After a storied career spanning 43 years, USC Salkehatchie’s Jane Brewer is retiring at the end of the year.
“I am both excited about this new chapter in my life and sad to leave Salkehatchie. I have worked here for 43 years so it has been a big part of my life. It will be strange not to be wrapped up in all things Salk! But after 43 years, it is time for Jane time,” Brewer said.
Brewer has held many positions at Salkehatchie. She started as a recruiter in 1978 in Allendale, the only campus at that time, and soon moved up to Director of Recruiting, and then Director of Admissions, Records, and Recruiting. When the campus expanded to a new location in Walterboro a few years later, she began working to bring students to both locations.
“I was the person who came one day a week to Walterboro to recruit students for the Walterboro classes before we even had a building. I was here through all the renovations of the old Walterboro High School and have really seen it blossom,” Brewer said.
Over her 43 years, Brewer has seen many changes at Salkehatchie, and she has helped both campuses grow and evolve. She has celebrated both Salkehatchie’s 25th anniversary in 1990 and its 50th anniversary in 2015.
“When I first came, no one had computers in any office. No email – intercampus memos. Things certainly have changed,” Brewer said. “I was here when Radio was filmed. I was on campus when both the science building and the library building were built on the Allendale campus and when the Conference Center was acquired from Allendale Academy. Most recently, it was exciting to see student housing for both campuses come to fruition.”
Eventually, Brewer served as both Associate Dean for Students Affairs and as Director of the Walterboro campus. As she became accustomed to wearing many hats, she was approached by the campus dean at the time, Dr. Ann Carmichael, about serving as Director of Athletics.
“I worked in student affairs - enrollment, advising, student life - most of my career. Then 13 years ago, Dr. Carmichael needed someone to be the Director of Athletics at Salk. She said, ‘Athletics is a student service, so it fits right into what you do. And athletes are students. So perfect match.’ Since I have always been a sports fan, I said yes – I knew it would be fun. And it has been. We have had fabulous coaches at Salkehatchie in all of our sports and I have loved working with all of them.”
Under her direction, Brewer has seen the athletics program grow, adding new sports and winning 2 regional championships for the first time in school history - one in softball and one in men’s basketball.
“USC Salk men’s basketball qualified for the National NJCAA Tournament twice during my time here – last year’s trip cancelled due to COVID. Softball won the first region championship ever for the campus while I was here and then men’s basketball won the region championship the next year. We have had many, many All-Region and All-American players,” Brewer said.
For many, Brewer has been the face of Salkehatchie - and with good reason. “She has dedicated her career to USC Salkehatchie. Whatever her title, she has always gone above and beyond to take on anything she could do to assist students and to help make our school successful,” Dr. Chris Nesmith, the current campus dean said. “We are so grateful for her hard work and dedication, and we will all miss working with her very much.”
As for the future, Brewer says she is looking forward to new experiences and time to pursue them.
“I can’t wait to travel once COVID is resolved and I have a piano coming to my house so I can pick it up again. I’m taking golf lessons through Salk and I love to read,” Brewer said. “I know I will miss Salk. It is such a fun and inspiring place to work. I will miss the people. But mostly, I will miss the students. Each year at commencement something always grabs at my heart and makes me tear up when the graduates’ names are called because at Salk, you know them. You know their successes and their difficulties. You know their families. That’s the best part of my job.”
Neither of the Salkehatchie campuses in Allendale or Walterboro will be the same without Brewer next year--but it is certain that the impact she made on students, on the institution, and the legacy she leaves behind will continue for many years to come.