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College of Information and Communications

  • Claflin signing

    CIC Dean Tom Reichert (left) and Claflin Dean Isaiah McGee at the 4+1 pathway partnership signing in 2020.

$100,000 fellowship endowment named in honor of distinguished alumnus

Lee Bussell
Lee Bussell

The University of South Carolina College of Information and Communications announced a $100,000 donation to create the Bussell Fellowship. The fellowship is named after CIC alumnus and former Chairman and CEO of Chernoff Newman, Lee Bussell Sr., and will contribute to the already established 4+1 pathway partnership between USC and Claflin University.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have Chernoff Newman name this fellowship after myself,” said Lee Bussell Sr.  “The agency has had a long-standing belief in diversity and inclusion. Providing a window of opportunity for young students, who like me, worked hard to earn their degree is a great way to ensure that everyone has a role to play in communication firms.”

The 4+1 pathway partnership between the college and Claflin University was launched in 2020 and provides an opportunity for students to earn their undergraduate degree from Claflin and master’s degree from the CIC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications or School of Information Science in five years. The Bussell Fellowship will help the CIC contribute to the industry’s needs for well-trained integrated information and communications professionals.

“We very much appreciate Chernoff Newman’s generosity to establish this fellowship in Lee Bussell’s honor. The fellowship is important because it provides essential support for students to earn an advanced degree who wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise,” said CIC Dean Tom Reichert. “To have it named after one of our most supportive and successful alumni, is especially meaningful.”

The donation was made possible by advertising, marketing and public relations agency Chernoff Newman. Founded in 2002, Chernoff Newman is a fully integrated marketing communications firm, specializing in food and beverage, health care, energy, financial services, insurance, real estate, education, public infrastructure, and workforce development. The agency provides advertising, marketing, public relations and crisis management strategies and services across multiple platforms. Offices are in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, Orlando, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

“Over a long and distinguished career, Lee championed the idea of doing work that matters, a commitment that lives on today for our agency” said Chernoff Newman’s Chief Executive Officer, Carrie McCament. "This endowment honors him by underscoring our passion for empowering aspiring communication professionals from all backgrounds."

Currently serving as Special Counsel for Chernoff Newman, Bussell continues to extend his expertise across various topics and clients. Throughout Bussell's career, he has been honored with prestigious awards, including the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award from USC for Life Long Service, the Public Relations Practitioner of the Year for South Carolina, Business Leader of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Information and Communications.

“Lee Bussell has always been a champion and advocate of the University of South Carolina and has supported the university with resources, internship programs, and advice,” said Chernoff Newman COO and Vice-Chairman David Campbell. “As our long serving Chairman, it was only fitting that we endow these fellowships with his name.”

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