Our History

During 1934, a South Carolina Club was organized in Washington, D.C. and it operated purely as a social organization. The only requirement for membership at the time was being a native South Carolinian. As the membership for the club steadily increased, it became evident that many of the members shared one other commonality: they either graduated from or attended South Carolina State College.

This core group expressed a need to educate people about the struggles faced by the black population in South Carolina, in trying to obtain quality education at an institution of higher learning. As a result, the group consolidated their common background into a more concerned effort to remedy this important fact.

Under the inspired leadership of alumnus Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, then-Dean of the School of Religion at Howard University, and Mr. William A. Outten, a meeting was called in May 1935 to organize an alumni chapter of South Carolina State College. This meeting was held in the home of Mrs. Gussie Fulmer. The first membership roll included the names of the 15 founders: Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, Mr. William A. Outten, Mrs. Gussie Fulmer, Mr. Ernest C. Dickerson, Mr. Roy Bunch Loan, Mrs. Blondena Whaley, Mr. Herman Whaley, Mr. Thomas Briar, Mrs. Maggie Bunch, Mrs. Cleonis Cheeks, Mr. John Dye, Mrs. Janie D. Gardner, Mrs. Daisy Hemphill, Mrs. Lilian Pendergrass and Mrs. Loretta Quick.

The newly formed chapter decided to meet on a monthly basis and assess dues payable at each meeting. During this time, a scholarship fund was established at the college to aid "needy" students in financing their education. Though small at first, the chapter has increased the amount of the fund over the years.

The late 40s and 50s brought a new and renewed interest in alumni activities, and the Chapter experienced a surge in growth. The organization took the lead in promoting nationwide support for the college in contributions to student aid athletic programs, curriculum and faculty recruitment, and alumni affairs. The chapter was also the first to put in place a complete slate of officers for the National Alumni Association; initiated the support to acquire and maintain a National Alumni House; and was the only chapter to send a team to investigate the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968.

Today, the Washington, DC Chapter is rated as one of the strongest and largest of the more than 40 South Carolina State National Alumni chapters throughout the country. The membership roster includes the names of hundreds of alumni living in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. The annual Scholarship Dinner Dance is the Chapter's largest fundraiser providing thousands of dollars in scholarships each year to local area students attending South Carolina State.

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