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m o m e n t u m -WINTER 2018-

Reaching Artistic Heights Francisca Palazuelos ’17 Has a Higher Calling



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m o m e n t u m

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We enjoy sharing stories about the impact of your generous support, and Momentum is just one way for you to keep engaged and informed about what you're making possible for our students, faculty, staff and campus. We also publish the annual Donor Digest, post stories on our College of Charleston Giving Facebook page and highlight donors and beneficiaries on our website, If you have feedback or story ideas, please contact Carin Jorgensen at 843.953.5859 or We'd love to hear from you!

table of contents

ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 FEATURE: PEAK PERFORMANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 HAPPENINGS & HIGHLIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 TRIBUTE GIVING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 PLANNED GIVING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 SCHOLARSHIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 MOMENTUM WINTER 2018 1


Leading the Way to Medicine Most kids are at least a little scared of shots. When she was 4 years old, Victoria Bailey was no different – and the cacophony of children screaming and crying in the waiting room didn’t help. But – the moment her pediatrician, Dr. Greenhouse, walked in – she forgot all of that. She knew it’d be OK. She also knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. “In that moment, I decided to be a physician,” the senior recalls. “She was just so calm, and I thought, ‘I want to do that!’” She was determined. And her goal hadn’t faltered at all when, in fifth grade, she got sick and had to go to the doctor, who immediately diagnosed her with bronchitis. “I was like, ‘Really? That fast?’ I was amazed,” she remembers. “I said to myself, ‘I want that knowledge. I want to know everything there is – and to be able to use it to help people.’” It only made her more resolute – and she has continued on the path toward medicine ever since, studying biology at the College and hoping to go on to medical school when she graduates. “There’s a lot to learn. Medicine isn’t easy. It’s a tough path to take. It’s a financially tough road, too,” says Bailey, who this year received the J. Gorman ’43 and Gladys Thomas Endowed Memorial Alumni Scholarship. “Getting this scholarship was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders – I can concentrate on my classes and prepare for medical school.” To honor his father and mother, Gary Thomas ’83 established the scholarship for a rising junior or senior who is a member of the Pre-Medical Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and plans a career in medicine. “My intention with this scholarship and my relationships with the recipients is just one opportunity to be connected to the next generation, the next leaders in medicine,” says Thomas, an oncologist in Hilton Head 2 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON

cathy mahon ’80, grant gauthier ’19, victoria bailey ’19 and gary thomas ’83

Island, S.C. “I am only helping these students move forward and be successful. And at the same time, I am paying it back for all the College did for me. It is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.” And it’s one of the most reassuring things Bailey has ever received. “This scholarship is a good reminder of why I’m doing what I do. Like, ‘You’re on the right path. You’re putting all this work in, but it’s going to pay off. You can do it. You’ve got this,’” says Bailey. “It feels really good to be reminded of that – and to know that there’s someone out there who is rooting for you and really cares.” Someone, perhaps, like a physician. – Alicia Lutz ’98 ›› victoria

bailey and gary thomas at the oct. 3 bishop robert smith society reception



Peak Performance When it comes to realizing her dreams, Francisca Palazuelos ’17 has always been prepared to move mountains. After all, the artist, who is a mother of two children and a Chilean native, has faced numerous uphill challenges throughout her life. In 2012, when she chose to realize her longheld dream of completing college in a new country, she was met with many of them. Her goal entailed starting school from scratch in a foreign tongue while also juggling the expenses not just of her studies, but of raising a family and pursuing her newfound passion for printmaking. “I didn’t speak proper English,” says Palazuelos of her days when applying to the College, when she also considered majoring in Latin American studies. However, after taking a printmaking class with studio art professor Barbara Duval, her world was transformed. 4 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON

“I fell in love and didn’t want to do anything else,” says the artist, who has been able to combine her devotion to Latin America with her printmaking by creating images of the Andes Mountains. She is particularly inspired to share the beauty of her native Chile with those in her new home of Charleston. With the support of the Duval Endowed Scholarship for Studio Art, Palazuelos reached her personal pinnacle. In December of 2017 she graduated from the College of Charleston with a robust body of work and profound sense of artistic accomplishment – one that

“I fell in love and didn't want to do anything else.”

