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04/03/2014

Winthrop Receives Largest Single Gift in its History: $2.2 Million

Quick Facts

 Designated to support theatre scholarships, the generous gift is from the estate of the late Dr. Ann Coleman Peyton, who worked in higher education.
 Peyton had family ties to the Carolinas: her mother, Mary Howey Kell Peyton Dekle, was from Lancaster, S.C., and she had a cousin, Emma Louise “Emmy Lou” Howey, who attended Winthrop and later died in a 1950 car accident.
 The first scholarships are expected to be awarded in 2015.

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Ann Coleman Peyton
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Dean David Wohl
ROCK HILL, S.C. – In remarks at her March 28 Investiture Ceremony, Winthrop University President Jamie Comstock announced that the university had recently received the largest single known gift in its 128-year history – a gift of more than $2.2 million.

Designated to support theatre scholarships, the generous gift is from the estate of the late Dr. Ann Coleman Peyton, who worked in higher education as an associate professor of English at Florida Atlantic University from 1967 until her 1997 retirement.

Peyton had family ties to the Carolinas: her mother, Mary Howey Kell Peyton Dekle, was from Lancaster, S.C., and she had a cousin, Emma Louise “Emmy Lou” Howey, who attended Winthrop and later died in a 1950 car accident.

“These scholarships will have a meaningful impact on our ability to recruit talented theatre majors, and they will make going to college and completing a degree a real possibility for deserving students,” said Comstock. She also noted that in the wake of this substantial gesture of support for access and attainment for theatre students at Winthrop, she was inspired to conceptualize the Dare to Rise fund as a special fundraising initiative supporting students in all majors and bolster the vision of Winthrop as uniquely positioned to offer quality and access in a singular institution.

David Wohl, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, was pleased to learn of the generous contribution that will benefit numerous theatre majors. “The gift that Dr. Comstock announced during her inaugural address will have a significant impact on the lives of literally dozens of theatre majors at Winthrop. The generosity of Dr. Peyton will reduce the economic barriers for our students and make it possible for them to achieve their educational goals – and because this is an endowed gift, it will create a lasting legacy that will touch the lives of our students for years to come.”

The first scholarships are expected to be awarded in 2015.

For more information, please contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or email longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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