Dedication and Naming Ceremony for the Dr. Clemmie E. Webber Educational Resource Center

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium “The Stanback” on the campus of South Carolina State University “SC State” proudly announces that the SC State administration recently approved the naming and dedication of the Educational Resource Center in the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium as the Dr. Clemmie Embly Webber Educational Resource Center, in honor of Dr. Clemmie E. Webber.

Crediting Dr. Webber for her visionary leadership, SC State’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the Educational Resource Center in her honor.

The dedication and naming ceremony for the Dr. Clemmie Embly Webber Educational Resource Center will be held on Wednesday, August 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the I. P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium. The public is invited to attend.

Without the efforts of Dr. Webber, a former Professor of Science Education at what was then, South Carolina State College “State”, the University would not have a Planetarium. During her tenure, her vision for State included a planetarium. As plans were being made to construct a museum on States campus, she approached then President, Dr. M. Maceo D. Nance with a proposal for a planetarium.

In her own words:
A five minute appointment with the President was scheduled for the following day. In preparation for this visit, a two page summary of a ten year dream was made ready for review. Following our exchange of informal greetings, I presented my two page summary. Watching the President’s facial expressions and body movements was an experience of real joy. Even before he finished reading my second page, he hit the desk with his fist, uttered an expression I leave to your imagination, and asked why he had never seen what he was reading…. When I thanked him for his time and interest, he invited me to be seated, and for longer than an hour we were both among the stars.
…. The idea of combining the already approved museum with a planetarium quickly became a possibility to President Nance. ~
Dr. Clemmie E. Webber

The Educational Resource Center has been home to several classes including Museum Studies and workshops for framing of art. It temporarily houses the artifacts of the James Brown Estate, while The Stanback storage area is being renovated. In the future, the Educational Resource Center will also serve as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Regional Teacher Resource Center Network for South Carolina, creating a space-related educational hub with earth and space science workshops offered by Planetarium Manager, Dr. Elizabeth Mayo.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Webber is being honored for her contributions to education at SC State, especially the planetarium,” said Dr. Mayo. “It is appropriate that this important educational science center permanently remind everyone of her importance to SC State.”

The Stanback is of significant national importance as the only facility of its kind, an interdisciplinary Museum and Planetarium, on any Historically Black College and University campus in this country. The 1970’s concept of creating a museum with a planetarium on the campus of SC State was both brilliant and way ahead of its time. Today scholars are writing about the unity of creative disciplines and artists are taking inspiration from science. Through its integration of the arts, humanities and sciences, The Stanback stands in the forefront of modern thinking.

“The persistent dream for the Planetarium came from Clemmie Webber, now 96 years of age and still supporting The Stanback with her dreams, determination and ideas. We honor Dr. Webber, not only because of her dedication to the creation of the Planetarium, but for her commitment to students at SC State through the difficult years of segregation and struggle for civil rights. It is through her efforts that SC State has the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium,” said Ellen Zisholtz, Director.

For additional information, please contact the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at (803) 536-7174.