Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn shares the story of his late wife Dr. Emily England Clyburn.

The legacy of the late Dr. Emily England Clyburn continues at South Carolina State University.

Two freshmen students were inducted into the fourth class of Dr. Emily England Clyburn Scholars on Friday. They are: Marion Patterson, a mechanical engineering student from Rock Hill, and Elissia Lottihall, a speech, pathology and audiology student from Pageland.

“These students are among, of course, our best and our brightest. More importantly, the Clyburns’ generosity and good will have allowed these gifted and talented students to have access to an affordable college education,” said Dr. Harriet A. Roland, dean of the S.C. State Clyburn Honors College.

“More importantly, they will create a pipeline for the legacy of not only Dr. Emily England Clyburn to be continued, but U.S. Congressman James Clyburn as well because they were both so very dedicated to their alma mater. They believed in the importance of educating young people and providing them with access to a college education,” Roland said.

S.C. State’s Honors College is named for Dr. Clyburn, the late wife of Sixth District Congressman James E. Clyburn. The Clyburn Scholars program is also named after her.

Dr. Clyburn, a Moncks Corner native, received her bachelor’s degree in library science from S.C. State in 1961 and an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2010.

She and her husband raised more than $1.7 million since 2005 for the university. They also established the Emily England Clyburn Honors Scholarship Program.

“The Dr. Emily England Clyburn Honors College has a total enrollment of 223 honors scholars who have come from all across this great nation and international borders. They include students from all four of the degree-granting colleges here at S.C. State University,” Roland said.

The congressman said his late wife had a strong commitment to the success of the Honors College, even asking him near the end of her life to “take care of Dr. Roland and the Honors College.”

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“I promised her that I would,” said Clyburn, who donates all of his honorarium fees to the university.

Clyburn said he will be donating $25,000 to the Honors College from a speech he is set to make at a college in two weeks.

Roland said, “It will go into the Dr. Emily England Clyburn Honors College Endowment Fund to go along with that $1.7 million that we currently have.”

Clyburn met his wife when they were students at S.C. State. He said she helped transform him into the U.S. congressman he is today.

“I don’t say that facetiously. Were it not for Emily, I would not be standing here,” Clyburn said.

The congressman was joined at the event by members of his family, including two of his three daughters, Dr. Jennifer Clyburn Reed and Angela Clyburn, and his grandson, Walter.

He also touted the leadership of S.C. State Interim President Alexander Conyers and the commitments that he and his wife, Agatha, have made to the university.

Clyburn continued, “I want congratulate the two of you for what you’re doing with this institution. It doesn’t take a genius to be able to see and feel the transition and attitude not just here on this campus, but throughout this community and around the state.”

S.C. State’s Clyburn Honors College will be moved from its present location in the Moss Hall annex building behind the university’s bookstore into the old Dawn Center building on campus, Conyers said. The larger building will be renovated and renamed.

Conyers said the Clyburn family’s continued investments in students means a lot to the entire university.

“Congressman Clyburn and his late wife have always gone above and beyond in supporting this institution and the fact now that Mrs. Clyburn’s legacy will live on through these scholarships is just immeasurable,” Conyers said.

“A total collective giving of $1.7 million is phenomenal. To think that a man like Congressman Clyburn who has throughout his career donated all of his honorarium fees to South Carolina State is, again, absolutely phenomenal. We are grateful to him and his entire family for their investment in our students and our university,” he said.

Contact the writer: dgleaton@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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