Barbara and Earl Lovelace’s story began as two spirited Gamecock students on campus in the mid-1960’s. Barbara Huitt was a nursing student and a cheerleader when she met Earl Lovelace, a basketball player, and history major. After more than 50 years of marriage, their love for each other and UofSC is still unwavering. Their love of UofSC is now a family tradition passed down. Their granddaughter is a student living in the women’s quad - the same dormitory area on campus that Barbara lived. The Lovelaces have returned to campus for sporting events, reunions, and more. “Each time we visit, the campus has new and positive changes. It’s been amazing to watch the different innovations and growth over the years,” says Earl.
In 2015, the Lovelaces decided to give back to their alma mater financially to assist students with their academic journey. They knew right away they wanted to give back to the College of Nursing. Barbara’s calling as a nurse led her to work as a school nurse for 17 years, and after retirement, she volunteered within their local hospital system. While the couple was passionate and well acquainted with nursing, the care the nurses provided for their aging parents sparked their desire to give back.
As both our parents began to age, we saw the dedication and comfort the nurses provided at the doctors’ offices and hospitals.” Barbara continued, “the work nurses do every day is imperative to their patients and their patients’ families.” Since 2015, the Earl and Barbara Huitt Lovelace Nursing Endowed Scholarship has supported over 14 students. When asked what they would say to all the students they have supported over the years, they replied, “I hope they know we are so glad to be able to help with their expenses so they can focus on their academics. We want them to enjoy and be excited about their career.”
The Lovelaces look forward to the kind letters they often receive from their scholarship recipients. The couple recently received three letters sharing their students’ appreciation and nursing aspirations. “One of the students told us she was going into rural health, and we were so happy to know a rural area will be getting the support it needs,” says Earl.