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Giving at South Carolina

Giving Societies

Special recognition and membership for donors of all levels of giving

To honor and acknowledge the generosity and support of our donors' gifts, the university provides special recognition through a variety of cumulative, annual and gift-planning societies. Donors with gifts qualifying them for inclusion in these societies are notified via mail and also receive a car decal as a token of gratitude.

The heart and soul of the University of South Carolina, the Horseshoe marks the original site of the university, chartered in 1801 as South Carolina College. The Horseshoe, recognized as one of the most beautiful original campuses in the country, is a treasured spot for students, faculty and hundreds of visitors to appreciate and enjoy.

The Horseshoe Society honors donors who have made cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more. Initially, 249 charter members were inducted into the Horseshoe Society in 1998, including 19 who had made gifts of $1 million or more. Today, there are more than 1,718 individual members, with an additional 40 family foundations. Of these, more than 100 have made gifts of $1 million or more, with 16 having made gifts of $5 million or more. The Horseshoe Society provides for several levels of giving, with levels named for four buildings constructed on the original campus and the Maxcy Monument.

  • Maxcy -- $5,000,000 and above: The Maxcy Monument, located in the heart of the Horseshoe, was named for Reverend Jonathan Maxcy (1768-1820), first president of South Carolina College, the university’s precursor.
  • Rutledge -- $1,000,000 to $4,999,999: Originally called South Building, Rutledge was named for John Rutledge, statesman and early advocate of higher education, and his brother, Edward, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
  • DeSaussure -- $500,000 to $999,999: First called North Building, this later became Old North Building, and finally was named for Henry William DeSaussure, a South Carolina son. DeSaussure was director of the U.S. Mint, a Revolutionary War veteran and chancellor of South Carolina.
  • Pinckney -- $250,000 to $499,999: This building was named for a prominent South Carolina family, including Charles Pinckney, author of the “Pinckney Draft” of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Lieber -- $100,000 to $249,999: This was named for South Carolina College’s most distinguished scholar, Francis Lieber, founder of the Encyclopedia Americana and internationally recognized expert in history and political economy.

President’s Society members commit to giving $1,801or more annually, benefiting scholarships, academic programs, faculty recruitment and classroom enhancements. Faculty and staff who give $1,000+ annually are also included in the President’s Society.

Alumni and friends who have made an annual gift to USC for two or more consecutive years are given exclusive membership to Carolina Circle. These generous donors are among our most loyal constituents and help ensure students past, present and future are given every opportunity to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

To qualify for membership in the Carolina Guardian Society, donors must make a commitment, confirmed in writing and subject to certain restrictions, that includes one of the following:

  • A bequest in a will or revocable trust
  • A life income gift that names the University of South Carolina or one of its affiliated foundations as a remainder beneficiary, such as a charitable remainder trust or a charitable gift annuity
  • A charitable lead trust that provides income to the University of South Carolina or one of its affiliated foundations for your lifetime or a term of years
  • A gift or assignment of qualified retirement plan assets, such as an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b)
  • Other options that allow donors to plan their gifts while meeting their personal goals

To join the Carolina Guardian Society, please complete our member form.