By Robert W. Dalton
After giving each year to the Annual Fund (now The Wofford Fund) and while making major gifts to the Neofytos D. Papadopoulos Building, the Roger Milliken Science Center and the Gus and Maria Papadopoulos Endowed Scholarship Fund, Gus Papadopoulos ’54 became the first Wofford graduate to make personal gifts of at least $1 million to the college.
During the winter meeting of the college’s board of trustees, Papadopoulos and others who have reached the $500,000 milestone in lifetime giving were recognized for their contributions to the college and their lifetime of support.
According to Calhoun Kennedy ’89, vice president for Philanthropy + Engagement, the Wofford Lifetime Philanthropists recognition dinner honored the individual and collective impact of some of the college’s most faithful givers, including:
- $445 million in total gifts to the college.
- 111 endowed scholarships.
- 21 endowed professorships.
- $157 million in capital improvements.
- $11 million in annual operating or scholarship funding.
“Almost 21,000 current students and alumni have Wofford Lifetime Philanthropists to thank for the opportunities that Wofford College can provide today. Some of the lifetime philanthropists have contributed smaller gifts over time. They’ve been consistent, and that adds up. Others have made jawdropping single gifts. Every single person recognized, however, has made giving to Wofford a priority because they believe in the college’s academic program, mission and ability to prepare graduates for extraordinary lives of purpose and service beyond Wofford,” Kennedy says.
If you would like to check your giving to the college and find out how you can become a Wofford Lifetime Philanthropist, contact Calhoun Kennedy, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lisa Harrison De Freitas ’88, email@example.com.
The Wofford Lifetime Philanthropists are also being recognized with a special plaque in the Leonard Auditorium lobby in Main Building.
THE GIFT OF HEALTH
Blackwell-Quattlebaum Center for Wellness and Counseling Services dedicated
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, S.C., who died in 1981. One such project was the Wofford Wellness Center, which underwent a yearlong renovation and now bears their name.
The Blackwell-Quattlebaum Center for Wellness and Counseling Services in the Hugh R. Black House opened on Feb. 13. A dedication was held on Feb. 24.
“This opportunity came up, and it just made sense 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. 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.
“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.”
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.
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 and their physical and mental health needs.”
A GIFT OF GRATITUDE
Fredy Madrid Jr. ’20 celebrated his 26th birthday on Feb. 13 by giving Wofford a gift.
Madrid presented the college with a $25,000 check to establish the Fredy Madrid International Student Endowed Scholarship Fund. He is among the first to take advantage of a new program through the Office of Philanthropy + Engagement that allows alumni under age 40 to endow a scholarship with $25,000 instead of $50,000.
“I am a firm believer that to whom much is given, much is expected,” says Madrid. “The Bonner Scholarship changed my life. The Bonner Program showed me that the impossible can become possible. This scholarship is a way for me to pay forward all the gifts that I received through many years. It’s a way to show my community, my village, that I’m grateful.”
The presentation took place during a reception in the Papadopoulos Building in front of family, friends, faculty and staff. The scholarship will be awarded annually to an international student, with preference being given to Hispanic or Latinx students.
“Fredy has done enormous good for this institution as a student leader, and now as a young alumni leader,” President Nayef Samhat said during the reception.
A native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Madrid served as Campus Union president at Wofford before earning a B.A. in economics. He chose Wofford because he felt the college’s focus on student success gave him the greatest opportunity to excel.
“When I came to Wofford, I came on a leap of faith,” Madrid says. “But I came, and I worked hard, and it made me a better Fredy. This is a project I wanted to do so that people even better than me can come to Wofford.”
Madrid is an international business expansion partner at Gibbs International in Spartanburg. He met company founder and CEO Jimmy Gibbs, a Wofford benefactor and trustee, as a sophomore and began interning for the company as a junior.
“I was intrigued by his confidence and his desire to make things better,” Gibbs says. “He’s got quite a success story behind him. He’s done everything the hard way, the good way. I’m as fortunate that he came into my life as he is that I came into his.”
