S.C. political veteran turned entertainment executive, Marva Smalls, is the University of South Carolina's winter commencement speaker.
Smalls, a Florence native who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration from USC, worked for a decade as chief of staff for then-U.S. Rep. Robin Tallon, a Florence Democrat.
She is now executive vice president of public affairs and chief of staff at Nickelodeon Networks Group where she helped launch Let’s Just Play, a campaign to get children more physically active, and the Big Help to get children involved in community service.
Smalls, who splits time between New York and Florence, donated $1 million in September to USC’s McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. Her contributions will go to scholarships for minority students from her native Pee Dee.
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Smalls will receive the honorary degree of doctorate of humane letters at the ceremony.
Commencement for about 2,500 students from across USC's eight campuses will be held 3:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Colonial Life Arena.