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Pearce Family Endows Professorship with $1 Million Gift to HRSM

Posted on: 2/25/2015; Updated on: 2/25/2015
By Jeff Stensland

Greenville businessman and University of South Carolina alum James T. Pearce has donated $1 million to the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) at the school to honor his late son, William McFall “Mac” Pearce. Mac Pearce was a 1972 HRSM graduate, and the gift will be used to create an endowed professorship in his name at the college.

“The University of South Carolina has meant a lot to my family through the years,” James Pearce said. “Mac was a proud Gamecock, as I am, and I know he greatly valued his connection with his alma mater. This donation honors him by ensuring a world-class education to future generations of students. I hope its impact is as positive and lasting to them as Mac’s memory is to those of us who knew him.”

James Pearce is a 1942 graduate of USC Columbia and a former leading wholesale food and beverage distributor. He also is a longtime supporter of USC scholarship programs, making his first donation more than 50 years ago.  Last year, his donation of $1 million helped establish a new scholarship fund designed to attract top students to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.

HRSM Dean Brian Mihalik, says the latest gift will allow the school to draw a world-class researcher to the college.

"Today’s college bound students base their selection of a school in large part upon the professors who will not only educate them, but also connect them to the careers they pursue,” Mihalik said. “The William McFall Pearce Professorship will allow the College to recruit or retain a prominent scholar in the fields associated with USC School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, one of the largest programs in the United States. As Dean, I am most grateful for the Pearce family’s continued commitment to USC and the School of HRTM.”