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The 1979 Byrnes Scholars Comment

Judy Edwards Bailey received a degree in biology from Baptist College and a degree in pharmacy from MUSC. She is a. She is married to William Ray Bailey. Speaking of her Byrnes Scholarship, Judy said: " It made me feel very special. Special in a good way. Before, I was special because people had sympathy for me because I had lost both of my parents. After becoming a Byrnes family member, I felt more of an 'honored' special that I had been chosen to be part of such a wonderful group of caring people. I was proud to be who I was."

Jeffery David Edwards graduated summa cum laude from USC with a degree in economics. He is president of a furniture company. He and his wife, Sherry, have two sons, Nathaniel and Wilson. Jeff writes: "My scholarship came after the Byrnes' death, but I helped with an open house at the Byrnes home in Columbia, and ended up giving tours that day. I got some sense of them from that, and the memories of earlier scholars and, of course, Willie Byrd. I wish I had been more involved with the Byrnes Foundation both while a Scholar and since. My work and family situations have not always allowed that, but I still regret it."

Kenneth W. Gillespie, Jr., graduated from Clemson University with a BA degree in English. He was a Byrnes Scholars director in 1986 -87.

Paul Gilliam earned his BA in international relations from USC and his MS in education from Converse College. He is a teacher in SC. He was named Teacher of the Year his junior high school 1994-95.

J. Charles Wall and wife Jane have three children, Andrew, Elizabeth, and Katherine. Charles graduated from Furman cum laude with a degree in physics and summa cum laude from Clemson with a degree in chemical engineering. Charles is vice-president and general manager at a steel company in SC. He served as student representative on the Byrnes Scholars' Board in 1982, was a director and vice-president in 1986-87, and was president of the Scholars in 1988-89. He has served as a director on the James F. Byrnes Foundation Board since 1990. He received the Jake Salley Award in 1994.

Johnna Hope Edmunds is a Clemson graduate with a degree in animal science. She is a service representative for an agricultural firm. She was a director of the Byrnes Scholars organization 1998-99.

Henrietta Duncan earned her BS in accounting and her master's in taxation from USC. She became a certified public accountant in 1995. She is working in the corporate tax department of an environmental engineering firm. Henri served as vice-president of the Byrnes Scholars in 1984-85 and president in 1986-87. She was awarded the Jake Salley award in 1989. Henri currently serves as chairman of the legacy giving portion of the new living memorial campaign. She says: "I had no idea what the JFB Foundation would add to my life when I applied for the scholarship. I look at the friends I have gained through the Foundation as family members."

Mildred Lee Dixon earned her BS in business administration from the College of Charleston. She is an internal auditor for a bank. She also serves as president of the North Carolina Internal Auditors Division of The Financial Managers Society.

Rebecca (Bootsie) Crider Smoak received her BS in business education from the University of South Carolina.

Mary (Patty) Connell Elam is a cum laude graduate of Furman University. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Married to Elliott F. Elam Jr., Patty now is Staff Counsel for the Administrative Law Judge Division of South Carolina.

Chester Caulder graduated cum laude from Francis Marion College with a degree in English. He also attended Wake Forest University. He served as vice-president of the Byrnes Scholars in 1994-95 and as president in 1996-97. In 1997, he received the Jake Salley Award. Chester says: "The Scholarship represents an opportunity to contribute to something greater than yourself, to extend a legacy of caring for and encouraging others started by the Byrnes. That ought to be what life is about, but seldom do we get a chance to exercise that most fulfilling activity. My fellow Scholars give me a place where I belong, that reenergizes me every time I'm down, that makes me feel good about life and living when things are bleak. No matter what, I always know there are others who care about me."

Carl Durant Carraway graduated from the Citadel with a BA in mathematics and computer science. He and wife Denise have a son, James Durant, two years old Carl is currently serving as a director of the Byrnes Scholars.

Jackie L. Brewton graduated from Furman with a degree in business administration. She is Human Resources Manager with a major corporation. She says: "The Byrnes Scholarship enabled me to get an excellent education which we would not have otherwise been able to afford. I believe that the scholarship was definitely a part of God's plan to make me the person I am today. God has truly blessed my life beyond measure. My biggest regret is that I wasn't more active when I was a student."

