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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 system.

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.

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