culminated with a transformative residency at Charleston’s Gibbes Museum of Art. After seeing his daughter, Elizabeth “Peyton” Cochran ’04, go through school as a studio arts major and seeing firsthand how much support artists like her need, C. Moffett Cochran established the scholarship in honor of Duval to further the School of the Arts’ efforts to recruit and retain the most talented students in studio art. For Palazuelos, a nontraditional student who came to college later in life, the support has made all the difference. By receiving funds specifically earmarked for expenses like printmaking paper and other materials, she was not torn between making her art and providing for her daughters. “For me, it was a huge relief,” she says. What’s more, being selected to receive the scholarship also gave the artist some deeply appreciated encouragement from her teachers at the College.

all photography was taken during francisca palazuelos' gibbes visiting artist residency, courtesy ©mgc photography.

“It gave me such confidence to know my teachers believed in me,” she says, noting that there were so many talented students in the program. And, says Duval, those talented students found Palazuelos to be a motivating force in her printmaking class. “Her discipline and motivation set an example,” Duval recalls. In her art and her life, Palazuelos will keep moving mountains. She will do so from her beloved Lowcountry by sharing the beauty of the faraway Andes. What’s more, she will continue to reach her artistic goals, no matter how steep the obstacles. – Maura Hogan ’85 MOMENTUM WINTER 2018 5


Interim President Steve Osborne’s Welcome Reception July 24 Harborside East

The College community welcomed interim President Stephen C. Osborne ’73 and his wife Mary with a celebratory reception. Members of the major volunteer boards, alumni, donors and friends turned out to congratulate the Osbornes on their new roles and to hear Steve share his initial impressions as leader of the College. l to r: chuck baker ’80, clyde the cougar and betsy baker ‘81 tom hallberg, interim president steve osborne ‘73 and barbara hallberg  gus gustafson ’75, steve osborne, hilton smith and catherine smith  cofc chief of police robert reese, otto german ‘73 and mercedes pinckney fabers ’07  jim ‘55 and carolyn anderson ’70 and malcolm clark

Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation Scholarship Reception September 26 Alumni Memorial Hall


The College hosted the annual Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation (GKF) Scholarship reception to celebrate its 2018 recipients. The James Island Connector Run and the golf tournament are the primary ways GKF raises funds to provide scholarships to Charleston-area college students with physical disabilities. The Foundation strives to increase community awareness of their needs so that there are opportunities for those with disabilities once they graduate from college and look to make their own contributions to society. inset photo: this year’s gkf scholars  cofc recipient caroline walsh with her family, nick gavalas and interim president steve osborne ‘73  cofc recipient tyler owens with nick gavalas and interim president osborne

Bishop Robert Smith Society Reception October 3 Alumni Memorial Hall

The fourth annual Bishop Robert Smith Society recognition reception celebrates donors who have committed $1 million or more to the College over their lifetimes. Nearly 100 donors, faculty, staff and students attended the event. Every year, this special gathering gives an opportunity for donors to meet the beneficiaries of their philanthropy and witness the powerful impact of their leadership support at the College. inset photo: steve ’89 and emily swanson ’89 with their swanson family scholarship recipients jean and tap johnson with sarah decedue ’19, a recipient of the jean and tap johnson scholarship steve swanson, interim president steve osborne ‘73 and geoffrey gill ’19, recipient of the swanson family scholarship pat johnson ’55 (sister of lucia vest ’47) and edward vest (seated) with recipients of the johnson-vest scholarship, which edward established in honor of his wife lucia. students are kacie errington ’19, minna heaton ’19 and jonathan graham ‘19  board of trustees chair david hay ’81, mariana hay ’82, betty beatty and school of business dean alan shao

Parent Advisory Council Fall Meeting

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October 5–6 Stono River Preserve

The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) members act as ambassadors and advocates for all the College’s parents. They raise funds, host events, welcome our new families through admissions calls and meet with parents to foster a strong sense of community across our parent body. Held at the Stono River Preserve, PAC's first day of committee meetings was capped off with an oyster roast and a tour of the grounds. The following day, council members met on campus for the full board meeting and remarks from interim President Steve Osborne '73. pac group photo executive director of annual

giving programs and the pac’s executive director, laurie soenen with national co-chairs michelle and johnnie baxley ’92  barney holt ’74 provides an indepth history on the natural environment at the stono river preserve