Briley Altman graduated from Francis Marion College with a degree in business administration. He served as a Byrnes Scholars director in 1985-86.

Marie Dixon Hein received her BS in special education from the College of Charleston and her MS in special education from the University of Tennessee. She is teacher of the hearing impaired. She and her husband, Charles, have a son, Mason.

Kirby C. Winstead and wife Sheila have four children, Sarah and Kirby Jr., and twins, Rachel and Rebecca. He received his BA in religion from Charleston Southern University, where he was president of the student body, and his Master of Divinity from Mid-American Baptist Seminary. He is pastor of a Baptist Church in SC. Kirby is a member of the Clemson Rotary Club, is chaplain of the Oconee Soil and Water Conservation District, and is on the Charleston Southern Ministers Advisory Board. He has fond memories of "Super Weekend at Garden City with Hal and the gang." He says: "The James F. Byrnes Foundation Scholarship enabled me to do something I could not have done without it -- attend college!"

Joy A. Simpson graduated cum laude from the College of Charleston.

Sue McKensie Harrison and husband Mike have two sons, Philip and Lucas. Sue graduated from Clemson University with a degree in financial management. She earned her teaching certificate in secondary math from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. She remembers particularly the weekend trips to the beach each spring and the fall dinners at the colleges.

Theadore (Butch) Mickell received his BS in accounting from the University of South Carolina. He is a pre-sales consultant for a major corporation.

Nancy Youmans Howard received her BS in computer science from the College of Charleston. She is Senior MIS Analyst for a SC firm. She and Daniel have two children, William and Danielle.

Terry McCraw earned her BS degree in civil engineering from Clemson University. She served as a Byrnes Scholars director in 1986-87, as vice-president in 1992-93, and as president in 1994-95.

Vicki Jinnette Ringer received her BA in journalism from the University of South Carolina, where she was voted Panhellenic Woman of the Year and Outstanding Senior. She is Public Affairs Director with the South Carolina Department of Revenue. She and her husband, Charlie, have a daughter, Sally. Vicki currently serves as deacon at her church, homeroom parent and PTA committee chair at her daughter’s chool, advisor to Delta Zeta Sorority at USC, and some times manages "to be a decent wife and mother!" She writes: " I will always be grateful to Governor Byrnes for his legacy to South Carolina education, and he did it without fanfare. Unless you've experienced the same, one cannot imagine the sorrow of losing a parent. Governor Byrnes knew and he reached out to us. Now I'm without both parents and my sorrow is doubled. But God is good, and I have been blessed. Whenever I count my blessings, I always count Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes."

Dee Sandifer Rushing graduated from Clemson with a degree in financial management. She and her husband have two children, Mary Beth and Ross. She in an accountant.

Robin Sowell graduated cum laude with a degree in nursing from the University of South Carolina. She is Manager for Utilization Review for a major health insurance carrier. She and Layne are parents of Will and Victoria.

Maryanne Grobusky Genus is Marketing Manager a major financial institution. She graduated from Winthrop with a BA and an MBA. She is married to John Genus. She writes: "I would have never been able to go to college if not for JFB. The friendships and sense of true family will always remain with me. There is no other organization like it. I just hope that today's recipients will carry on with JFB's legacy. Thank you for making an indelible impression on my life."

Cathy Jones Atkins received her BS from Mt. Olive College. She is a tax during tax season. She stays home with their three children, Mallory, Daniel, and Allison, the remainder of the year. She is married to Ed Atkins. Cathy is a volunteer for the American Heart Association, plays handbells at church, and is a PTA executive board member and volunteer at her child's school. She says of the Byrnes Foundation: "A truly unique organization that offers much more than just financial assistance. What an honor to be a member!"

Edie Gunter, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a BS degree in computer science. She received her MS from Columbia University.

Pat Sullivan and Dianne have four children, Erin, Ryan, Caleb, and Collin. He graduated from Clemson with a degree in animal industries. He is Program Director a regional agricultural association. His favorite memories are of the beach trips, particularly the one when he was "caught red-handed (with others) at 3 a.m. fishing the prizes out of cereal boxes."

Dawn Sudduth earned her BS degree in economics from Clemson and her ME degree in elementary education from Converse College. She is Project Director for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

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.

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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.

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The James F. Byrnes Foundation
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Tel.: (803) 254-9325