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In Memory Of
Mom And Pop Byrnes

The James F. Byrnes Foundation Scholarships are living memorials to James Francis Byrnes and his wife, Maude Busch Byrnes. Since 1949 the Byrnes Foundation has awarded 1,090 scholarships.

The Byrnes Scholars logo.

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The James F. Byrnes Foundation is participating with the AmazonSmile Foundation. When you shop at and select James F. Byrnes Foundation as your recipient, Amazon will make a donation to the Byrnes Foundation for 0.5% of your purchase price. Your shopping cart, wish list, and other account settings are the same. Purchases remain eligible for Amazon Prime. Your purchases are not tax deductible by you.

2017 Application Package Available

The 2017 application package for the James F. Byrnes Foundation Scholarship is now available as a PDF. Please complete your application responses using the free Adobe Reader application, filling in every blank. Print the completed application and sign by hand in the appropriate fields. Please note: the application PDF form may not work in a browser-based PDF reader.

Applications must be submitted and postmarked no earlier than January 2, 2017, and postmarked by February 1, 2017. Applications postmarked before or after the application period will not be accepted. Incomplete or electronic applications will not be considered.

Applications will be screened by the Board of Directors in February and March to select semifinalists. If selected as a semifinalist, applicants must be available to attend an interview scheduled for April 6 or 7, 2017. Scholarship recipients are selected after semifinalist interviews. If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $3,500 award, renewable for a total of four years. Awards are for undergraduate study only.

To be eligible for the James F. Byrnes Foundation Scholarship, a student must meet the following qualifications:

  • have one or both parents deceased
  • be a United States citizen and a South Carolina resident
  • have need of financial assistance to attend college
  • be a current senior in high school
  • have a satisfactory academic record
  • plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year college or university

Recipients have the following obligations to the James F. Byrnes Foundation.

  • They must maintain a 2.0 GPA and send semester grades to the Foundation office after each semester is complete.
  • Each year, recipients must participate in the following activities:
    • Byrnes Scholars’ Luncheon in Columbia on the second Saturday in June
    • Super Weekend in Garden City Beach, SC, the third weekend of March
    • Fall Dinner in his/her area held in October – dates to be determined

Share Your Byrnes Story

The James F. Byrnes Scholars and Margaret “Mom” Courtney, retired James F. Byrnes Foundation Executive Secretary, are compliling information about the Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes. The project will cover the story of Mr. Byrnes’ life, the story of the formation of the Foundation and lots of other material.

Mom Courtney says, “A large part of the project will hopefully be stories from many Scholars. Write about getting the scholarship (why, when, etc.), your experience as a Scholar, friendships, what the scholarship means to you. We have about 20 stories and each is fascinating. Let’s aim for at least 100.”

Following is a sample story from 1985 Scholar Wendy Adams:

"I am a 1985 scholar from Whitmire, SC. My father died when I was 14 years old and this Daddy’s girl was totally devastated.

"My parents never asked us if we were going to college, but rather where were we going to college. My Mom did not change that question after my father passed, but I knew I needed to do my part in making that dream a reality. My senior year of high school, I asked my guidance counselor to help me find some scholarships to apply for, to relieve some of the financial burden of my Mom.

"He later came to me and asked, “You are an orphan right?” I looked at him like “NO”; then he rephrased the question, “Your father is deceased, so you are a semi-orphan right”. My answer was yes and he gave me an application for the James F. Byrnes Scholarship. I completed the application and was called in for an interview with the Board of Directors. I remember the day of my interview, being greeted by Mom Courtney and the interview with the board; however, I was very shy and reserved, so the only other thing I remember is being extremely nervous.

"When I received the letter that I had been selected to receive the scholarship, I was overjoyed. But then came the part about attending the luncheon; I remember dreading attending because of that shy, reserved side of me. One of my older sisters came with me, and again, I don’t remember much about that day either, except my sister talked more than I did. However, it forever changed my life.

"My first day on campus, Lynette Brisbon (1983 Scholar), was getting off the elevator as I was getting on, and though I did not remember her, she remembered me and became my “big sister” on campus. Lynette and Matt Lockhart (1985 Scholar) stand out the most in my memory of my days at USC because they had the total opposite personality from me. Even if I did not see them, they made sure to make their presence known to me, no matter the location or how big the crowd! It truly meant a great deal to me to have such special friends/family on campus with me.