Estate of Marianne J. and Edward R. Bagwell ’70 endows student scholarships
Hampton Bryant III ’23 says receiving his financial aid package has opened a lot of doors for him during his Wofford career. Spending the spring 2022 semester in Friedberg, Germany, is at the top of his list.
“I wasn’t sure I’d be able to study abroad until I knew I had that scholarship,” says Bryant, an economics and international affairs double major from Greenville, S.C. “It was an invaluable experience and one of the most beneficial things I was able to do because of that funding.”
Bryant’s scholarship was made possible by the Edward R. Bagwell ’70 and Marianne J. Bagwell Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports scholarships for students who are residents of South Carolina and who are majoring in economics and/or foreign languages. The fund was created by Marianne after her husband’s death, and its value increased significantly through her estate.
The fund is supporting scholarships for four students this academic year, with an average award of $22,000.
The value of the fund is currently $9.6 million. A final installment from the estate will be paid this year and will bring the balance to more than $10 million. Lisa De Freitas ’88, Wofford’s associate vice president and director of gift planning, says the fund will generate about $500,000 annually.
Before attending Wofford, Edward Bagwell, a native of Landrum, S.C., served in the U.S. Army for five years. He was stationed in Germany, where he met and married Marianne.
When they returned to Spartanburg, he worked 30 hours a week while carrying a full course load at Wofford. She worked as an executive assistant at Schaerer Machinery Co. They also both performed with the Tryon (N.C.) Little Theater.
Edward graduated from Wofford in three years and then earned an MBA from the University of South Carolina. After working in management at C&S Bank, he founded Southwind Ltd., a real estate development and management firm, in Columbia, S.C. Marianne became his partner in business.
At Southwind, the Bagwells developed major urban commercial spaces throughout the Southeast, including revitalizing Columbia’s downtown in the 1980s and 1990s. Raleigh, N.C., named a portion of its downtown pedestrian mall Bagwell Plaza in his honor.
In 1995, Edward died of a heart attack at age 53. His estate funded a scholarship in honor of a favorite professor. Marianne established the endowed scholarship fund in 2009 and contributed the first $230,000. She created a trust in 2015 that named several individuals and organizations as beneficiaries, with Wofford receiving the bulk of her estate. She died Nov. 25, 2020.
“We are grateful for the generosity of Ed and Marianne Bagwell,” says De Freitas. “Because of their gift, generations of deserving students will have access to the Wofford experience.”
Wofford parents create memorial for Jeremiah Tate ’17
In the two years that Jeremiah Tate ’17 attended Wofford, he made an impression on the community.
Tate, an accounting major, was a member of the men’s basketball team. He also was a Bonner Scholar and Campus Union delegate.
While serving as a counselor at the YMCA’s Camp Thunderbird in Lake Wylie, S.C., Tate died tragically on June 22, 2015.
Margaret Green Young ’92, a Wofford trustee, and former Wofford men’s basketball coach Mike Young wanted to honor Tate by improving the walking and running track around Snyder Field and naming it after him. They issued a challenge to other Wofford parents, and Ellen and Philip Asherman, as well as other Wofford parents and alumni, answered the call.
The Jeremiah L. Tate ’17 Memorial Track opened in the fall.
“He was a Wofford man,” says Mike Young, now the men’s basketball coach at Virginia Tech. “He was kind, smart, never met a stranger and made our college community stronger by his presence. He was well liked by everyone at Wofford, his fellow students and faculty alike. I miss him dearly, his easy smile and infectious enthusiasm for life.”
Tate played basketball for three years at Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, S.C. He led the team to the Lower State Championship his sophomore and junior seasons and was named an Academic All-Star. In addition, he was a hurdler on the track and field team and was a member of the cross-country team. He earned All-Region and All-District honors in both sports. He also served as the student body president and was a member of the National Honor Society.
At Wofford, Tate appeared in 13 games across two seasons. He played a career-high nine minutes and scored his only collegiate basket during a 2014 game against Hiwassee College. Later that season, he played in the Terriers’ NCAA Tournament game against the University of Michigan.
