New 1890 Extension Center named for S.C. Senator John W. Matthews Jr.

Friday, November 03, 2006

ORANGEBURG –During its 2006 Homecoming Weekend, SC State will pause to dedicate and name one of its newest facilities for an alumnus and distinguished statesman.

A dedication and naming ceremony in honor of SC State alumnus and District 39 Senator John W. Matthews Jr. was held on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, at 2 p.m. at the new 1890 Extension office building on Goff Avenue, Orangeburg.

The Honorable John W. Matthews Jr. represents the citizens of the counties in S.C. District 39 – Bamberg, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton and Orangeburg – in the S.C. Senate.

A senate resolution was unanimously adopted in 2004 to authorize the commissioning of a portrait of Senator Matthews to be placed in the S.C. Senate Chamber to honor a distinguished statesman deserving of proper recognition by the State of South Carolina. A native of Bowman, S.C., and alumnus of SC State, Senator Matthews is proud of his service to the state, and rightfully so.

Before he served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1975 through 1984 and as a State Senator since 1985, Senator Matthews previously served as a teacher and administrator in the public school system and as a small business owner. This background would prepare him for his distinguished and dedicated public service, as he served on House and Senate committees to improve education and the economic development and job creation in the State of South Carolina, particularly in the counties of District 39. He serves on the Senate Education, Finance, Banking and Insurance, Rules, Ethics and Invitations Committees.

Senator Matthews has earned the respect of his colleagues, in both the House and Senate. He serves as Chairman of the Orangeburg County Legislative Delegation, a member of the Southern Regional Education Board, the Governor’s Middle Grades Task Force, and is a former Chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. In 2004, Orangeburg County Council designated the 500-plus acre site located at the South East Quadrant of U.S. 301-176 Highway in Orangeburg County as the John W. Matthews Industrial Park.

His service has garnered recognition and numerous awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award, SC State University; Orangeburg County Democrat of the Year; Minority Business Advocate of the Year, U.S. Small Business Administration; induction into the S.C. Black Hall of Fame; S.C. Primary Health Care Legislator of the Year; 2007 BellSouth S.C. African American History Calendar; an honorary doctorate from the College of Charleston; and an honorary doctorate from SC State.

He has served as a member of the S.C. Education Association, Orangeburg County Education Association, Clemson University Board of Visitors, Medical University of South Carolina Board of Visitors, Winthrop University Board of Visitors, Human Affairs Commission, Voorhees College Board of Trustees, SC State University Board of Trustees, Claflin University Capital Campaign Steering Committee and the S.C. Education Oversight Committee.

He is a member of Pineville United Methodist Church and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Senator Matthews received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from SC State. He is married to the former Geraldine Hillard of Santee, S.C., and they are the proud parents of five children – Cynthia, Michael, Stephanie, John III and Brian – and they have seven grandchildren.