utilities and infrastructure.

Trustees gave phase one approval to a proposed childcare facility on the university’s main campus. Pending additional board and state approvals, the 12,700 square-foot center, when built, will serve the university’s faculty, staff and students and will accept preschool-aged children, ages six weeks to five years.



Controversial former governor’s portrait vandalized at Winthrop University

Tillman Hall (Image: Winthrop University)

Tillman Hall (Image: Winthrop University)

Winthrop University officials say a portrait of controversial former South Carolina governor Benjamin “Pitchfork” Tillman was vandalized Thursday morning

The school’s president Dan Mahony wrote in an email that someone had written “violent racist” in red paint across the portrait. “Ben Tillman was inarguably a racist, however, that fact does not justify vandalism,” Mahony wrote. “Campus police are conducting an investigation of the incident and anyone found responsible will be held accountable.”

Tillman was perhaps the most divisive figure to ever govern South Carolina, leading the state from 1890-1894 and serving as U.S. senator after that until his death in 1918. The Democrat pushed for segregationist principles and helped eliminate the last vestiges of voting rights most African-American men obtained after the Civil War. However, he was also a key figure in the founding of Clemson University and establishing Winthrop’s present-day campus. The vandalized portrait hung in the school’s Tillman Hall.

Tillman’s statue at the Statehouse also had red paint thrown at it earlier this week.

A Winthrop University Police report stated that a staffer with the school’s foundation had called officers after she spotted a “thin, White Male wearing a green ball cap” who she saw writing on the portrait. She told the officer she had noticed the man on her way to the restroom. She said the man then turned around and looked at her before running out of the building. Police did not find the suspect. There are no security cameras at Tillman Hall.

The school estimates the vandalism caused about $3,000 in damage to the portrait.

Meanwhile, the Rock Hill Herald reports the incident happened just hours after someone apparently broke a first-floor window at the building during an overnight break-in. Nothing was reported missing and the two acts do not appear related, a school spokesman told the newspaper.

Anonymous group donates $3 million for Emanuel AME scholarship fund

Emanuel AME Church (File)

Emanuel AME Church (File)

An anonymous donor has provided $3 million to help set up a scholarship fund in memory of the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting victims, Charleston officials announced Thursday.

“A group of people who want no credit, they want to be completely anonymous, have so far raised $3 million to endow the Rev. Pinckney Scholarship Fund,” Mayor Joe Riley, Jr., announced to reporters. Riley said the donors were from outside of South Carolina. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor, was among the nine killed by a suspected white supremacist who opened fire during a June 17 Bible study.

The anonymous donors issued the following statement through the Mayor’s Office:

“We do not pretend to understand the pain caused by this unimaginable tragedy. We simply want members of the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church community to know that the burdens of perseverance and empathy, which they have demonstrated with such dignity, do not fall exclusively on their shoulders. We want them to know that others, most of whom do not share their race or religion, who do not come from South Carolina, abhor the injustices from which they have suffered and admire the ways the African-American community has enriched our nation. We honor Reverend Pinckney who so profoundly embodied the values that bind us together as Americans.”

The Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund is a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of South Carolina. The Fund will provide college and advanced degree scholarships for members of the extended Mother Emanuel AME Church community including the families of the victims. Mayor Riley, Jr., Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and William M. Lewis, Jr. have agreed to serve as the initial board members of the corporation. The Board and the Mother Emanuel AME Church leadership will establish the grant making process.

Anyone wishing to make tax-deductible contributions to the Fund may send it to:

Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund
c/o The Mayor’s Office, City of Charleston
Post Office Box 304, Charleston, SC 29402

Contributions may also be made online at