A Legacy of Leadership Why does it seem like those with the most life and joy in them are the ones who die way too soon? Such was the case with Francis Morrissey III, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the College in the mid-1980s. Goodlooking and outgoing, he grew up in the Philadelphia area and attended Delaware Valley Community College before learning about the College of Charleston through his close friend Bill Penney ’89. “He transferred in 1986, rushed SAE and, within a month, had ingrained himself with everyone thanks to his charismatic personality,” says Penney, an Allstate insurance agent in Collegeville, Pa. Morrissey was socializing with a handful of friends when the unthinkable happened in October of the following year. They were leaving a secondstory apartment above a shop on King Street when Morrissey accidentally fell through a big oval window, landing on the sidewalk 13 feet below. He went into a coma and died a few days later in the hospital.

francis morrissey iii

“He made such an impact on everyone in such a short time,” says Penney, “and all of sudden he was taken from us.” To honor his memory, Morrissey’s father set up the Francis J. Morrissey III Leadership School Endowment to send CofC SAE members to their national fraternity’s John O. Moseley Leadership School, which has educated more than 25,000 students since it began in 1935 (including Penney and three current members who actively sit on various CofC boards). benefit events held at the sae house on campus have helped raise the morrissey leadership school endowment to close to $90,000.

The endowment languished through the 1990s, but Penney and a grassroots group of Morrissey’s SAE brothers spearheaded by SAE chapter adviser Athan Fokas ’89 decided to resurrect it in 2003. Through half a dozen benefit events over the last 15 years, they’ve raised the endowment to almost $90,000 and have sent more than 85 active SAE members to the leadership school. The goal is to surpass $100,000 in 2019 and have the ability to underwrite six to eight scholarships annually to the fiveday school, which SAE holds at a different location every year. While trying to make better men and leaders, as well as help dispel the current negative Greek publicity, the endowment has also allowed Penney and others to reconnect with the school that means so much to them. “The College shaped who I am, so it’s been a great way to get back engaged with my alma mater and even incorporate the CofC Foundation into my own estate giving plan,” says Penney, whose son started his freshman year at the College in August. “This has been a great way to pay it forward, too, and honor Fran’s memory and ensure his legacy positively impacts hundreds of future leaders.” – Tom Cunneff MOMENTUM WINTER 2018 9


greg pryor and his wife, ann looper pryor ’83, vice president of alumni affairs

Lifelong Passion for Baseball Inspired Program Support to Cougars Baseball The reverberation of a wooden bat making contact with a stitched leather ball. The rush of watching a favorite player sliding safely into home with an inch to spare. The unmistakable aroma of roasted hotdogs and fresh, hot popcorn that calls to you – even if you’re not in the ballpark.

For many sports fans, watching a baseball game awakens the senses. For others, like Greg Pryor, baseball is a spiritual experience. A lifelong baseball fan, Pryor grew up watching the Washington Senators with his dad. As an adult living in the Washington, D.C., area, he became a Baltimore Orioles fan. He was at Memorial Stadium for Game 2 of the 1983 World Series when the Orioles redeemed themselves from losing Game 1 at home by outscoring the Philadelphia Phillies 4–1 and winning the remaining three games to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy. 10 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON

Pryor now calls Charleston home, and the College of Charleston Cougars is the baseball team he calls his favorite. Pryor’s wife, Ann Looper Pryor ’83, is vice president of Alumni Affairs at her alma mater. The Pryors visited Charleston at least every year while they lived in D.C., where Greg worked for the National Institutes of Health until retiring after 27 years, and Ann worked as a lobbyist.

“When she got the job at the College, it was an easy decision to move here,” says Pryor. Because Greg owned a pair of Baltimore Oriole season tickets for 17 years and four Washington National season tickets for 10 years, Ann was afraid Greg may suffer from baseball withdrawal when they moved to Charleston. Thus, she bought him season tickets to Cougar baseball and the Charleston Riverdogs. Ultimately, the Cougars won their place in his heart.

Ann gave him the idea to establish an endowed baseball fund because of her experience with the W.N. Looper Award, which provides support for School of Humanities and Social Sciences students who commit to a summer internship on Capitol Hill. She created the award in memory of her father, who was an educator as well as a baseball and football coach. As for Greg, he enjoys the informality of the Cougars as a team. His season tickets are behind the Cougar dugout, where he settles in and keeps

"Charleston, the College and the Cougars have a way of getting into your blood."

