ROCK HILL, S.C. - Five representatives have been selected to begin service this summer as members of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees.Frances Cunningham Davenport of Clinton, S.C., and Jane Lawton LaRoche of Camden, S.C., will represent the Winthrop Alumni Association. Current board members Glenda Pittman Owens of Charleston, S.C., and Kathy Bigham of Rock Hill were elected April 5 by the S.C. General Assembly to represent their Congressional districts for six-year terms. Freshman Dustin Evatt of Easley, S.C., won election March 27 to chair the Council of Student Leaders and to serve for a year as a non-voting Board of Trustees member representing students.
This spring, members of Winthrop’s Alumni Association mailed in paper ballots or voted online for the association representatives. Davenport and LaRoche will take the place of Mary Jean Martin and Polly Ford, who will be rotating off the board in June. Davenport will serve a six-year term, while LaRoche will be on the board for a four-year term.
Owens recently won re-election to her seat representing the Charleston area. Bigham has now moved from serving as the governor’s appointee to the Rock Hill area seat replacing Harold "Skip" Tuttle, who has completed his second and final six-year term on the board.
The five new representatives will join current members Karl Folkens, Donna Tinsley, Leland Cox, Janet Smalley, Sue Smith-Rex, Larry Durham, Sanita Savage and faculty representative Tim Daugherty. Here is some biographical information about each board member:
Davenport earned a bachelor’s degree in religious education in 1959. Currently the chair of the Annual Fund Loyalty Council, she is a member of the Winthrop University Foundation Board of Directors. Retired from teaching, she serves as a board member for the United Way of Laurens County and volunteers as a mentor in local schools and as a juvenile arbitrator for the judicial circuit.
LaRoche earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 1969, followed by a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1970 from Winthrop and a medical degree in 1974 from the Medical University of South Carolina. A member of the Kershaw County alumni club, LaRoche is a member of the Annual Fund Loyalty Council and was recognized in 2005 as one of the “Distinguished Alumni in Physical Education.” LaRoche is an emergency room physician at the Barnwell County hospital. A member and fellow in several medical societies, she also has been active in Camden in the arts and with historical and library associations.
Owens graduated from Winthrop in 1959 with a degree in library science. After a brief career as a teacher and librarian, she became a full-time mother to raise her three children. Active with the medical auxiliary and many community and state associations, Owens has served as president of the university’s Alumni Association. Following a term on the Foundation Board, Owens was elected by the S.C. General Assembly in 2000 to a position on Winthrop’s Board of Trustees. She has been selected as board secretary and chair of the University Relations Committee for the past three years. The new academic classroom Owens Hall now under construction will be named for her and her husband, Jerry.
Bigham, who is president of Thursdays Too restaurant in Rock Hill, is a 1973 graduate of Winthrop. Gov. Mark Sanford appointed her as his designee in 2003. A member of the Clinton Junior College Advisory Board, she has served on the Winthrop Eagle Club’s Board of Directors, the Wachovia Bank Advisory Board and Rock Hill Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. As a volunteer, she has served as an executive committee member for the Carolinas Billy Graham Crusade, as co-chair for the Changing South Carolina to fight video poker, as state chair for No Lottery 2000 and as a member of the Bush for President state steering committee. The Rock Hill Chamber of Commerce selected Bigham as the 1996 Business Woman of the Year.
Evatt is a first-year student majoring in English. He plans a career in elementary education. As a member this past year on the Council of Student Leaders, he served as the chair of the voter education and registration committee. He was an Emerging Leader and will be an Orientation Assistant this summer.
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