A Lasting Impression

A Lasting Impression

When Dr. Colleen Perry Keith, SMC’s seventh President, left the college in 2015 to accept a position as President of Pfeiffer University, Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher, current Board of Trustees member and Chair of the Board at the time, asked her what she would like as a gift to remind her of her six years of service to the college. “She said she wanted nothing for herself,” Dr. Fisher recalls. “She told me that if we wanted to do something for her, to do something that will benefit the students.”

Dr. Fisher and then-Board member Phyllis DeLapp put their heads together. “We thought about a garden but were concerned about the amount of upkeep it would require for the college. We wanted a gift that would respect Colleen’s wishes and not place a long-term financial burden on the school,” says DeLapp. “I loved Ellis Hall, which had been finished in 2011 while Colleen was in office, and I thought a fountain would be an attractive addition to the circle in front and would give students a gathering place.”

DeLapp contacted Charles Godfrey, a Spartanburg-based landscape architect and longtime family friend, and asked him to draw up designs for the fountain. “Charles is so talented, and I felt comfortable with his design because I knew it would be in good taste and represent the college and Colleen perfectly.” DeLapp says.

Dr. Fisher presented the designs to the Board, which unanimously approved them. “Every Board member pledged to help fund the fountain before leaving the meeting,” Fisher says. “And because Colleen was so involved with the larger community outside of the college and had done so much to raise awareness of SMC, we wanted to give those organizations a chance also to participate in the fountain project.”

Eric McDonald, Executive Vice President for Business Affairs and Interim President of the college, and Leah Pruitt ’96, Director of Alumni Relations, worked with DeLapp and Dr. Fisher to reach out to community organizations. The successful fundraising effort lasted ten months, and construction began on the fountain in February 2016. It was completed in May, just in time for graduating students to throw shiny new pennies into during the spring commencement exercises.

Former President Colleen Perry Keith tosses a penny into the fountain during the dedication ceremony.
Former President Colleen Perry Keith tosses a penny into the fountain during the dedication ceremony.

On October 19, the fountain was officially dedicated during a brief ceremony attended by Board members, faculty, staff, students and members of the community. Dr. Colleen Perry Keith and fountain architect Charles Godfrey were guests of honor.

“When I heard that a fountain was planned, I was beyond humbled. What an amazing gift to the SMC campus! The fact that water figures prominently is important. It symbolizes rebirth and salvation,” says Dr. Keith. “We turn to water as a calming and renewing force – we spend our vacations on the beach or at the lake. It’s my hope that students, faculty and staff at SMC will find peace and a sense of calm when they visit the fountain. I hope it becomes their fountain of life and renewal. I am forever grateful for my six years at SMC, for this fountain in my honor, and am excited for what lies ahead for the college.”

Thank You Fountain Contributors!

Ingo Angermeier
Arkwright Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Trey Arrington (Jennifer)
Mr. and Mrs. Pete Aylor (Jean)
Mr. W. D. Bain, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley W. Baker (Paula)
The Barnet Foundation Trust, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. William Barnet III (Valerie)
Mr. and Mrs. Harry G. Barnett (Doris)
Mason Moore Barrett
Mr. and Mrs. David M. Beacham (Cyndi)
Ella Mae Ackerman Bowers | 1972
The Reverend Michael Esley Bowers | 1974
Dr. Ann Bowles
Mellnee G. Buchheit
Mary Frances Lee Cantrell | 1958
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lee Crocker (Dianne)
Dr. Wayne A. Culp
Mary Washington Deku
Phyllis Buchheit DeLapp
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Dunn (Jenny)
Dr. Charlotte L. Ellis
Dr. Edgar Heberton Ellis, Jr. | 1956
*Dr. John S. Featherston

Nora Beth Featherston
Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher
Tony Fisher
Mr. A. Gordon Floyd
Dr. and Mrs. Mark Gibbs (Lisa)
Mr. and Mrs. John T. Gramling II (Ellen)
Mr. and Mrs. Roger A.F. Habisreutinger (Marianna)
The Honorable and Mrs. J. Mark Hammond (Virginia)
Dr. and Mrs. Wallace Harper (Polly)
Mr. and Mrs. Will Harper (Yvonne)
Mr. and Mrs. Chris Hawkins (Anje)
The Reverend and Mrs. Lawrence F. Hays, Jr. (Sally)
John Patrick Henry | 1964
Marvis Wiggins Henry | 1963
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Isenhower (Lisa)
RADM and Mrs. Stephen I. Johnson, USN (Ret.) (Melissa)
Dr. William Given Kee
Vicki Kennedy
John Michael Kohler, Jr.
Dr. Franklin Carver Lee
Doris B. Luther
* William H. Luther, Sr.
Julia D. Lyons
* Zerno Evin Martin, Jr.
Mary C. Mathes
Mr. and Mrs. Eric McDonald

(Melinda) Kathy C. McKinney
*Ronald McKinney
The Reverend Evelyn C. Middleton
The Reverend Gregory Scott Middleton | 1978
Mr. and Mrs. . Byrd Miller, III (Liza)
Karen Mitchell
Mr. and Mrs. John P. Moore (Lindsay)
Mr. Burness W. O’Cain, Jr. | 1980
Mary O’Leary
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald H. O’Neill (Katherine)
*Billy Logan Painter
Linda J. Painter
Mr. and Mrs. Dwight F. Patterson, Jr. (Liz)
Mr. and Mrs. Craig M. Phillips (Kay)
Mr. and Mrs. John S. Poole (Lynne)
Leah Longshore Pruitt | 1998
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Ramsey (Jane)
W. R. (Ray) Ridgeway | 1964
Mrs. William B. Royster (Betty) | 1945
Mr. and Mrs. John W. Simmons (Patsy)
The Reverend Candice Y. Sloan

Becky Snow
Mr. and Mrs. Larry Somerset (Cheryl)
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Mr. and Mrs. Guy Spriggs (Lisa)
Dr. and Mrs. John C. Stockwell (Diane)
Suitt Foundation
Donald E. Tate | 1966
Theresa Tate
George Teasley
The Reverend Mary V. Teasley
Mr. and Mrs. George H. Thomason (Katie)
Catherine Hawkins Thompson | 1956
Fletcher D. Thompson | 1941
Harold D. Thompson | 1959
Mr. and Mrs. James Fletcher Thompson (Mia)
James Fletcher Thompson, LLC
Ruth DeLoache Thompson | 1942
Mr. and Mrs. Claude Tidwell (Doris)
The Reverend Lillian H. Washington
Lindsay Lavine Webster
Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Wynn III (Carolyn)
Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Zimmerli (Nelly)