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University History

History Commission Implementation Group

The implementation group worked to prioritize and operationalize the recommendations of the Presidential Commission on University History.

Education and Research Plans

The following education and research plans were outlined in June 2022. 

  1. Establish a permanent website working group or committee to ensure continued maintenance and expansion of content of the website after the commission’s work is done. To include:
    1. An interactive map to the website so that visitors can connect to different historical figures, subjects, and events by clicking on different buildings or sections of campus.
    2. Sections on different parts of campus so that the history of those areas prior to the University’s acquisition of them can be explored. Examples include the south campus and the Wheeler Hill community, and the original campus and indigenous communities. Create signage about communities where the University has expanded.
    3. Virtual tours for different historical topics and sections of campus. If adapting existing tours, ensure they have consistency with the University's branding, so they are clearly official pages.
  2. Support all the activities above by providing recurring funds to recruit faculty and senior staff (such as University Historian). Specifically funding for two tenure track faculty lines with an effort to endow/name these positions. These lines should be related to expertise on SC and/or University History.
  3. Create an exhibit panel for each building providing the history of the building and a fuller biography of its namesake. In addition, create an interactive panel on University History at Colonial Life Arena.
  4. Produce a booklet to be issued during student orientation that provides a brief, inclusive, and illustrated history of the University of South Carolina. Ensure this includes graduate students and staff orientation.
  5. Information on the University’s buildings and grounds should include links to full biographies of the people for the whom the buildings are named and to related subjects in other sections of the website. For example, the entry on Hamilton College should include a link to the desegregation of the University, as it was the registration location for the first African American students since Reconstruction.
  6. Support all system faculty to develop and teach academic courses on the history of the University by providing funds to develop courses that study and inform the history of the university and underrepresented populations. Support will provide funding for interdisciplinary courses, team teaching approaches, and for public history program. For example, support SCIAA proposal, NPHC Monument, Indigenous Discovery Tours of University of South Carolina’s Historic Horseshoe.
  7. Establish an annual week devoted to the history of the University System with different types of educational events, proposed and or supported by cross campus participation, i.e., arts and sciences, education, law, music, cultural heritage institutions, and the at-large community.
  8. Provide material support for completion and dissemination of Ward 1 app.
  9. Develop an educational outreach component, including workshops and curriculum development opportunities for high school and collegiate instructors. Lesson plans may be hosted on the University history website. Develop a travelling exhibit for K-12 for outreach. In addition, host events in neighboring communities about the history of those communities and the University.
  1. Establish long-term, sustainable funding sources to support continued research and educational activities on the University’s history, including administrative support, faculty release time, salary supplements, and small grants programs. Activities may include but are not limited to virtual and in- person conferences and roundtables, fine and performing arts, community focused events, research projects, curriculum development, and oral history projects.
  2. Make funding sources available to all system faculty and staff.
  3. Fund a dedicated post-doctoral position for 2-3 years with Department of Oral History to conduct oral histories with faculty, staff, students, alumni, as well as at large community members to document their memories of and experiences with the University.
  4. Establish long-term, sustainable funding sources for other research and funding sources that support research on underrepresented populations in the south.
  5. Make funding sources available to faculty from other institutions doing research on the University of South Carolina.
  6. Encourage all campus units to compose/update their histories and deposit them in the University Archives. Review them for needed updates every three years.


Implementation Group Members

The Implementation Group draws from the expertise of university, state and local historians, student and faculty leaders, and race and diversity leaders both on campus and in the state.


  • Joel Samuels, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Alex English, Board of Trustees

Core members

  • Michelle Bryan, PhD, CADO Representative
  • Vincent Ford, Community Advisor Council
  • Prischilla Ramsey, Staff Senate
  • Julia Elliott, Faculty Senate                    
  • Nicole Maskiell, Associate Professor, History
  • Constance Caddell, Graduate Student
  • Robin Roberts, UofSC Alumni 
  • D’Asia White, undergraduate student

Commission Liaisons

  • Julian R. Williams, Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Valinda Littlefield, Associate Professor, History
  • Elizabeth Cassidy West, University Archivist, South Caroliniana Library

University Staff and Community Liaisons

  • Nicole Pressley, Finance Budget
  • Silvia Patricia Rios Husain, Student Affairs           
  • Jeff Stensland, Communications
  • Craig Parks, Government Affairs
  • Terry Parham, General Counsel
  • Robin Waites, Historic Columbia

University History

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