Dr. Hill and students

Endowed English professorship created for Wofford

Winston and Laura Hoy with President Benjamin B. DunlapHoys provide gift as part of Reeves Foundation Challenge 

November 28, 2007

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The parents of Wofford College graduate Will Hoy (Class of 2003) have established the Laura and Winston Hoy Endowed Professorship in the Department of English.

The professorship given by the Myrtle Beach, S.C., couple will be awarded to a faculty member with a strong emphasis on Southern literature.

“We believe that this is an investment in the lives of these young adults and that they are the future of our state, our region and our country,” Mrs. Hoy says.  “What better investment can we make?”

“We hope this professorship will continue to provide an outstanding resource for the study of the literature of the South for Wofford’s students,” Mr. Hoy adds.  “Wofford is a Southern institution deeply rooted in the traditions and values that we feel are important, especially in today’s modernity.”

He notes that their interest in Southern literature is based in their North Carolina upbringing and his time as a student at Vanderbilt University, where he learned to love Southern literature.  “We like almost everything about the South.  There is a rich history here, connected to music, food, religion and diversity of cultures, that needs to be studied and shared.  The South is a special place to those writers of Southern literature, past and contemporary, who have written about our folkways.”

Wofford President Benjamin B. Dunlap praises the Hoys for their gift.  “The immensely generous gift from Laura and Winston Hoy will benefit Wofford students for as long as there’s a Wofford — and benefit them in a very special way,” he says.  “The study of literature is at the heart of a liberal arts education, and, given this region’s history and tradition, understanding the South is in many ways a key to understanding ourselves.  I need hardly cite Socrates to explain the importance of understanding ourselves, but Socrates himself would applaud this wise munificence.”

The Hoy gift helps Wofford toward meeting the Reeves Foundation Challenge to create more endowed professorships.  The Reeves Foundation of Summit, N.J., has challenged Wofford to raise funds for endowed professorships to attract, reward and retain faculty known for excellence for their teaching and for leadership and creativity in developing programs in their fields of study.

Two such Reeves Family Professorships already have been created and awarded – to Dr. James Proctor, chair of the department of accounting and finance, and to Dr. Dennis Wiseman, professor of French, chair of the department of foreign languages, and director of program assessment at Wofford.

The Reeves Family Professorship was created by a gift directed to the college by Wofford trustee J.E. Reeves Jr., president and treasurer of the Reeves Foundation.  The $1 million gift carried with it a challenge for Wofford to raise an additional $2 million for professorships for outstanding faculty.  As a result, Wofford added a total of $3 million to its endowment for professorships.

Previous gifts from the Reeves family, long-time partners in the mission of the college, include the Reeves Tennis Center and the Reeves Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides support for nine students annually at Wofford.