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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • McNair Group

    McNair Scholars

    Bob and Janice McNair with son Cary (center) meets the Class of 2021 McNair Scholars at their first spring dinner.

  • Brett and McNairs

    Brett with Janice and Bob McNair

    Brett Williams presents Janice and Bob McNair with a McNair Scholars photo collage, signed by the scholars after Bob's public "fireside chat" with President Harris Pastides.

  • Pooja and Lamb

    Pooja with Judy Lamb

    Carolina Scholar Pooja Malhotra enjoys time with her donor, Judy Lamb, at the spring dinner.

  • Shreya and Graybills

    Shreya with the Graybills

    The Graybills have been long-time Carolina Scholar donors. Here, they greet Shreya Mehta, Class of 2019.

  • Carina and Stamps

    Carina with Roe Stamps

    Carina Leaman, right, meets her donor Roe Stamps at the 2017 National Stamps Scholar Convention.


What began in 1969 with a small group of ambitious students has expanded, through generous donor support, into a robust, reliable program for Top Scholars at the university. So much of what we are able to achieve depends on your generosity, and for this our scholars are thankful!

Carolina Scholar Award Donors

Carolina Scholar Awards are made possible by the contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations. The University Development Office develops and maintains relationships with donors of Carolina Scholar Awards. Private support of this and other programs enables USC to attract academically talented students and deliver excellence in all academic programs.

Bank of America
Friends of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin*
Friends and Family of Solomon Blatt*
Michael Bond
J. Willis Cantey*
Carolina Alumni Association
Carolina Class of 1936
Carolina Class of 1937
Carolina Class of 1938
Carolina Class of 1939
Carolina Class of 1942
Carolina Class of 1953
Carolina Class of 1964
Carolina Class of 1965
Carolina Class of 1966
Carolina Class of 1967
Carolina Department of Athletics
Carolina Development Foundation
Carolina Educational Foundation
Carolina Interfraternity/Panhellenic Council
Caroline McKissick Belser Dial*
A.T. Chalk*
William B. Douglas*
G. G. Dowling*
William B. Dukes and Blue Marlin
William H. Duncan
Frances King Fawcett
First Citizens Bank
Edward R. Ginn III
Jack S. Graybill
Anne Johnston Gregg
William M. Gregg II and Family/S.C. Tees, Inc.
Caroline and Susan R. Guignard*
Martha M. and Hubbard H. Harris*
Friends of James B. Holderman and Carolyn Meadors Holderman
Drs. Anita and Charles Hood
Kappy M. and William C. Hubbard
J. Randolph Johnson*
Mary Burnet M. Pearce Johnston
Olin D. Johnston*
The Knox Family/Terminix Service, Inc.
L. Joseph Land
John T. Langston III
Friends of Russ Meekins
Arnold R. Merchant*
Charles Edwin Moore*
Nicholas K. Moore* M. D.
Michael J. Mungo*
Ralph David Neuman*
James T. Pearce, Jr.
Kit* and James T. Pearce, Sr.*
Mr. and Mrs. R. Roy Pearce*
Robert E. Penland*
Pepsi Cola Soft Drink Company
Progress Energy
Clyde C. Rice*
David W. Robinson*
South Carolina State Fair Association
The Spadoni Foundation
Dr.* and Mrs. Charles R. Standridge
Penelope W. and E. Roe Stamps IV
Calhoun Thomas*
Mr. and Mrs. John L. M. Tobias*
Patrick L. Tomlin
University Associates
Chris Vlahoplus and Friends
Wells Fargo
Jeannette and Marshall Winn

* denotes deceased individuals


Carolina Scholars Alumni
Lori Clos Fisher
R. C. McEntire & Company, Inc.
Jennifer M. and Mack I. Whittle

Carolina Scholar Award Donors [pdf]

Horseshoe and 1801 Scholar Award Donors

The 1801 Scholar Award for SC residents and the Horseshoe Scholar Award for out-of-state students are entry-level scholarships within the Top Scholars Program. They are awarded through the competitive Top Scholar Weekends and funded through both previous university gifts and endowment.

