Presbyterian College recently received documents and materials dating to the tenure of its former President Emeritus Dr. Kenneth B. Orr. The gift comes from Orr’s surviving wife Dr. Ruth Douglas Currie.
“These materials will be helpful in writing the next chapters of the College’s history,” said Alex Scull, director of annual giving. “The official history of the college, ‘The Spirit of PC,’ by Ben Hay Hammet, ends in 1982, near the beginning of Dr. Orr’s presidency.”
Included in the gift was an author-signed copy of “To Jerusalem and ‘The Regions Beyond,’” by William Plumer Jacobs, the College’s founder. In addition, the gift included reams of presidential correspondence, as well as documents such as many sermons and speeches from Orr’s tenure as president. Also included was a framed copy of Orr’s Distinguished Dissertation Award from the University of Michigan, a copy of the dissertation, three bound volumes of tribute letters from Orr’s retirement, and multiple plaques and awards from Orr’s time as president.
“Gifts to the College archives help build our history and the history of the nation,” Scull added. “This gift helps to remind us that there are many ways to support the College, and they do not always have to be financial.”
Following Orr’s passing in 2016, Currie provided the initial gift for the President Emeritus Dr. Kenneth B. Orr Memorial Endowment: Faculty Research Fellowship. The endowment is designed to honor Orr’s 18 years as president by providing a faculty award to support a summer faculty research fellowship at the College he served.
“Dr. Orr served PC at an important time in our history,” said Bob Staton, president of Presbyterian College. “This gift will allow future generations to gain a deeper perspective on his years leading PC.”
Orr made a significant, positive impact on the growth of the College. When he came to PC in 1979, the college was in the final stages of a centennial campaign with a goal of raising $10 million and was $3.5 million shy of reaching that goal. The deadline for the campaign was 18 months away—at the conclusion, $11.5 million had been raised. Over the course of Orr’s tenure, the PC endowment grew from $7 million to $52 million.
“My husband shared with me many memories of his years as president of Presbyterian College,” Currie said. “He loved the College and was proud of its achievements in academic excellence, spirit of community service, and beauty of the campus. I am confident that he would want his vast collection of presidential papers to be housed in the PC archives.”
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.