Murray White ’63 says the service and leadership opportunities available to PC students are the “heart and soul of PC.”
“You have plenty of opportunities to serve and lead at PC,” White said. “It’s one of the qualities that contribute to its uniqueness.”
This year, Murray and his wife, Joyce, are being inducted into the William Plumer Jacobs Society for helping make these opportunities possible for students. The Whites have been faithful donors to the PC Fund throughout the years.
Last fall, they established the Joyce and Murray White Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is for students who are in good academic and social standing who have demonstrated service to their community and have financial need.
“My hope is that the scholarship is the difference in a student being able to go to school and not go to school,” Murray said. “If we do that, we’ve done some good in this world.”
The willingness to serve and lead was instilled in Murray when he was a PC student. Murray was an associate editor of the PaC SaC during his senior year and was managing and business editor of the Blue Stocking during his junior and senior years.
Murray served as a fraternity officer of Alpha Sigma Phi during his sophomore through senior years. Plus, he lived the College motto, “While We Live, We Serve,” by helping others in fraternity service projects.
“PC encouraged you to do extra-curricular activities,” Murray said. “I think you help shape an individual that’s just a little bit unique compared to some other graduates from other schools and universities.”
While Joyce attended Winthrop, she spent many weekends and attended special events at PC. Throughout these years, she learned to appreciate the value of a PC education.
Murray continued to serve and lead after he earned a degree in social studies. He fulfilled his commitment to the Army and then returned to his hometown of Fort Mill, S.C. There, he enjoyed a career at the Springs- Close organization.
Murray served in the National Guard for 30 years. He served on the York County Council for 14 years and as the chairman for four of those years.
He also developed the first land trust in the Charlotte, N. C., region. The Nation Ford Land Trust has preserved and protected more than 12,000 acres in York County. The land trust is nearly 30 years old. Murray chaired it for the first 25 years.
In 2007, Murray was named the BMW Conservation Award recipient in recognition of his work with the Nation Ford Land Trust. According to the BMW website, the award is presented on an annual basis to individuals who have made lifetime contributions to protecting South Carolina’s natural, historic and cultural resources.
The Fort Mill Area Council and York County Regional Chamber recognized Murray’s efforts by establishing the Murray B. White Preservationist of the Year.
Murray and Joyce have been married for 55 years. They are active in the Unity Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill. Both have served as elders and in many other capacities.
Murray and Joyce’s philosophy on giving explains why they choose to support PC and give back to Fort Mill.
“If you take a living out of a community,” Murray said, “then you have a responsibility to put something back in that community.”
Murray ’63 and Joyce White are two of the newest inductees into the William Plumer Jacobs Society. To learn about the other inductees, please visit the WPJ Society page.