“The College’s baseball team – actually all of our student-athletes – sacrifices a lot to compete,” Pryor says. “They play five games a week on top of being in class, doing homework and just being college students. They’re on the road and being students, so during season, they’re juggling a lot. And the average grade point is consistently above 3.0! I couldn’t have done all that in college.” It’s his high esteem of the men’s baseball team that led Pryor to establish the Gregory Pryor Endowed Baseball Fund in his estate plans. It’s the program’s first-ever endowed fund to provide general support to the team, including travel accommodations, equipment and facility resources.

tabs on the game the old-fashioned way: with a paper scorecard and a pencil. The players’ parents sit nearby, and Pryor likes getting to know them. He also gets to know the players and says it’s nice to follow them as they mature from freshmen to sophomores and so on. In turn, the players and coaches alike grow to recognize Pryor as a loyal fan. “Charleston, the College and the Cougars have a way of getting into your blood,” Pryor says. “It’s been fun getting to know the men’s baseball program, and it was my pleasure to set up this fund. I’d love to see them make it to the College World Series.” - Carin Jorgensen MOMENTUM WINTER 2018 11


Alumnus Dedicated to Making a Better World The inherent desires to be involved and make a difference in the community are what motivated Neil W. Draisin ’65 in 1976 to establish the Head Start Vision Screening Program, screening more than 1,000 local children a year. The same motivation fuels Draisin’s engagement with the College of Charleston, particularly in the way he gives back to his alma mater. For more than 32 years, Draisin and his wife, Carolyn Feinberg Draisin, have contributed to a multitude of areas across campus, from the Cougar Club and College of Charleston Fund – Area of Greatest Need, to the Yaschik/ Arnold Jewish Studies Program and the Class of 1965 Scholarship. When the BOUNDLESS Campaign was wrapping up in 2016, the Draisins wanted to make a difference with a major gift. “We knew that Steve and Emily Swanson were really impacting students’ lives in the Honors College through the Swanson Scholars Program,” says Draisin. The Swanson Scholars Program benefits students who qualify for the William Aiken Fellows. To encourage others to establish endowed scholarships that help recruit high-achieving students to the Honors College, Steve ’89 and Emily Swanson ’89 issued a matching gift challenge, matching gifts to endowed scholarships dollar-for-dollar. “When Steve Swanson asks you for funds, he’s hard to turn down,” Draisin says. Rising to the challenge, the Draisins established the Draisin Family Endowed Scholarship with a $100,000 commitment to benefit outof-state Jewish students with financial need who want to be part of the Honors College. “The College has always been an important part of my life. It helped me find my way,” Draisin says. “I want to do my part to ensure that students today and tomorrow have the same positive and life-defining experiences at the College that I did.” After graduating with a B.S. in biology, Draisin graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and completed his residency in pediatric optometry and vision therapy at 12 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON

neil draisin ’65 with his wife, carolyn feinberg draisin

State University of New York. He launched his private practice in Charleston in 1972 and has established a reputation as an expert leader in his field. Although Carolyn didn’t graduate from the College (she’s a graduate of the University of Alabama), she is just as invested in student success as her husband. Her career as a school teacher took her to Atlanta and Cheltenham, Pa., before landing her in Charleston, where she taught fourth grade at Orange Grove Elementary for 15 years. She can lay claim to being a nondegree alumnae of the College of Charleston, though, because she took some graduate courses on campus. One of the Draisins’ three children, Alison ’93, is also a CofC Cougar. The Draisins look forward to meeting the first recipient of their scholarship in a few years. “I will strongly encourage them to take every advantage of the experience the College provides and to use that experience to make the world a better place,” says Draisin. - Carin Jorgensen

mark your calendar!

SPRING ALUMNI WEEKEND May 3-5, 2019 featuring

Alumni Champagne Brunch Saturday morning, May 4

Alumni Association Annual Meeting

Saturday afternoon, May 4

A Charleston Affair

Saturday evening, May 4

And more!

Please visit our website to view the complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets: PRESENTED BY

66 GEORGE ST. | CHARLESTON, S.C. 29424-0001

See you in the Spring!


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