ROCK HILL, S.C. - Former U.S. Congressman John M. Spratt will join Winthrop University this fall as “Visiting Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Leadership” with the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, university officials announced today.
Spratt, a lawyer from York, S.C., served in the U.S. House of Representatives as South Carolina’s Fifth District Congressman from 1983 through 2010. In that role, he became chairman of the House Budget Committee as well as the second ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. He will draw on those experiences to develop lectures for Winthrop students, initially in political science. Faculty in related disciplines also will have opportunities to schedule guest lectures from Spratt, and he will help the West Forum arrange South Carolina college students’ access to national-caliber speakers at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in 2012. He will be provided an office at Winthrop, but will serve without compensation.
Named for former S.C. Governor John West, the West Forum annually brings a variety of bi-partisan local, state and federal officeholders and candidates for office to the Winthrop campus to discuss all aspects of politics and public policy. During spring semester, speakers included U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded Spratt following the election of 2010, and U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., now assistant minority leader in the House.
“Some of my favorite times over the years have been visiting with Winthrop students and talking about their work and mine,” Spratt said. “This new role will allow those conversations to go a little deeper, focusing on specific issues where I have experience. I want to use this opportunity to support the work of an excellent university.”
The new lecturer said he will begin his work team-teaching a political science course on “National Security Policy” in late August.
“John Spratt exemplifies Governor West’s dedication to public service and dedication to recruiting a new generation of informed, energetic and talented civic leaders for South Carolina’s future,” said Karen Kedrowski, director of the West Forum. “We are fortunate that Mr. Spratt is willing to devote his time and expertise to enhancing the educational experiences of our students. We look forward to his becoming a part of the campus community, where our students will be able to learn from him and debate many issues of the day.”
Spratt earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College, a master’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University and a law degree from Yale Law School. He became a captain in the U.S. Army, serving at the Pentagon, then returned to York in 1971 to practice law at the firm of Spratt, McKeown, and Spratt. He also has served as county attorney, school board attorney and president of the Bank of Fort Mill.
Winthrop’s fall semester will open Aug. 22.