Yancey Kemp Wise’s legacy of giving and caring about others inspired her son Tim to honor her with a donation to the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work, where she earned her master’s degree.
Throughout her life, Yancey Kemp Wise was always willing to help anyone in need. In her career as a social worker, the USC alumna (1964 B.A., 1981 master’s) specialized in addiction and family therapy.
“The donation is a reflection of my belief in the service of social workers, especially my mother. She just had an amazing heart for people, and hopefully it will help inspire the next Yancey Wise,” Tim Wise says.
The donation will be used for scholarships.
When you were growing up in Mount Pleasant, you noticed from a young age that your mother had a passion for helping others.
From my early childhood, I remember my mother would bring home disadvantaged children and youth to have meals at our house and help them out. One young lady ended up living with us for several months. As a young child, I remember thinking, ‘This is weird, but it’s also cool.’
In her counseling practice, she focused on family therapy.
Her practice was another way for her to help other people, whether it was with addiction, family therapy or mental illness. She also was very active in the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She suffered from bipolar affective disorder, which she spoke openly about, so that was a way for her to make a difference.
You have carried on your mother’s legacy also as a USC graduate.
I graduated in 1990 with a B.S. in business administration (finance) and completed my law degree in 1994. My grandmother is an alumna – one of the first female graduate – and both of my parents are alumni. I applied to a couple other schools, but in the end, it was the family connection along with friends, that made USC an easy choice.
Can you reflect on your education and experiences at USC?
After practicing law for a few years and transitioning to a business career, I was eventually in a position to start my own company, a technology consulting firm called Advocate. I grew that with a partner over 22 years, and we sold the business in June 2022 to Accenture, where I’m now a managing director. Having a business degree and a law degree have been an extremely helpful component in building and growing my business. In reflection – as I have kids finishing college and beginning their careers – I’d say the relationships you develop through college are my number one takeaway.
Your mother also made a donation to the College of Social Work.
She established Dorothea Crouch Kemp fellowship to honor her mother and to help students in the College of Social Work pursue their own passions. I’m obviously connected to the business school and the law school, but I felt like my donation could have a bigger impact for the College of Social Work. It is a way to offer my individual support in a way to honor my mother’s legacy and hope it inspires others. I also hope it sets an example and legacy of giving for my four children.