"Now I know that there are so many foundations -- Ford
Foundation, General Motors Foundation and others -- and they have given
only money to the recipients. We have never wanted to do that. That
is very impersonal. We had hoped from the beginning, by restricting
the awards to orphans -- one or two parents deceased -- to try to take
the place, in some measure, anyway, of the deceased parent; to try
to give a young person the feeling that somebody cares for them; try
to give them freedom to appeal to us whenever we can help. Not solely
during those years in college but in all the years that follow, whenever
you think we can be of any service. And with all sincerity, I must
now say that it has been the most rewarding thing we have ever done
in life." James F. Byrnes
Established in 1948, the Foundation is financed from the proceeds
of Mr. Byrnes' books, Speaking Frankly and All In One
Lifetime, as well as contributions from friends and admirers of
Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes. Also, the Foundation completed a five-year Living
Memorial campaign in 1995 in which former scholarship recipients contributed
$250,000 for use towards scholarships.
Judge Donald S. Russell, a longtime friend and professional associate
of Mr. Byrnes, was named the first trustee of the Foundation. Miss
Cassie Connor, Mr. Byrnes' executive secretary for much of his
political career, succeeded Judge Russell.
The purpose of the Foundation is to assist students with the financing
of a college education. In order to qualify as a candidate for a Byrnes
Scholarship, however, the student must have lost either one or both
parents and be a resident of South Carolina.
The Foundation will be forever indebted to J. Richard Shafto and W.D
Workman, Jr. for the leadership they provided during the years of transition
after the death of Mr. Byrnes.
Activities of the Foundation today are under the direction of a Board of Directors comprised entirely of Byrnes Scholars
In 1964 a separate voluntary organization, The Byrnes Scholars, was
formed by recipients of Byrnes Foundation Scholarships and functions
as a supporting arm to the Foundation.
More than 1,000 James F. Byrnes Scholarships have been awarded since
1949 – young men and women who constitute a living memorial to "Mom" and "Pop" Byrnes.
The annual stipend now stands at $5,000.
While Governor and Mrs. Byrnes were living, they strove to provide
personal attention to every Byrnes Scholar; and in their absence, the
directors of the Foundation and the executive secretary attempt to
do the same. While they realize that no person or group of people can
take the place of a lost parent, alumni and scholars like to refer
to themselves as a family.
Any qualified high school student who is interested in
applying for a Byrnes Scholarship should see his guidance counselor. Application packets are available for downlad from this website from November through January, which covers the application cycle. For more information contact the Byrnes Foundation.
2024 Application Process Closed
The application process for 2024 is closed. Scholarship announcements will be posted to the website in early June. The application for 2025 will be available December 2024. Please check back then.
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.