SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA— David M. and Cynthia C. Beacham are famous for saying yes. For more than 40 years, if the Spartanburg community asked, the Beachams answered in the affirmative — serving on boards, chairing committees, leading projects, volunteering, advocating and giving.
“They’re a power couple, and they’ve given 110% through service to more than 20 charitable organizations in our community,” said John White, attorney and managing partner of Harrison White PC, during the Abernathy-White Christmas Eve Annual Breakfast. “Spartanburg is a better place because of their involvement, and it is our honor to recognize their contributions with the Abernathy-White Humanitarian Award.”
In addition to presenting the award, Harrison White contributed the lead gift toward the establishment of the David M. and Cynthia C. Beacham Endowed Internship Fund in the Beachams’ honor. The fund will give students with financial need the resources to say yes to career-enhancing and life-changing internship opportunities.
“Over the years, we have realized that internships are vitally important for college students,” said David Beacham. “They give students the opportunity to put their academic training to practical use, advancing their skills while discovering their professional passions and purpose. Cyndi and I have been fortunate to have found our passion and purpose in our work and in our engagement in the Spartanburg community. This fund will give future generations the same opportunity.”
David Beacham came to Spartanburg as a Wofford College student in the mid 1970s. He joined the college’s admission staff not long after graduation in 1977 and transitioned to advancement and senior leadership positions. He will retire from the college this summer as senior vice president for administration and secretary to the board of trustees after 45 years of service. His civic and non-profit commitments have included First Presbyterian Church, the Cancer Association of Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties, Partners for Active Living, the American Red Cross Piedmont Chapter, Habitat for Humanity, St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic and The Piedmont Club.
Cyndi Beacham retired in June 2020 as president of the Charles Lea Center Foundation. Prior to that, she was vice president for community improvement and education with the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce. There she ran Leadership Spartanburg and Junior Leadership Spartanburg. Through the years, she has supported numerous community organizations, serving as president of the Junior League of Spartanburg, St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, the American Red Cross Piedmont Chapter, Ellen Hines Smith Girls Home and the Upstate Center for Educational Support.
“This breakfast is all about planting seeds, and we’ve watched the seeds that David and Cyndi Beacham have planted grow and make a lasting impact in our community,” said White. “We want our community’s young people to take note and follow their examples.”
The Abernathy-White Christmas Eve Annual Breakfast began more than 60 years ago when two prominent Spartanburg citizens — John B. White Sr., founder of the Beacon restaurant, and Warren Abernathy, senior advisor to Sen. Strom Thurmond — started gathering people who often did not see eye-to-eye for a breakfast on Dec. 24. The point was to get people to put aside their political differences to build cooperation and community. Over the years, the modest gathering, which was originally held at the Beacon, grew to an event that now brings nearly 700 people together at the Marriott downtown for breakfast, fellowship and a cause that furthers the Spartanburg community. Harrison White hosts the breakfast in memory of White and Abernathy.
Wofford College, established in 1854, is a four-year, residential liberal arts college located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It offers 27 major fields of study to a student body of 1,775 undergraduates. Nationally known for the strength of its academic program, outstanding faculty, study abroad participation and successful graduates, Wofford is recognized consistently as a “best value” and for its commitment to student success and accessibility for low- and middle-income students. The college community has 12 sororities and fraternities as well as 19 NCAA Division I athletics teams.