"I loved the local gatherings but when my first Super weekend rolled around, that shy, reserved girl again went into dread mode. I knew all the Columbia area students and Board members, so I knew I would be okay. It truly was the most unforgettable experience. I loved all the games we played and the overall childhood fun of the entire weekend. I could not believe that all the fun and food was free for all of us scholars and that someone cared about each of us so much as to make a scholarship that was not just about helping us pay for our education but also made sure we connected as a family and learned to be there for one another and conquer our grief together. I was amazed and so thankful.

"I remember going down to the beach and some of the scholars were flying kites. I mentioned that I had never flown a kite. The next day a couple of the guys came back with a kite just for me (Too SWEET). It was just one of the many memories I will forever treasure. I met scholars from various campuses and special friendships were formed that I know will last a lifetime, even though life seems to pull us all in separate directions and we drift apart. My college years were well before the invent of Facebook, but I know if Facebook was around back then, I would have more connections than I currently have. I still search for familiar names.

"What did the Byrnes Scholarship mean to me? When I first received it, I thought it was the answer to a prayer for financial assistance to get a college degree, but the more I was around the group I learned that it was so much more. It was GOD opening a window in my life after a big door was closed. It was more parent figures than I could have ever found on my own. It was more brothers and sisters and love overflowing. It was meeting scholar Henri Duncan (1979 Scholar) as a college kid and later reconnecting with her in a federal building in Columbia, and still to this day we text each other at basketball games at Carolina. It was meeting your son’s speech therapist at his elementary school and realizing she is the wife of a scholar (Jay Hayes, 1982 Scholar). It was realizing that your neighbor, who was dealing with a child dying from cancer, is the niece of scholar Roxann Wrightson (1980 Scholar). This made her more than a neighbor I was there for but family to me also. It is the connections I have on Facebook with scholars such as Natalie Owens (1986 Scholar), Sara Hollingsworth (1961 Scholar, who presented my scholarship to me), and Mom Courtney, who encourages and supports me sight unseen.

"The scholarship was about financial assistance but it built a foundation in each of our lives based on a common connection, friendship, support, and love for one another. It is time for me to reconnect!!!"

Contact the Foundation with your story and we will forward it to Mom Courtney. Include bio info: year of scholarship, degree(s), college(s), vocation history, awards, spouse, names of children, number of grandchildren, and any other pertinent information. If you have photographs or other digital files to include, mention that in your submission and we will contact you privately with an e-mail address to send the file(s).

WE NEED YOUR HELP - pass this on to your Byrnes buddies, please.

The Byrnes Scholars Site

The information concerning Byrnes Scholarships and The Byrnes Foundation is taken from materials developed by The Byrnes Foundation, especially the 1988 index to The James F. Byrnes Foundation.

The historical information on Mr. Byrnes was developed by The Byrnes Scholars under the editorial guidance of Neil Johnson and Matt Lockhart. The editors wish to thank David Damon, Rachel C. Drake, Johnna Ferguson, Dr. Sara Hollingsworth, Cal Johnson, Brad Jordan, Elaine Russell Matlock, Pam Galloway McElveen, Barbara Tartaglia, Margaret B. Walden and Charles Wall.

The Byrnes Scholars information is taken from various sources, including the organization's bylaws and various materials developed by The Byrnes Foundation.

Donate To The Foundation

In return for their generosity and support, Mom and Pop Byrnes asked only two things from us: become the very best people we could become in life, and make sure their legacy of family continues for those who come after us.

Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the James F. Byrnes Foundation to secure its ability to invite more deserving young women and men to join the Byrnes family, both now and in the future. The Donate button will take you to the Paypal site where you can use your credit card or Paypal account to make a secure, one-time donation or set up a monthly recurring donation.

Join the Maude's Angels Network

Maude’s Angels is family helping family. It is a network of former Scholars who assist a current Scholar or Alumnus with a need for an item or service.

Mail List

The Byrnes Scholars now have an email list to keep Scholars and Friends of The James F. Byrnes Foundation informed of pertinent information as it occurs. [more]

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© 1998-2017 Byrnes Scholars. All Rights Reserved.
The James F. Byrnes Foundation
Post Office Box 6781
Columbia, SC 29260-6781
Tel.: (803) 254-9325