The College of Charleston has established the Bishop Robert Smith Society to recognize donors who have made lifetime philanthropic commitments of $1 million or greater to benefit the College.
The donor society is named after the Rev. Robert Smith, who was elected principal of the faculty – now known as president – in 1790. He served in this role until 1797 when he became the first Episcopal bishop of South Carolina. Smith helped build the College’s academic reputation, personally recruited students, and gave of his personal finances to ensure the College’s financial future.
As part of the inaugural Bishop Robert Smith Society event on Oct. 8, 2015, the College unveiled the Bishop Robert Smith Society donor walls in Alumni Memorial Hall. The two large, stone tablets feature images of the College and list the names of the exemplary donors who have generously invested in the College’s mission.
In his remarks to the audience of alumni, donors, faculty, staff and students, College of Charleston President Glenn F. McConnell ’69 spoke about the rich history of Alumni Memorial Hall and the importance of placing the tablets alongside other memorials that speak of those who gave their time, talents, and means to create pathways to opportunity and enlightenment through a liberal arts education.
“Tonight, these walls will silently speak the names of many more remarkable people who with great generosity have magnificently helped to elevate the College’s reputation and extend our reach,” he said. “The significance of your gifts that led to your names being etched in stone and history is not measured by the size of the two tablets that will shortly be unveiled, but by the hope and opportunity your gifts provide to the never ending stream of students who pass through Porters Lodge. In short, your generosity is a ripple in the sea of time that goes out and keeps on going. One act, though finite, having infinite effects.”