Off the court, he was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Edward K. Hardin Pre-Law Society. He was nominated for the Allstate Good Works Team, which honors student-athletes who make a difference in their communities.
Thom Henson ’96, director of parent engagement and analyst on Wofford basketball broadcasts, says his son, Michael ’25, wants to be a basketball coach one day because of Tate’s influence.
“Jeremiah Tate was a true Terrier,” Henson says. “Although he was taken away from us far too soon, he made an impact on those who knew him. I was fortunate to be able to spend time with Jeremiah during basketball seasons, and I saw how my son gravitated toward him. This track benefits all of Wofford — students, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus — just like Jeremiah would want.”
Allen Mackenzie ’51 donates collection of insects to biology department
Wherever he goes, Dr. Allen Mackenzie ’51 is always on the lookout for insects. It’s been a passion since he was a boy playing along Lawson’s Fork Creek in Spartanburg, and his interest intensified as a student at Wofford.
“He credits a professor at Wofford who taught a summer biology entomology class for the start of his bug collection,” says Sarah Donnan, one of Mackenzie’s four children.
That bug collection was recently donated to Wofford’s biology department. It includes beetles, hornets, dragonflies and other insect specimens from around the globe. Mackenzie lives in Spartanburg County, and Donnan and her husband coordinated the donation.
Donnan contacted Dr. John Moeller, professor of biology and the department’s chair, before the COVID- 19 pandemic to gauge the college’s interest in accepting Mackenzie’s collection. The conversations and plans to visit Mackenzie’s home in Roebuck, S.C., stalled during the pandemic but resumed in the summer of 2022.
“I was blown away,” Moeller says. “They invited me into their home and showed me the collection and gave me a short history of Allen and his background and interests. I quickly started imagining ways to bring this into the classroom and research.”
Moeller was taken to Mackenzie’s basement, where five cabinets were filled with 60 trays of insects that Mackenzie collected over the years. There also were boxes of books and insects that hadn’t been mounted yet.
The collection was brought to a Wofford biology lab, where faculty and students quickly started exploring it. Moeller will go on sabbatical during the 2024-25 academic year, and he will use that time to catalog the collection.
“It’s a great collection to compare diversity of organisms,” says Moeller, who immediately noted Mackenzie’s horned beetles. “I talk about them in class quite a bit.”
Beetles are one of Mackenzie’s favorite insects to study, especially the “microscopic ones that eat tiny holes in cabbage,” Donnan says.
Catching, mounting and identifying insects is a meticulous process.
“First, you prepare the animals and condition them to last,” Moeller says. “You must prep the insects to survive over time, and you want to display them and have some understanding of how to minimize the needle going into the body. Lots of experience is needed, and then the time-consuming part is identifying which organism it is, down to the species level.”
Moeller says Mackenzie’s donation gives the department a second prized collection. The other is a collection of plants by Professor Emeritus Dr. Doug Rayner.
Mackenzie also donated books and made a financial donation to support the maintenance of the collection and how it will be displayed.
After Wofford, Mackenzie graduated in the top 10% of his Tulane University School of Medicine class. He served in the U.S. Navy for two years as a physician before practicing rheumatology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Collecting insects became his hobby while living in Ohio, and he naturally developed a fascination with the joints of insect legs.
“He never went anywhere without a collecting bottle in his pocket in case he saw a new bug for his collection,” Donnan says.
Mackenzie retired to Spartanburg in the early 1990s.
“Once he retired, he’d spend fall, winter and spring collecting insects, and in the heat of the summer, he’d be in the cool basement pinning them up.”
The collection includes insects that Mackenzie found while lecturing or vacationing in Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Japan, Western Europe and along the Amazon River. A 1993 Wofford alumni publication announced him being named “Distinguished Rheumatologist” by the American College of Rheumatology, and he listed his hobby as traveling to rainforests with his late wife, Clara, while adding to his insect collection.
“When he updated his will 20 years ago, he started talking about making sure Wofford got his collection,” Donnan says. “We are glad to make it happen for him.”