Monday, September 27, 2010
It was the 1950’s when Katherine and Huey Pasley were students at South Carolina State University. It is hard for us to imagine those revered days when the campus was much smaller, when curfews were enacted, when dresses were a mandate for women, and when financial aid was non-existent, but the Pasleys can easily recall the nostalgia of their college days at SC State, especially during Homecoming.
“My fondest memory of Homecoming was attending the parade and getting a chance to watch the football game, listening to the band, and all of the other festivities,” stated Huey. And it’s always good to see old faces, according to Katherine, as she belts out the names of those acquaintances that she still meets at Homecoming to this very day.
The Pasley’s love for SC State University is one reason why they have been selected as the Marshals for the 2010 Homecoming Parade. However, this admiration for the institution started well before their attendance. “I was in the 4H Club, and during the summer we would have 4H State Week,” exclaimed Huey. “That’s how I absolutely fell in love with South Carolina State. Then after I visited State, I didn’t want to go anywhere else.” Katherine shares that sentiment as she recalls her relatives who also attended the University, including a sister and a nephew who was a recent member of the Marching 101.
SC State, a staple in the community and throughout S.C., also proved to be the foundation for the Pasley’s tremendous success in life. Prior to graduating from SC State, Huey finished his last semester as principal at Cedar Swamp Elementary School in Williamsburg County. After receiving a degree in agriculture in May, 1952, Huey was drafted by the U.S. Army and served three years at Fort Jackson. Following his tenure in the military, Huey returned to his hometown of Hemingway and opened Pasley Brothers Service, a convenience store that was a joint partnership between him and his brother.
In 1963, Huey says that he “decided to get a real job.” In March of that year, he began work with the extension service in Cherokee County. Serving as a county agent, he was responsible for upholding the mission of the organization, including providing learning to communities through education in agriculture and the environment. A career that was synonymous with the education he acquired at SC State, Huey received many accolades and retired notably as a county agent emeritus, returning to Orangeburg in 1989.
Katherine’s accomplishments may also be deemed influential. While Huey was making a difference in the lives of citizens within the community, Katherine would do the same for youngsters. “My sister attended SC State and graduated a year before I did,” recalls Katherine. “She traveled to Chesterfield to work for a Mr. Hixon. He then needed an English teacher and my sister told him I was an English major, so I had a job after the first semester of my second year.” Katherine taught at Chesterfield High School for five years, making her mark at the school when she started the first library there.
Katherine’s career spanned for another three decades as she taught at Lancaster High School for 18 years, matriculated to Gaffney High School as an English teacher and taught at Barr Street High School in Lancaster, S.C. During that time, Katherine also managed to obtain her master’s degree in library science at North Carolina Central University.
The Pasleys met at the height of their careers and married in December, 1977, and their love and commitment to each other, their community and to SC State is still unwavering. It’s evident in the many plaques that cover the walls in their home. Too numerous to mention all, some include the 4H Distinguished Service Award, Epsilon Sigma Phi National Honorary Extension Fraternity, Brother of the Year, Woman of the Year, United Methodist Women for Trinity United Methodist Church, SC State President’s Circle, All United Methodist and S.T.A.T.E Club. Huey is also a volunteer at Trinity United Methodist Church and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Katherine, a Camden, S.C. native, is a member of United Methodist Women and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Both are NAACP life members and SC State University Alumni Association members.
After receiving numerous honors and remaining active, it’s ironic that the Pasleys both expressed shock at the announcement that they would be marshals at this year’s parade. “We were surprised,” stated Huey. “We had seen the other marshals, but we never thought that we would serve as marshals,” says Katherine. The two are proud of their latest accomplishment and plan on continuing to support their Alma Mater. “This institution has helped us on the path to gaining the things that we have,” noted Huey. “It’s our obligation to continue to give our support.”