The Dr. Edgar H. Ellis, Jr. Hall, situated on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College, was “the right place” to be at 11 am on Friday, April 10th. In fact, it was at that exact time Ellis Hall was the site of the formal dedication and official ribbon cutting for The Write Place, the college’s newly renamed writing center.
Dr. Katherine Cann, Professor of History and Chairperson of the Social Sciences Division, and her husband, Dr. Marvin Cann, who has taught at SMC as an adjunct faculty member, were the benefactors of The Write Place, which is established in memory of their parents, Harold and Mary Davis, and Roy and Catherine Cann. (The Canns pictured with SMC’s Director of Development Don Tate).
The Write Place is a living memorial to the passion, sacrifices and enthusiasm their parents held for the education of the Canns. Over the years, that same appreciation and awakening to the power of education has been shared in Canns’ classrooms, and now their commitment to education has the opportunity to be experienced by future generations of SMC students.
Nearly 18 years ago, SMC officially opened a writing center on the third floor of the Frank Walker Building. Since the fall of 1997, the center has always been staffed by full-time faculty of the English Division who give two hours per week to assist students from all academic divisions (computer science, health, natural sciences statistics, criminal justice, psychology, history, literature, and of course, English composition) with their class writing assignments, but also with scholarship and university application writing needs. Over 200 students visit the writing center each semester.
Professor Jane Brackett, Director of The Write Place, stated “on behalf of the college, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the Canns’ gift. This new academic resources is comfortable and inviting and will enable us to continue to help students for years to come.”
During the ceremony, Colleen Perry Keith, Ph.D., President of SMC, read several quotes from the book Give to Live: How Giving Can Change Your Life by Douglas M. Lawson. In particular, Keith shared Lawson’s words “Change and growth can occur only when each of us accepts the truth that we must all give of ourselves so that we all may live….We cannot heal all of the problems of the earth by ourselves, but we have to believe that if enough of us commit ourselves and turn loose our energies and resources, collectively we can create wholeness…Once you decide you are ready to go the extra mile, you will need to reallocate your time, energy, and talents…Progress and change live only in the mind and the hearts of committed, compassionate citizens.”
Keith concluded with Lawson’s quote “Once you accept the reality that a better world begins with you, relax in the knowledge that you will be the beneficiary of wonderfully rich, life-sustaining experiences. Your journey will not lead you down a road of sacrifice and drudgery. With grace and perseverance, you’ll get much more than you give.” Harold and Mary Davis and Roy and Catherine Cann would be proud of the SMC legacy they set in motion and the tribute that will forever bear their names, The Write Place, truly is at the right place.