McNair Scholar Award Donors

McNair Scholar Awards are made possible by the generosity of the late university alumnus Robert C. McNair and his wife, Janice, of Houston, Texas. The original gift of $20 million was made in 1998 to begin the program, and an additional $10 million was added 10 years later to ensure its longevity. The scholarship program exists to recruit the nation's best college freshmen to the university — those who exhibit outstanding scholarship and leadership. McNair is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans.

Janice McNair and The Late Robert C. McNair (1937-2018)

Donors — McNair Scholarship, University of South Carolina

Robert C. McNair (Jan. 1, 1937 – Nov. 23, 2018), a leading businessman, sportsman and philanthropist in Houston, Texas for more than 50 years, was the founder, senior chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans National Football League team. McNair was perhaps best known in the business community as the founder of Cogen Technologies, which became the largest privately owned cogeneration company in the world with an aggregate capacity of 1,400 megawatts. In 1999, he sold the company while retaining ownership of power plants in New York and West Virginia, until 2017 and 2018 respectively.

McNair served as senior chairman of McNair Interests, headquartered in Houston, Texas where he oversaw an investment portfolio. McNair owned Palmetto Partners, Ltd. and RCM Financial Services, L.P., private investment entities that managed the McNairs’ private and public equity investments.

Bob McNair was born in Tampa, FL. and graduated from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He met Janice Suber, who was reared in Orangeburg, S.C., while she was attending nearby Columbia College where she later graduated.

Committed to bringing an NFL team to Houston, McNair formed Houston NFL Holdings in 1998. On October 5, 1999, the NFL awarded him the 32nd NFL franchise, returning professional football to the City of Houston in 2002. McNair’s influence and leadership also brought two Super Bowls to Houston’s NRG Stadium: Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and Super Bowl LI in 2017.

Among McNair’s other successes from 1994 to 2008 was Stonerside Stable, a 1,947-acre Thoroughbred horse farm and racing stable in Kentucky. Home to more than 275 racehorses, broodmares, yearlings and weanlings, Stonerside won 72 Graded Stakes races including Grade l wins in the Belmont, Breeders’ Cup Mile, the Travers, the Haskell, the Hollywood Gold Cup, the Cigar Mile, the Carter, the Swaps, the Wood Memorial, the Matriarch and the Oak Leaf Stakes. Stonerside finished second and third in the Kentucky Derby and was the co-breeder of Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the Derby in 2000. Stonerside bred the winners of more than $50 million, including the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass and 2008 Champion American Juvenile colt Midshipman, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Stonerside was named Breeder of the Year in 2007 and 2008 by Kentucky horsemen. In October 2008, McNair sold Stonerside to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. Later in 2019, the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame will induct Janice and Bob as members later in the year.

Bob was named Entrepreneur of the Decade by the Houston Technology Center and was awarded the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership by the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. McNair has been inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the Houston Hall of Fame. In 2018, McNair become the sixth recipient of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s Lamar Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award and was named a 2019 Laureate by the SC Business Hall of Fame.

The McNairs have been champions of philanthropy for decades, giving generously to deserving causes while making education and medical research the cornerstones of their charitable giving. Contributions are made through The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the Houston Texans Foundation in Houston and The Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation in Forest City, N.C. To date, they have contributed more than a half billion dollars to charity.

Together, the McNairs established McNair Scholars programs which recruit the best and brightest students and faculty to the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The Menninger Clinic, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Texas Heart Institute. Their contributions to academic medical research are leading to discoveries in the fields of Type 1 diabetes, cancer and the neurosciences. Baylor College of Medicine named the McNair Campus in recognition of their transformational gift in 2007 to the McNair Medical Institute and McNair Scholars Program.

In 2015, the McNairs began establishing McNair Centers for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise. Today, these Centers at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, the University of St. Thomas Houston, Houston Baptist University, the University of South Carolina and Northwood University in Midland, Michigan promote an understanding and appreciation of the role innovation, entrepreneurism and free enterprise play in society.

The McNair Foundation’s gifts helped build McNair Field which serves as home to the Forest City Owls baseball team in North Carolina and created a memorial in recognition of the Mother Emanuel Nine at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. Their love of community is evident throughout Houston, including McNair Hall at Rice University’s Jesse Jones Graduate School of Business, McNair Foundation Jogging Trail at Discovery Green, McNair Asian Elephant Habitat and the addition of the African Forest at the Houston Zoo, United Way’s 2-1-1 Center, McNair Gallery and Education Court at the Museum Fine Arts Houston, Houston Parks Bayou Greenways 2020, Houston Baptist University’s McNair Hall and McNair Plaza and Pro-Vision’s McNair Urban Farm and McNair Football and Track Field. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area in 2017, the McNairs stepped forward immediately and gave $3 million to the United Way of Greater Houston for relief efforts and helped restore the Houston Grand Opera.

