Dr. Harris Pastides – retiring soon as the University of South Carolina’s 28th president – told Capital Rotary on June 12 that he has enjoyed “a career well-lived” in higher education. Dr. Pastides (at left in photo with Rotarian Tommy Phelps) reviewed USC’s record of high achievement and unprecedented growth including (1) its Honor College ranked No. 1 among similar institutions in the nation; (2) continual top national academic rankings for 56 current programs in undergraduate and graduate international business, public health, engineering, nursing and others; (3) record levels of research funding; and (4) surpassing a $1 billion capital campaign goal. Dr. Pastides noted his signing of 117,662 USC diplomas over the past 10 years and forming personal relationships with so many students – “just by being yourself” – are among his most satisfying accomplishments. His retirement goals include travel, more time for friends and family, continued community service and engaging with young people to encourage them to vote. A native of Astoria, NY, Dr. Pastides has led USC’s flagship system of eight institutions in 20 geographic locations since 2008 and served on numerous committees for academic and nonprofit organizations.
Scholarship recipients Reagan Smith (left in photo) and Kate Chalfant (right) are welcomed to Capital Rotary’s June 12 meeting by Darren Foy, chair of the club’s scholarship committee. Smith, a recent Dreher High graduate, is bound for The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City to major in chemical engineering. Chalfant is a rising junior at the University of South Carolina, majoring in public relations with a minor in theatre. Capital Rotary has been supporting the educational aspirations of local high school graduates for more than 20 years. Its $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year, renewable for four years) are based on a combination of academic performance, extracurricular activity and economic need.
Capital Rotarians have given a helping hand to a local family and to a local charity as part of the club’s commitment to community service, according to president Philip Flynn. The family assistance helped Tameika and Jerome Smith and their six children relocate after being displaced from Allen Benedict Court in January due to dangerous gas leaks. The Smiths had to leave their possessions behind and were in temporary housing until moving into a new apartment in May. Club members donated time, money and household items – including furniture, kitchenware, bedding and clothing – so the Smiths could get back on their feet and set up house again. Flynn said Mrs. Smith (at new home’s door in photo) wanted to convey how much the family appreciates Capital Rotary’s support and contributions. He told the club that Mrs. Smith said: “Everything you did is a blessing!” Help for the local charity came as a result of the club’s touring Columbia’s Ronald McDonald House on May 29. The facility needs new signage to better mark its location. Capital Rotarians have raised over $1,000 toward a goal of $1,200 for this purchase. Flynn said he’s confident the goal will be met. “We know the Ronald McDonald House provides a tremendous resource for families needing lodging, food and fellowship while their children receive the healthcare they need,” Flynn added.
University of South Carolina professor Dr. David Shields brought a tasty message as Capital Rotary’s June 5 guest speaker. Shields (flanked in photo by Rotarians Chris Myers at left and Ann Elliott) tries to revive the best-tasting produce and grains from Southern history and bring them back to the dinner table. He said these essential ingredients of delicious and distinctive foods have become nearly extinct, giving way to crops that are more economical to grow, ship and prepare but not as mouth-watering. A revival of Lowcountry farming and interest from chefs has created a demand for heirloom grains and vegetables. Shields has published more than 80 articles and a dozen books based on research into the antebellum South’s crops, meals and the cooks who prepared them. He also chairs the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation board and the Slow Food: Ark of Taste for the South project, called “a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction.” A native of Maryland, Dr. Shields received his undergraduate degree from William and Mary and his PhD from the University of Chicago. He was appointed a Carolina Distinguished Professor in 2014.
Capital Rotary president Philip Flynn (center in photo) congratulates Jimmy Gibbs (left) and Bud Foy for earning Paul Harris Fellow Plus-Four honors recognizing their continued contributions to The Rotary Foundation, the international service club’s charitable arm that supports programs for world understanding and peace. Gibbs and Foy have each made an initial $1,000 donation to the fund, followed by four additional gifts of $1,000 each. Gibbs, an insurance broker, is a past president and past assistant district governor who joined Capital Rotary in September 1995. Foy, a retired dentist, joined the club in March 2015 and was a member of the Rotary Club of Monterey, CA for 24 years before relocating to South Carolina.
More than 300 Special Olympic athletes from across Horry County competed in the 2019 spring games, and the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach was there to lend a helping hand. “We’re proud to be part of such an outstanding event,” said President, Mark Ousley. “During the year in which our Rotary theme is Be the Inspiration, there’s no finer example than these young athletes.” The Special Olympics have been held in Horry County for more than 25 years with the support of the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach.
Don Hovis of HTC will serve as President of the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach in 2019-2020. During this same year, Donald C. Hovis Jr. of MyrtleBeach.com will serve as President-Elect of the Chicora Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach. In the history of District 7770, Don and Donald are the first father/son duo to be President and President-Elect of their prospective Rotary Clubs during the same Rotary year.
Capital Rotarians toured Columbia’s Ronald McDonald House on May 29, getting a firsthand look at how it provides a comforting atmosphere for families and children in times of medical crisis. The 16-bedroom facility on Colonial Drive has all the comforts of “a home away from home” including a well-stocked food pantry and toy room, a kitchen and dining room, relaxed living areas and washer/dryer units. The staff and volunteers work to ease emotional and financial stress caused by health issues, thus allowing families to focus on supporting their child when it matters most. The Ronald McDonald House serves families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, with an 87% average occupancy rate. The May 29 tour was hosted by operations director Liz Atkinson, executive director Beth Lowrie and marketing/development manager Meghan McMenamy. As part of its Fifth Wednesday program, Capital Rotary occasionally substitutes field trips to local sites in place of a regular club meeting.
Installation and Celebration Meal for District Governor Johnny Moore.
Fish, Chicken or Vegetarian options. Cash Bar. $50 per person. Business Dress.
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2019
Time: 6:00 PM Reception, 7:00 PM Dinner
Place: Country Club of Lexington
1066 Barr Road, Lexington, SC 29072
Register on line at : https://www.dacdb.com/index.cfm?EventID=77434257
Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn of Lexington SC at 601 Columbia Ave., Lexington, SC 29072 Phone 803-356-8300
Make Checks Payable to Rotary District 7770
Mail to: Ed Tassin
408 Milner Ct. Charleston SC 29492