College of Charleston Honors College Receives $1 Million Gift

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The College of Charleston Honors College received a $1 million gift from the Guffey Family Foundation for scholarships supporting the Charleston Fellows.

Above: Charleston Fellows at the Ronald McDonald House where they volunteer preparing and distributing meals.

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The College of Charleston Honors College received a $1 million gift from the Guffey Family Foundation for scholarships supporting the Charleston Fellows. This commitment will advance the Honors College’s efforts to recruit and retain high-achieving students who will go on to leadership roles in their communities.

Charleston Fellows have a long history of leadership and success. In the past decade, nearly 50 nationally competitive awards have been awarded to a Charleston Fellow, including 11 Goldwater Scholarships, eight Fulbright Awards, four Rotary Ambassadorial Global Grants and four NOAA Hollings scholarships. While Charleston Fellows represent less than 1% of the College of Charleston student body, they have won more than 30% of the College’s nationally competitive awards since 2013.

“The Honors College is incredibly fortunate that the vision of the Guffeys includes investing in future leaders through our top scholars program, the Charleston Fellows,” says Beth Meyer-Bernstein, dean of the Honors College. “Life-changing scholarships like the Guffey Family Foundation Scholarship are making the College of Charleston a destination for the country’s most impressive young minds. They’re coming to a world-class city and experiencing a world-class education. And thanks to people like the Guffeys, they’ll receive the personalized guidance and resources needed to develop into innovative and empathetic leaders of tomorrow.”

Charleston Fellows tend to be leaders not only on campus, but in the local community. These are students with a desire to make an impact on the world around them. The program’s student-led executive board regularly coordinates community engagement projects, including an ongoing partnership with the local Ronald McDonald House, where each month a group of fellows cooks meals for the 40 or so guests. Recently, fellows helped to found organizations and initiatives like Cougar Votes, a voting advocacy program, and a local chapter of the Backpack Project, a support program for those experiencing homelessness.

“We are honored to be able to support the College of Charleston, an exemplary partner in our vibrant local community, and to provide more young leaders with the opportunity to benefit from the rigor and richness of its outstanding Honors program,” say Lawrence and Lucy Guffey.

The impact of the Guffeys on the College and the greater Charleston community will continue for generations to come.

“We are so fortunate to have Lawrence and Lucy Guffey in the Lowcountry,” says President Andrew T. Hsu. “Their commitment to their community is laudable, and their philanthropic investment in the Honors College will lead to more engaged, globally curious students who will graduate and assume leadership roles in the Lowcountry and beyond.”  

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