Dr. William Gordon Neville, whose name graces PC’s signature building, was faced with quite a task during the first year of his presidency. With PC under full control of the Synod of South Carolina, several towns felt that their communities had more to offer to the college than Clinton could offer. Bennettsville, Chester, Sumter, and Yorkville submitted bids to relocate PC to their respective communities, making compelling cases and monetary offers to the college’s Board of Trustees in September of 1905. After reviewing each proposal, the Board voted that the college would remain in Clinton, which allowed President Neville to concentrate on fundraising for the college.
Also during Neville’s presidency, a new administration building was completed and, in 1944, was renamed Neville Hall in Neville’s honor. Recitation Hall was sold to Thornwell Orphanage, and all college activities took place on the 30-acre campus on the east side of Broad Street. The old bell from the Academy building was brought to the campus from Thornwell and served as a class bell until an electronic system was installed after World War II. Neville also made plans for a new dining hall and a dormitory.
Neville was taken ill during commencement on June 5, 1907, and died three days later at the age of 51. His widow, Virginia, remained in Clinton after his death to raise their children, who all received degrees from PC. Their noble service to church missions and to PC continued the Neville tradition and was passed to a third generation.
Source: Information provided by PC Archives