Most buildings and athletic facilities on the Presbyterian College campus are named for lead donors or in memory of donor family members. Laurens Hall and Clinton Hall were named for the towns that provided substantial support for their construction. Over the years Presbyterian College has assisted students, families, and trustees with the placement of outdoor memorials which enhance the beauty of our campus. We would like to share a few of these outdoor sites with a stroll around our verdant campus.
Upon leaving the James H. Thomason Library, we step onto a plaza dedicated in 2003 to the memory of G. Edward Campbell, not only a member of the PC class of 1950 but also a long-time administrator at the college. Ed served his alma mater with devotion and distinction for more than fifty years as Registrar, Admissions Officer, Business Manager & Treasurer, and Advancement Officer. This central area of campus was named in his memory by the Board of Trustees and was supported by gifts from the James H. Thomason family and Irwin Belk.
Adjacent to Campbell Plaza is a memorial to Dr. Eric Johnson, a Psychology professor who served PC from 1995 until his untimely death in 2003. He was the father of two young sons and a professor of both child and developmental psychology classes at PC. Because children and the study of childhood were so important to him, his students and colleagues erected a swing set in his memory adjacent to Springs Campus Center.
Moving toward the east end of campus we pass Greenville Dining Hall and find a memorial to Dr. Fred James, longtime biology professor. The initial Pulaski L. Bealy Smith Professor of Biology, Dr. James specialized in botany and marine biology and taught at PC from 1971 until his retirement in 2002. This memorial garden was envisioned by PC Biology Department faculty, students and alumni, and the garden landscape was planned and executed by Andrew Strickland shortly before his 2008 graduation. A scholarship was established in Dr. James’s memory at that time to assist students with tuition for Maymester study.
Down the sidewalk toward the PC Pond we find the lakeside Piephoff Outdoor Chapel. This chapel was completed in 2005 in memory of the Rev. Dr. Clarence Peiphoff, PC class of 1922 and recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from PC in 1955. After serving churches in Georgia and South Carolina, he was elected Moderator of the Synod of Georgia in 1954. Funding for this outdoor chapel was provided by Warren Barry, class of 1955, Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, and Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. PC Associate Professor of Art Ralph Paquin was commissioned to design and sculpt the beautiful Celtic Cross.
Adjacent to the Piephoff Outdoor Chapel is a memorial to Dr. Thomas Aurelius Stallworth, a PC class of 1955 alumnus. Known to many as “Mr. PC” Tom served Presbyterian College in just about every capacity possible between 1959 and 1995 — from professor, chaplain, and counselor, to coach, dean of students, and director of alumni affairs. As an avid PC sports fan, Tom served as the Faculty Athletic Representative for many years and was elected president of the Carolinas Conference in 1967.
On the west end of campus between the Harrington Peachtree building and Jacobs Hall is one of our best known memorials, the Armed Forces Memorial, which was completed in 2004. At this site the college pays tribute to 74 Presbyterian College graduates who have been killed in action in American wars from World War I to the present.
In addition, the accomplishments of two significant women are remembered at this site, Mrs. Lillian Gross Brown, author of the “Bee Mail Letters” written to PC servicemen during World War II, and Captain Kimberly Nicole Hampton, PC class of 1998, the first female combat pilot killed in action in any U.S. military action. The American flag pole was placed at the Presbyterian College Armed Forces Memorial in 2004 by Kim’s parents, Dale and Ann.
We’ll visit additional outdoor memorials on campus in future posts.