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Greenville Business Magazine

Honoring Black Students Who Registered

Sep 12, 2023 05:24PM ● By Lori Coon

USC Observes 60th Anniversary of Desegregation

(Henrie Monteith Treadwell, left, one of the three students who integrated the university in 1963, and James Solomon, another student, right, attend the commemoration for the 60th anniversary of desegregation.


With them is Cindy Baumgarden, second cousin to Robert Anderson, the third student who died several years ago. Standing with Solomon are his sons, Carl Solomon and Ben Solomon. Photo from USC.) 


The University of South Carolina commemorated the 60th anniversary of desegregation with an observance at the site where a monument will be placed in early 2024 to honor the three Black students who enrolled six decades ago.


Henrie Monteith Treadwell, one of the Black students who registered at USC on Sept. 11, 1963, and the families of the other students – Robert G. Anderson and James L. Solomon Jr. – joined President Michael Amiridis, Board of Trustees Chair Thad Westbrook and university and civic leaders in a ceremonial ground turning at 9 a.m. Sept. 11, 2023.


 A sign where the monument will stand was unveiled at the prominent site near university’s Welcome Center in McKissick Museum and steps away from the Osborne Administration Building where the trio took their first steps as students.


“People must understand that my walking across that threshold was not the end of the story. My walking across that threshold was the beginning of a story,” said Treadwell. “For me, the entire effort centers around the role that a woman, a female, can play in advocating for social change and educational opportunity.”


Following the ground turning, a plaque honoring Solomon was unveiled at LeConte College where the university’s math department is located. When Solomon entered USC, he enrolled in the graduate program in mathematics, becoming the department’s first African American student since Reconstruction.


The university’s Board of Trustees voted in 2022 to erect a monument to celebrate the historic walk of Anderson, Solomon and Treadwell from the Osborne Administration building to the Naval Armory, now Hamilton College, where they first registered for classes at USC.


The monument’s 12-foot bronze statue, created by internationally acclaimed sculptor Basil Watson, was inspired by a now-iconic photograph of the three students coming down the steps at Osborne on that historic day. Its installation will be near the spot where the photograph was taken when they became the first Black university students since the Reconstruction era.


The monument complements a desegregation garden on campus, adjacent to the administration building. Anderson died in 2009, but Treadwell and Solomon attended the garden dedication in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their enrollment.


The enrollment of Anderson, Treadwell and Solomon came nine years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling and followed violent unrest at other Southern campuses that had already desegrated.


University officials said installation of the monument will stand as an inspiration to others as it honors the courage of Anderson, Treadwell and Solomon and their pivotal roles in the desegregation of higher education in the state.


Because of the three students’ heroic steps 60 years ago, the university now boasts a diverse campus with students from all nationalities, races and ethnicities, the officials said.


“We observe this anniversary not only to remember, but to look forward,” Amiridis said. “Sixty years later, the momentous events of September 11, 1963, still inspire our USC community to uphold our commitment to higher education access and opportunity for all.” 

Phase Two of Riverbanks Zoo Expansion to Bolster Economy

Phase Two of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s Bridge to the Wild expansion will bring 500 additional jobs to the community and increase Riverbanks’ economic impact to over $175 million annually in the Midlands, Zoo officials say.


The officials say Riverbanks is moving forward with a request for a 20-year general obligation bond to be issued by the Richland-Lexington Riverbanks Park District and spread across the two counties based on assessed property value — resulting in an approximate $44.8 million investment by Richland County and $35.2 million by Lexington County. 


The adjustment wouldn’t impact property owners until 2025, and the estimated maximum cost of $7.20 per $100,000 of assessed property value would occur in 2026, Zoo officials say.


The impact will then decrease each year until the bond expires.


Official requests for consideration of the bond by both counties have been delivered, and each county will now determine the timeline for next steps, according to Zoo officials. 


Beginning in 2019, Phase One of Bridge to the Wild brought white rhinos back to Riverbanks after 30 years along with infrastructure improvements and the new Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Aquarium & Reptile Conservation Center.


Two additional projects in this phase are underway: an all-new Komodo dragon breeding facility and a state-of-the-art, riverside education facility that will elevate the learning experience for thousands of children.


Phase One is fully funded and made possible through Riverbanks’ earned revenue, The Boyd Foundation, Riverbanks Society, the State of South Carolina and private donors and partners. 

SCDNR Extends Application Deadline for Lower Savannah-Salkehatchie River Basin Council

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (SCDNR) has extended the deadline for submitting Lower Savannah-Salkehatchie River Basin Council membership applications to Sept. 22.


The South Carolina State Water Planning Framework, published in 2019, describes the process for developing water management plans, or River Basin Plans, for the eight planning basins in the state.


A key feature of the process is the formation of a River Basin Council (RBC) in each basin. The RBC is a stakeholder-led team responsible for developing a River Basin Plan in their respective basin.


SCDNR also said it is still looking to fill some key slots on the Lower Savannah-Salkehatchie RBC.


An RBC is made up of representatives from eight different interest categories which include: water and sewer utilities; electric power utilities and reservoir operators; environmental interests and conservation groups; agriculture, forestry and irrigation interests; local governments; at-large water-based interests (public); water-based recreational interests; and industrial and economic development interests.


Two public meetings were held in August to introduce the planning process to Lower Savannah-Salkehatchie basin stakeholders and to solicit RBC membership applications.


Anyone with experience or interests in the above categories are encouraged to apply. Applications, as well as public meeting presentations and recordings, can be found on the SCDNR Hydrology website at Submission instructions are included in the application.


According to SCDNR Hydrology Section Chief Scott Harder, the planning framework is being applied in the Broad, Edisto, Pee Dee, Upper Savannah, and Saluda planning basins, and RBC planning activities in the Lower Savannah-Salkehatchie basin are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2023.


River Basin Plans developed by each council will evaluate existing water supplies and future demand, and address whether a basin’s water supply can meet the projected future demand.


Council members also will be responsible for developing management strategies to ensure future water demands can be met while balancing long-term social, economic, and environmental needs.

Utility Dealer Expands Across the Southeast United States

The former Utility Trailer Sales Company of Georgia announced its rebrand as Southeast Utility Trailer following an acquisition that sees the dealer expand its footprint into three new states.


Based in Stockbridge, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, the former Utility Trailer Sales Company originally operated additional locations in Gainesville, Georgia, and Knoxville, Tennessee. Southeast Utility Trailer is now able to serve Georgia, Eastern Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.


The purchase of former C.R.T.S., Inc. added locations in Garner, NC, Statesville, NC, Lexington, SC, Ashland, VA, and Cloverdale, VA, into the Southeast Utility Trailer family.


Mark Beecher is president and Tammy Crowder will continue her role as vice president of Human Resources.


Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, LLC is America’s oldest privately owned, family-operated trailer manufacturer.


Founded in 1914, Utility Trailer’s has become the largest producer of refrigerated trailers and one of the largest dry-van, reefer, and flatbed manufacturers in the United States.


With six manufacturing facilities and a network of more than 100 dealers across North and South America, the company produces more than 50,000 trailers per year and owns more than 50 percent market share among refrigerated trailer units.