College Notes: Palms donates $1 million to USC for religion chair, gardens

November 25, 2012 

Palms donates $1 million to USC for religion chair, gardens

Former USC President John Palms and his wife, Norma, pledged a $1 million gift to the University of South Carolina, with more than half going to the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Chair in Ethical, Moral and Religious Studies for the Department of Religious Studies to hire an expert in Catholicism.

The donation also will help refurbish the gardens adjoining the president’s house on the Horseshoe.

Palms, who served as USC’s president from 1991-2002, announced the donation during a ceremony renaming the Graduate Research Science Center in his honor.

He said Bernardin played an important role in his personal and spiritual life. Palms first met Bernardin while he was a student at The Citadel and Bernardin was with the Diocese of Charleston. The two stayed in touch and Bernardin later counseled Palms before his marriage, baptized one of his children and even consulted with Palms, a nuclear physicist, on the issue of nuclear deterrence.

Bernardin was born in Columbia and attended USC before eventually becoming Archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until his death in 1996.

Raber named Presbyterian’s provost

Donald Raber II was named Presbyterian College’s provost.

He starts in January. Raber is dean of academic programs and chaired the political science department.

Raber joined the Presbyterian College faculty in 2002, specializing in American politics, public administration, Congress and political parties. He earned a political science bachelor’s degree from Furman University and a master’s degree and doctorate in political science from Harvard University.

USC receives diversity award

The University of South Carolina has been named one of the nation’s top universities for diversity and inclusivity by Insight Into Diversity magazine.

USC was one of 47 colleges – and the only one in South Carolina – to earn the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from the magazine, which is considered the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

USC and the other award honorees will be featured in the magazine’s December issue.

Bordia to head Clemson department

Clemson University’s college of engineering and science has named Rajendra “Raj” Bordia chairman of the materials science and engineering department. Bordia worked at the University of Washington since 1991 and was chairman of metallurgy and ceramics from 1998 to 2005.

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