SC State receives $30,000 Christmas gift from alum

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thurman ShulerORANGEBURG, SC – He doesn’t drive in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer, but SC State alum Thurman D. Shuler, ’57, ’65, has given his Alma Mater a pretty nice Christmas present – $30,000.

“I really wanted to express my deep appreciation for that which an education from South Carolina State has enabled me to accomplish in life,” said Shuler.

Shuler taught on the secondary school level for 31 years in Calhoun, Orangeburg, Williamsburg and York counties, twice served as president of the Calhoun County Education Association and was selected as the Calhoun County High School Teacher of the Year for the 1987-88 school year.

“My devout belief is all about caring and sharing,” added Shuler. “Whenever possible, I believe that it’s important to give back to the community and institutions that are agents for social and educational change.”

Shuler has been making individual contributions to SC State since he received his bachelor’s degree, and contributing to the Class of 1957 since 1982. Shuler’s $30,000 gift is the largest amount given by an individual alumnus from the Class of 1957. This year, the Class of 1957 will be celebrating its “Golden Anniversary” during May Week-End 2007.

“I really wanted to express my deep appreciation for that which an education from South Carolina State has enabled me to accomplish in life,” said Shuler.

In 2005, SC State’s 26,000 alumni worldwide contributed more than $1.2 million to the institution – the largest amount contributed by alumni in a single year. More than 18,000 SC State alumni live within the State of South Carolina, earning an estimated $207 million in collective, additional income because of their degrees.

“Alumni giving has increased tremendously over the last two years primarily because of major gifts from individual donors like Mr. Shuler,” said Lillian Adderson, assistant vice president for Alumni Relations. “We are proud of Mr. Shuler and all of our alumni and are very excited about the direction that we are moving and the strides our alumni are making to support our alma mater.”

While matriculating through SC State for a bachelor’s degree in English, Shuler was an active member of the campus community, serving as a member of the marching, concert and ROTC bands and serving as an organist for ROTC programs in White Hall. He also served as a contributing writer to SC State’s ROTC publication, Scabbard & Blade; a contributing poet to SC State’s student newspaper, The Collegian; and as a member of the Countee Cullen Literary Society.

“Had it not been for Dean [of Agriculture] Marcellus Staley and his interest in helping young men to attend college, I probably would not have been able to attend SC State,” said Shuler. “Dean Staley made it possible for young men in Orangeburg and surrounding towns to board a bus and travel to Windsor, Conn., each summer to work [to finance our educations].”

“We are quite grateful to faithful alumni like Mr. Shuler,” said SC State President Andrew Hugine. “Their continued contributions enable SC State to recruit ‘world class’ students and faculty, build new academic buildings and residence halls and develop programs that have positively impact the financial and intellectual economy of the state.”

“We are thankful for Mr. Shuler’s contribution and hope that it will spur alumni contributions to another record year,” Hugine added.

Shuler earned a bachelor’s degree in English and received a military commission as a Second Lieutenant from SC State in 1957, and received a master’s degree in education in 1965.

A musician for most of his life, Shuler served as minister of music for Mount Calvary Baptist Church for 47 years. He has volunteered as a musician for the Orangeburg County Council on Aging since 1992, and has volunteered as a musician for Andrew Chapel Christian Academy for the past eight years.