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New scholarship honors former Wofford chaplain and wife

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Rev. Dr. Talmage Skinner has never wanted to leave Wofford. Not while he was a student, not while he was serving as the college chaplain for 17 years, and not now, even though he retired in 2003.  Skinner is still a vibrant part of the Wofford community, and he has no desire to leave any time soon.

undefinedNow, thanks to a generous gift in his honor, students who might otherwise have to leave will get the chance to remain a part of the community, too; just like Skinner.

Ben Waldrop, a 1993 Wofford alum and owner of Century Printing and Packaging Inc., and his wife, Aimee, have donated the initial gift for a new endowed scholarship, The Talmage Boyd Skinner Jr. ’56 and Beverly Keadle Skinner Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship specifically is designed to assist students who, due to unforeseen circumstances, are at risk of having to withdraw from Wofford College.

“Through their passion for the school and genuine concern for the students as individuals, Beverly and Talmage have woven themselves into the fabric of the Wofford community,” says Waldrop. “In creating this scholarship, Aimee and I want to enable a student to remain a part of that community.”

Skinner couldn’t be happier with the scholarship, and says he’s thrilled that it incorporates his wife. “The beautiful thing about this is that somebody recognizes that we were a team.  Everything we did, we did together.”

Wofford President Benjamin B. Dunlap agrees that, together, the Skinners have left an indelible mark on the college. “To observe that for many years Talmage and Beverly Skinner have been the heart and soul of Wofford College is no exaggeration,” says Dunlap. “Their warmth and compassion, their breadth of spirit, and their support for the Terriers and their fans are truly the stuff of legend.”

From 1986 until his retirement in 2003, Skinner served as the college chaplain.  During that tenure, he touched the lives of nearly everyone with whom he came in contact.  He and his wife have continued to be a positive force on the Wofford campus, and,  in 2005, were awarded the Wofford Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

“The establishment of this scholarship fund in honor of Talmage and Beverly Skinner recognizes their many years of service to Wofford and the countless numbers of young people who they have mentored,” says Marion Peavey, Wofford’s senior vice president for development and college relations. “The scholarship represents a major ‘thank you’ from all who have known the Skinners over the decades, and we are fortunate to have Talmage and Beverly as part of the Wofford family.”

Dunlap was named Wofford’s 10th president during Skinner’s tenure as chaplain.  Having grown close to the couple, Dunlap recognizes that, “It’s on the personal level where their ‘little unremembered acts of kindness and of love’ have made the most lasting contribution, which is why this scholarship is so wonderfully appropriate.”

As a lifelong member of the Wofford community, Skinner understands the significance of this scholarship.  “The most important thing to me is that this is going to help people go to Wofford,” he says.

To make a donation to the Talmage Boyd Skinner Jr. ’56 and Beverly Keadle Skinner Endowed Scholarship Fund, contact Thom Henson, assistant director of development at Wofford College at 864-597-4213 or hensontm@wofford.edu.

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