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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

  • 2020 McNair Scholars with McNair Foundation executive director


What began in 1969 with a small group of ambitious students has expanded, through generous donor support, into a robust, reliable program for Top Scholars at the university. So much of what we are able to achieve depends on your generosity, and for this our scholars are thankful!

Carolina Scholar Award Donors

Carolina Scholar Awards are made possible by the contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations. The University Development Office develops and maintains relationships with donors of Carolina Scholar Awards. Private support of this and other programs enables USC to attract academically talented students and deliver excellence in all academic programs.

Bank of America
Friends of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin*
Friends and Family of Solomon Blatt*
Michael Bond
William H.* and Ruth C.* Bond
J. Willis Cantey, Sr.*
Carolina Class of 1936
Carolina Class of 1937
Carolina Class of 1938
Carolina Class of 1939
Carolina Class of 1942
Carolina Class of 1953
Carolina Class of 1964
Carolina Class of 1965
Carolina Class of 1966
Carolina Class of 1967
Carolina Department of Athletics
Carolina Development Foundation
Carolina Educational Foundation
Carolina Interfraternity/Panhellenic Council
Carolina Student Government
Caroline McKissick Belser Dial*
A.T. Chalk*
William B. Douglas*
G. G. Dowling*
Duke (Progress) Energy
William B. Dukes and Blue Marlin
William H. Duncan
Frances King Fawcett
First Citizens Bank
Thomas and Patricia Fortson
Edward R. Ginn III
Jack S. Graybill*
William M. Gregg II and Family/S.C. Tees, Inc.
Caroline and Susan R. Guignard*
Martha M. and Hubbard H. Harris*
Carolyn Holderman*
James B. Holderman* and Family
Drs. Anita and Charles Hood
Bernice* and Mason* Hubbard
Kappy M. and William C. Hubbard
Randolph Johnson*
Mary Burnet M. Pearce Johnston
Olin D. Johnston*
The Knox Family/Terminix Service, Inc.
L. Joseph Land
John T. Langston III
Rion McKissick
Friends of Russ Meekins*
Grace King Merchant*
Thomas E. Moore
Charles Edwin Moore*
Eleanor V. and Nicholas K. Moore* M. D.
James A. Morris*
Mary Meech and Michael J. Mungo*
Ralph David Neuman*
Norma C.* and John M. Palms
James T. Pearce* Jr.
Kit and James T. Pearce*, Sr.
Margaret Ellis Pearce
Mr.* and Mrs. R. Roy Pearce*
Isabella Caldwell Penland
Robert E. Penland*
Pepsi Cola Soft Drink Company
Progress Energy
Anne J. Rascoe
Clyde C. Rice*
David W. Robinson*
South Carolina State Fair Association
The Spadoni Foundation
Penelope* W. and E. Roe Stamps IV
Dr.* and Mrs. Charles R. Standridge
Ada B. Thomas*
Calhoun Thomas, Sr.*
Connie and Bill Timmons Foundation
Louisa Ellerbe* and John L. M. Tobias*
Patrick L. Tomlin
University Associates
USC Alumni Association
Chris Vlahoplus and Friends
Mr. and Mrs. Julius H. Walker
Wells Fargo
Jennifer M. and Mack I. Whittle
Jeannette and Marshall Winn

* denotes deceased individuals


Carolina Scholars Alumni
Lori Clos Fisher
R. C. McEntire & Company, Inc.

Horseshoe and 1801 Scholar Award Donors

The 1801 Scholar Award for South Carolina residents and the Horseshoe Scholar Award for out-of-state students are entry-level scholarships within the Top Scholars Program. They are awarded through the competitive Top Scholar Weekends and funded through both previous university gifts and endowment.

McNair Scholar Award Donors

McNair Scholar Awards are made possible by the generosity of the late university alumnus Robert C. McNair and his wife Janice of Houston, Texas. The original gift of $20 million was made in 1998 to begin the program, and an additional $10 million was added 10 years later to ensure its longevity. The scholarship program exists to recruit the nation's best college freshmen to the university — those who exhibit outstanding scholarship and leadership. McNair was founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans.

Janice McNair and The Late Robert C. McNair 

Donors — McNair Scholarship, University of South Carolina

Robert C. McNair (1937–2018) was founder of Cogen Technologies, senior chairman of McNair Interests and owner of Palmetto Partners, Ltd. and RCM Financial Services, L.P. He also was founder, senior chairman and CEO of the NFL’s Houston Texans, bringing Super Bowl XXXVIII and LI to NRG Stadium. But above all, he had a passion for giving back and encouraging individuals to achieve their goals. 

Janice McNair is an alumna of Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina, and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the college in 2015. She serves as co-founder and senior chair of the Houston Texans and continues her husband’s passion for helping others. 

With entrepreneurship and medical research as the cornerstones of their giving, the McNairs have made significant contributions through The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and the Houston Texans Foundation in Houston and The Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation in Forest City, N.C. Together, they established McNair Scholars programs to recruit the best and brightest students and faculty to several institutions including the University of South Carolina and Baylor College of Medicine.

In recognition of their generosity, the McNairs were presented the Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy, UNICEF’s inaugural Margaret Alkek Williams Humanitarian Award and Houston Baptist University’s President’s Award and Founders Medal. Mrs. McNair now chairs the McNair Foundation, which was honored in 2019 with the Vale la Pena! Service Award from the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The McNairs have four children, sixteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. 

Stamps Scholar Award Donors

Stamps Scholar Awards are made possible through a partnership with the Stamps Scholar Program. In 2006, Penny and E. Roe Stamps IV of Miami, Florida created undergraduate merit scholarship programs at their alma maters, and have expanded the program to 40 foundation partners, including the University of South Carolina Stamps Scholars in 2013. Roe Stamps is a South Florida financier, venture capitalist and co-founder of Summit Partners in Boston.

Roe Stamps IV is a businessman, private investor and philanthropist who, with his late wife Penny, created the Stamps Scholars Program in 2006. Led by their mission of helping exceptional students become meaningful leaders throughout society, he now supports over 950 students attending 37 partner institutions nationwide and in the United Kingdom.

Roe, a former lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, earned two engineering degrees from Georgia Tech, an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a co-founder of the Boston-based private investment company Summit Partners. He is a trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation, a trustee at the University of Miami and a former trustee of the John S. And James L. Knight Foundation. In 2010, Roe was honored by the American Red Cross South Florida Region as the Humanitarian of the Year, and in 2012, he was honored by Harvard Business School, receiving its most prestigious award, the Alumni Achievement Award.

Roe and Penny devoted significant time and financial resources to many philanthropic causes over the years. Today, Roe offers special focus to supporting United States veterans suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, as well as supporting the remarkable students selected for the Stamps Scholars Program, which has grown into a network of nearly 2,900 Scholar and alumni. Though Penny passed away in 2018, her generosity, passion for education and dedication to bettering the lives of others lives on through these incredible students.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.