James F. Byrnes Building
acquired 1980; Byrnes International Center, Administratives Offices
This 100,000 square-foot structure, formerly the Federal Building, was
declared surplus by the General Services Administration and deeded to the
University when federal offices moved to new quarters. It was renovated at a
cost of $1.8 million to bring it up to state and city standards to provide
a central location for USC's many international programs. The Byrnes Center
has as its key concept a working relationship between natural and physical
sciences and policy-relevant social science researchers in the nine-campus
James F. Byrnes (1879-1972) is considered the greatest South Carolina
statesman of the twentieth century. A public servant for 45 years, he served
as congressman, U.S. senator, justice of the U.S. Court, U.S. secretary of
state, representative to the United Nations, and governor of South Carolina.
During World War II he headed the Office of War Mobilization, a position
of such power that Byrnes was known as the "assistant president." Byrnes was
popular among both Democrats and Republicans because of his ability to
reconcile opposing views.
Byrnes had to quit school at the age of 14 to help his widowed mother, and
this experience led him to establish the James F. Byrnes Foundation which
has helped hundreds of orphaned students pursue an education.
Byrnes was the author of Speaking Frankly and All in One
Lifetime, accounts of his political and diplomatic careers.