Hayden Quattlebaum always called her son, Andy, her courageous warrior.
From a young age, Andy took it on his shoulders to right wrongs and to stick up for underdogs — both the two- and four-legged kind. Like the time when he was 7 and he and a buddy both caught a sailfish during a fishing tournament. Everyone who caught a sailfish was to receive a trophy. When Andy’s name was called and his buddy’s wasn’t, Andy made sure tournament officials knew they’d goofed.
“He would always stand up for others,” says his father, Don Quattlebaum.
Andy also loved animals, especially his dog, Oak. When Andy went off to Clemson University, Oak went with him.
When Andy died suddenly at age 22 on March 27, 2019, the Quattlebaums were devastated.
“He was my world,” says Hayden. “He’ll be my world for the rest of my life.”
Hayden and Don created the Andy Quattlebaum and Blackwell Family Foundation to contribute to projects honoring the legacy of Andy and Hayden’s father, William Hayden Blackwell ’37, an attorney, veteran and civic leader in Florence, South Carolina, who died in 1981. One such project was the Wofford Wellness Center, which underwent a year-long renovation and now bears their name.
A dedication for the Blackwell-Quattlebaum Center for Wellness and Counseling Services in the Hugh R. Black House was held on Friday, Feb. 24. The center opened on Feb. 13.
“This opportunity came up, and it just made since to do something to be able to honor Andy and Daddy,” Hayden says.
The updates to the Wellness Center include an additional exam room for medical services downstairs and a quiet room upstairs near the counseling center for waiting and reflection. This room will be furnished in part by a gift from the family of Peter Harbert ’18, who died tragically during his senior year at Wofford. There are additional offices for Wellness Center staff and a conference room for meetings and trainings. The lobby is more welcoming, and there is now an elevator, so this original campus home is now fully accessible.
The renovation project cost $3.5 million. In addition to the $1.25 million lead gift from the Quattlebaums, the family of Dorothy Beadles Halligan, who served as the Wofford College nurse from 1959 to 1990, also made a substantial contribution. The first floor of the building bears Halligan’s name.
“Andy cared so much about other people,” says Hayden. “He would have liked seeing these improvements to help students in need.”
Don says in addition to the Wellness Center being a place for students to get medical attention without having to leave campus, he wants it to be where they go when they are feeling overwhelmed.
“Things are much more difficult than when we were growing up,” he says. “I don’t know how much social media has to do with it, but the world has changed so much.”
Elizabeth Wallace ’82, interim vice president for campus life and student development and dean of students, says the generosity of the Quattlebaums and others who contributed to this project will definitely enhance the center’s ability to provide care to the campus community.
“We are deeply grateful for the generous gifts to renovate the Blackwell-Quattlebaum Center for Wellness and Counseling Services,” Wallace says. “The renovation of this historic building will allow the staff to do an even better job of serving our community with their physical and mental health needs.”