Historic auditorium to be renovated

Allen University's Chappelle Auditorium - which hosted the initial meetings that led to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision - will be renovated with $1 million in federal stimulus money.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Columbia Democrat who is majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives, pushed for Allen to get the renovation money.

"Historic preservation is one of my passions, and Chappelle Auditorium has such a rich history," Clyburn said. "It was the gathering place for the black community in Columbia when other public auditoriums didn't allow African-Americans access."

The 700-seat Chappelle Auditorium also has been the site of performances by Leontyne Price, Brooks Benton and Langston Hughes. Other notables to make appearances at Chappelle include Mary McCloud Bethune, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali.

Chappelle is one of several buildings in the Allen University Historic District. It was designed by John Anderson Langford, known as the "dean of black architects."

The auditorium, named in honor of Bishop William D. Chappelle, an Allen president, is one of 20 historically black college structures marked for preservation by the Interior Department.

Scholarship to honor Furman president

Furman University donors Frank and Susan Shaw have given the university $100,000 to establish a football scholarship in honor of retiring president David Shi and his wife, Susan Shi.

"Susan and I are especially honored that Frank and Susan have created such a scholarship in our honor," said David Shi, Furman's president for 16 years.

Shi was an all-conference defensive end before graduating from Furman in 1973.

He said he would not have been able to attend Furman if he had not received a football scholarship.

"Everyone who plays a sport in college would agree that the experiences not only are fulfilling in an athletic sense, but they also help the student-athlete develop lifetime skills as well as lifelong friendships," Shi said.

Researcher finds evidence of historic site

CONWAY - A Coastal Carolina University researcher has found evidence of a Revolutionary War homestead where Francis Marion, Peter Horry and other notable figures met.

The northern Horry County homestead is thought to be that of Gilbert Johnstone, who in a 1790 letter described a meeting at his home attended by Marion, known as the "Swamp Fox," and Horry, later namesake of the county.

"If the statement in Johnstone's letter is valid, then the plantation where this meeting took place has major historical significance," said Deryl Young, a Coastal Carolina researcher.

Young found Johnstone purchased his first tract of land in 1772 in what is today Horry County. It is located on the north side of Lake Swamp on the waters of the Little Pee Dee River.

- Wayne Washington