The McNairs most recently chaired the American Cancer Society’s “Hope Lodge Houston” capital campaign and co-chaired Texas Children’s Hospital’s “Promise Campaign.” Bob and Janice McNair’s generosity hasn’t gone unnoticed. Bob was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Baylor College of Medicine and the University of South Carolina, and Janice received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Columbia College. In 2013, Bob was named a Man of Distinction in Houston and a “Living Legend” by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2015. Additionally, Janice has been honored by numerous nonprofit organizations including the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council in 2005, Houston Independent School District in 2008, Child Advocates in 2009, the Salvation Army in 2014 and the Prayer Institute in 2019. In 2010, the DePelchin Children’s Center presented Janice and Bob McNair with their Kezia DePelchin Award and in the same year the Association of Fundraising Professionals presented them with their Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy, the highest recognition given to an individual or family for exceptional generosity and outstanding civic and charitable responsibility. Texas Children’s Cancer Center honored the McNairs as their 2011 Community Champions. In 2014, they were presented UNICEF’s inaugural Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award and Houston Baptist University’s President’s Award, followed by the "Lombardi Honors Humanitarians of the Year” Award in 2017. In 2018, they received Houston Baptist University’s Founders Medal, which had only been awarded one other time. The McNair Foundation will receive the Scouting…Vale le Pena Service Award from the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 2019.

The McNairs have called Houston home since 1960. They have four adult children, sixteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Janice currently serves as co-founder and senior chair of the Houston Texans and is senior chair of McNair Interests.

Last updated: July 17, 2019.

Stamps Scholar Award Donors

Stamps Scholar Awards are made possible through a partnership with the Strive Foundation. In 2006, Penny and E. Roe Stamps IV of Miami, Florida created undergraduate merit scholarship programs at their alma maters, and have expanded the program to 40 foundation partners, including the Stamps Scholars in 2013. Roe Stamps is a South Florida financier, venture capitalist and co-founder of Summit Partners in Boston.

Roe Stamps, IV of Coconut Grove, FL, is a private investor and co-founder of the Boston-based private investment company Summit Partners.  He is a former Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, an Industrial Engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, and an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School.

Roe, along with his late wife Penny, relocated to South Florida in 1993, where together they devoted significant time and resources to philanthropic causes in the area. Their deeply rooted commitment to bettering the community led them to become long-time supporters of the University of Miami, the Grayvik Animal Care Center, Fairchild Tropical Garden, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, Community Partnership for the Homeless, Ransom Everglades School, Breakthrough Miami and a number of other charities throughout the region.

This spirit of philanthropy may be best reflected in the formation of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, which was founded by Roe and Penny in 1986. Created with the intent of helping exceptional students become meaningful leaders throughout society, the Foundation now supports scholarships for approximately 900 students attending more than 40 universities nationwide. Though Penny passed away in December of 2018, her generosity, passion for education, and dedication to bettering the lives of others lives on through these remarkable students.

Roe is a Trustee Emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation, and a Trustee at the University of Miami, the John S and James L Knight Foundation and several other distinguished organizations. At Georgia Tech, Roe served the Foundation for over 16 years. He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the highest award conferred by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. He was inducted into Georgia Tech’s Engineering Hall of Fame in 2001 and received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in 2014.

In 2010, Roe was honored by the American Red Cross South Florida Region as the Humanitarian of the Year. In 2012, he was honored by Harvard Business School, receiving its most prestigious award, the Alumni Achievement Award.

Roe now dedicates his time to his personal interests, which include fly-fishing, bird hunting, flying, boating, jazz piano and spending time with his family: son, Will, daughter, Annie, grandson, Hunter, and granddaughter, Winnie. In addition, he takes time to enjoy his black Labrador retriever, Ella, his two French bulldogs, Nacho and Lola, and the family’s miscellaneous stray cats.

Last updated: June 28, 2019.

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