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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • 2020 McNair Scholars with McNair Foundation executive director


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 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*
Duke Energy
William B. Dukes and Blue Marlin
William H. Duncan
Frances King Fawcett
First Citizens Bank
Thomas Fortson
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 Carolyn Meadors Holderman
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*
Norma* C. and John M. Palms
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
Penelope* W. and E. Roe Stamps IV
Dr.* and Mrs. Charles R. Standridge
Calhoun Thomas*
Connie and Bill Timmons Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. John L. M. Tobias*
Patrick L. Tomlin
University Associates
UofSC Alumni Association
Chris Vlahoplus and Friends
Wells Fargo
Jeannette and Marshall Winn

* denotes deceased individuals


Carolina Scholars Alumni
Lori Clos Fisher
R. C. McEntire & Company, Inc.

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 was founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans.

Janice McNair and The Late Robert C. McNair 

Donors — McNair Scholarship, University of South Carolina

Janice McNair and the late Robert C. McNair 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, the Houston Texans Foundation and The Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation in Forest City, North Carolina. To date, they have contributed more than a half billion dollars to charity.

Robert McNair (Jan. 1, 1937 – Nov. 23, 2018), the founder, senior chairman and chief executive officer of the NFL’s Houston Texans, is best known in the business community as the founder of Cogen Technologies, which was the largest privately owned cogeneration company in the world when it was sold in 1999. He served as senior chairman of McNair Interests and owned Palmetto Partners Ltd. and RCM Financial Services LP, private investment entities.

He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and met his wife, then Janice Suber, while she was attending nearby Columbia College.

He 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 became the sixth recipient of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame’s Lamar Hunt Lifetime Achievement Award.

Committed to bringing an NFL team to Houston, McNair was awarded the 32nd NFL franchise in 1999, and the Houston Texans debuted in 2002. McNair’s leadership brought two Super Bowls to Houston’s NRG Stadium: Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and Super Bowl LI in 2017.

Janice McNair shares her late husband’s vision and passion for helping others. She 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. She serves as co-founder and senior chair of the Houston Texans and is senior chair of McNair Interests.

Together, the McNairs established McNair Scholars programs to 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.

 In 2015, the McNairs began establishing McNair Centers for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise at Rice University, the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Houston Baptist University, the University of South Carolina and Northwood University in Michigan. The McNairs chaired the American Cancer Society’s “Hope Lodge Houston” capital campaign and co-chaired Texas Children’s Hospital’s “Promise Campaign.”

The McNair Foundation’s gifts helped build McNair Field in Forest City, North Carolina and created a memorial for Mother Emanuel Nine at Charleston. Their love of community is evident throughout the city of Houston, including McNair Hall at Rice University, the McNair Foundation Jogging Trail, 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.

Bob and Janice McNair’s generosity hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2015, Bob was named a “Living Legend” by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. In 2014, they were presented UNICEF’s inaugural Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award followed by the "Lombardi Honors Humanitarians of the Year” Award in 2017. In November 2018, they received Houston Baptist University’s Founders Medal. The McNair Foundation will receive the Scouting…Vale La 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 children, 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Edited July 2020.

Stamps Scholar Award Donors

Stamps Scholar Awards are made possible through a partnership with the Stamps Scholar Program. 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 University of South Carolina Stamps Scholars in 2013. Roe Stamps is a South Florida financier, venture capitalist and co-founder of Summit Partners in Boston.

E. Roe Stamps IV and his late wife Penny devoted significant time and resources to philanthropic causes. Their deeply rooted commitment to bettering their community led them to become longtime supporters of a number of charities in and around Coconut Grove, Florida, where they lived since 1993.

Roe 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, with an industrial engineering degree firm Georgia Tech, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 The Stamps’ ongoing spirit of philanthropy is best reflected in the formation of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, which they founded in 1986 to help exceptional students become meaningful leaders. The foundation supports scholarships for approximately 900 students attending more than 40 universities nationwide.

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. In 2010, he was honored by the American Red Cross South Florida Region as the Humanitarian of the Year. In 2012, he received the distinguished Harvard Business School  Alumni Achievement Award.

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

Last updated: July 28, 2020.

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