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Clemson in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Integration with Dignity, 1963

 
 
Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker - Front image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 24, 2008
1. Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker - Front
Inscription.
[Front]:
Clemson University became the first white college or university in the state to integrate on January 28, 1963. Harvey B. Gantt, a Charleston native wanting to study architecture, had applied for admission in 1961. When Clemson delayed admitting him, he sued in federal court in the summer of 1962. President Robert C. Edwards, meanwhile, worked behind the scenes to make plans for Gantt's eventual enrollment.

[Reverse]:
Edwards and several leading businessmen, politicians, and others drew up an elaborate plan, described as "a conspiracy for peace," designed to ensure that Gantt would enter Clemson without the protests and violence that marked the integration of other Southern universities. After a federal court ruled that Clemson should admit him, Gantt enrolled without incident. He graduated with honors in 1965.
 
Erected 2003 by Clemson University. (Marker Number 39-9.)
 
Location. 34° 40.793′ N, 82° 50.216′ W. Marker is in Clemson, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is on Calhoun Drive. Touch for map. Marker is located near Tillman Hall and the statue of Thomas Green Clemson. Marker is in this post office area: Clemson SC 29631, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers
Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker - Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 24, 2008
2. Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker - Reverse
are within walking distance of this marker. Thomas Green Clemson (within shouting distance of this marker); Quercus lyrata (Overcup Oak) (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Heritage Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Walter T. Cox, Jr. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old Tillman Hall Bell (about 400 feet away); Class of 1943 Veterans (about 400 feet away); First Woman Graduate (about 500 feet away); And Then There Was War (about 700 feet away); Fort Hill (about 700 feet away); Site of the First Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Clemson Agricultural College (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clemson.
 
Also see . . .
1. Harvey Gantt and the Desegration of Clemson University, 1960-1963 by Dr. H. Lewis Suggs. It is often said that history if the lengthening shadow of one man. (Submitted on July 25, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Oral History Interview with Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Architect and politician Harvey Gantt describes his ascent from a childhood in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, to becoming the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. (Submitted on July 25, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Clemson University. Official website of Clemson University.
Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker - Front image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 24, 2008
3. Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker - Front
(Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Harvey Gantt. Harvey Bernard Gantt (born 1943 in Charleston, South Carolina) is an architect and politician. In 1963, he was the first African American to be admitted to Clemson University in South Carolina, the last state to hold out to racial integration. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Clemson Mourns the Death of R.C. Edwards, President Emeritus. Robert Cook Edwards, 94, president of Clemson University for 21 years, died Dec. 4 at Cottingham House, a Seneca residence operated by Hospice of the Foothills. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Robert Cook Edwards: Timeline. March 25, 1914 — Robert Cook Edwards born in Fountain Inn to John T. and Effie Cook Edwards. (Submitted on July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Harvey Gantt vs Jesse Helms
In 1990, Gantt defeated Mike Easley in a Democratic runoff to earn the right to face Republican incumbent Jesse Helms for his seat in the U.S. Senate. Gantt lost the race, receiving only 47 percent of the vote, though he gained favor among some national Democrats for the attempt. Gantt ran against
Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker -<br>Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, July 24, 2008
4. Integration with Dignity, 1963 Marker -
Reverse
Helms again in 1996, this time receiving about 46 percent of the vote. In the 1990 race, Helms ran an ad, known as "White Hands," which claimed Gantt supported racial quotas. Gantt has blamed the ad, which received national attention, for his loss. Some have also blamed the losses on the so-called "Queen City Curse" which has befallen every Charlotte officeholder since 1979 who has run for statewide office. Helms refused to debate Gantt in both campaigns. (Source: http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/profiles/harvey_gantt.)
    — Submitted July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Robert C. Edwards Obituary
The Greenville News
December 5, 2008

Dr. Robert Cook Edwards, 94, of 220 Wyatt Ave., Clemson, widower of Louise Odom Edwards, and President Emeritus of Clemson University, died Thursday, December 4, 2008, at the Cottingham Hospice House in Seneca.

He was born March 25, 1914 in Fountain Inn, S.C., and was the son of the late John Thaddeus and Effie Cook Edwards.

Dr. Edwards, was a graduate of Clemson University and was a member of Clemson United Methodist Church.

While Dr. Edwards was known in the community for doing "great deeds," he was known by his family for also doing small deeds with great love.
Harvey Gantt Leaving the Clemson<br>Registrar's Office image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, 1963
5. Harvey Gantt Leaving the Clemson
Registrar's Office
Charlotte City Council (1974-1979)
Charlotte Mayor Pro-tem (1981-1983)
Mayor of Charlotte (1983-1987)
His depth of generosity had no bounds. In addition to his public works, he has left a precious legacy of service and love to his God, his family and his friends.

He is survived by daughter, Nancy Edwards Reid and husband, Bill, of Central; daughter-in-law, Sandra Edwards Waggoner; grandchildren, Betsy Edwards, Susan Sangiolo, Leslie Coker, Ashley Thompson, William Reid, III and Sandra Boney; great-grandchildren, Kathryne Hemmings, Robert C. Hemmings, Caroline Reid, William Reid IV, Mary Shelley Reid, Jackson Edwards Reid, Matthew Boney, Anna Grace Boney, Alessandra Sangiolo, Adam Sangiolo, Anne Coker, Hannah Coker, Griffen Thompson, Graham Thompson and Bennett Thompson. In addition to his wife and parents, Dr. Edwards was predeceased by his son, Robert Cook Edwards, Jr.; brothers, Ansel and Butler Edwards; and sisters, Elna Edwards Mayfield, Ruby Edwards Godfrey and Beth Edwards Hoffman.

The family would like to express gratitude and appreciation to Frank Crane and Judy Randolph for the love and care they gave both Bob and Louise during their last few years. They were truly brought to us by God. The loving hands of the earthly angels from the Sterling House Assisted Living and the Hospice House of the Foothills prepared them well for the Heavenly hands that now hold them through eternity.

Funeral services will be held in Tillman Hall on the campus of
Dr. Robert C. Edwards<br>March 25, 1914 - December 4, 2008<br>8th President of Clemson University image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, December 4, 2008
6. Dr. Robert C. Edwards
March 25, 1914 - December 4, 2008
8th President of Clemson University
IPTAY President (1954-1955)
Clemson's Vice President for Development (1956-1958)
Clemson University Acting President (1958-1959)
President of Clemson University (1959-1979)
Clemson University on Monday at 2:30 p.m. with burial to follow in Woodland Cemetery (Cemetery Hill) in Clemson. The family will receive friends from 12 to 2:15 p.m. in Tillman Hall on Monday prior to the service. Rev. Paul Hutchison, Rev. Frank Hartsell and Rev. Lane Glaze will officiate. The Tiger Brotherhood and the ROTC cadets will serve as pallbearers.

Memorials may be made to Clemson United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 590, Clemson, SC 29633, Hospice of the Foothills, 390 Keowee School Road, Seneca, SC 29672 or Clemson Foundation, 110 Daniel Drive, Clemson, SC 29631.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.robinsonfuneralhomes.com or in person at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central-Clemson Commons, which is assisting the family.
    — Submitted July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationNotable Persons
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,065 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3, 4. submitted on July 25, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5, 6. submitted on July 7, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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