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08/19/2014

Alumna, Geology Professor Establishes Endowment to Fund Student Research

Quick Facts

 The Charles A. Boland ’08 and Irene Brunson Boland ’63 Student Research Assistantship Endowment supports students who commit to summer research in chemistry, physics and geology.
 Boland, a native of Rock Hill, discovered her passion for historical geology at Winthrop.

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Irene Boland

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA Professor of Geology Irene Brunson Boland ’63, ’69 knew two things: She loved her profession, and she wanted to advance student summer research in the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Geology. A newly established $200,000 endowment will allow Boland the opportunity to accomplish both goals and leave a lasting legacy at her alma mater.

Boland established the Charles A. Boland ’08 and Irene Brunson Boland ’63 Student Research Assistantship Endowment to assist geology and physics faculty members in attracting and retaining high-caliber students interested in conducting summer research projects. The endowment, which bears the name of her late husband, alumnus Charles Boland, will support students who commit to summer research in chemistry, physics and geology. First preference will be given to geology and physics minors of at least sophomore standing who are full-time students.

The Rock Hill native, who discovered her passion for historical geology at Winthrop, explained that the endowment provides an opportunity to support the university she loves.

“I have made this gift in support of our students; my department faculty members; the College of Arts and Sciences; Winthrop University; and [Acting President] Debra Boyd,” said Boland. Room 209 of Sims Science Building – where Boland has taught historical geology every fall semester for the last 20 years – will be named in her honor during a small ceremony TBD.

Indeed, Winthrop has been a part of Boland’s life as long as she can remember. She attended kindergarten-third grade at Winthrop Training School and earned her B.A. in chemistry and biology (minor in secondary education) and her M.A.T. at then-Winthrop College. Later, when she returned to Winthrop to teach, Boland became interested in historical geology and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geology at the University of South Carolina. She also encouraged her husband, a 1960 graduate of The Citadel (B.S. in chemistry), to pursue a B.S. in environmental sciences and minor in geology at Winthrop, which he earned in 2008.

The profound effect Winthrop has had on her life, Boland explained, made the decision to support the university an easy one.

“Winthrop has shaped me; Winthrop has made me what I am,” said Boland, recipient of the 2012 Kinard Award for teaching. “I’m giving back to Winthrop a little bit of what the university has given to me.”

For more information, contact Meredith Carter, campus relations coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or email her at carterm@winthrop.edu.


About the endowment
The Charles A. Boland ’08 and Irene Brunson Boland ’63 Student Research Assistantship Endowment illustrates key tenets of the Winthrop Stands initiative: the notion that Winthrop University stands, first and foremost, for providing access, quality and an exemplary education to its students. Gifts of all sizes and types have a place in Winthrop Stands, which allows the university to complete the Distinction capital campaign. For more information, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150 or giving@winthrop.edu, or make an online gift.


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