ROCK HILL, S.C. - Elizabeth N. King, associate professor emerita of biology at Winthrop, recently established an endowed scholarship for graduate work in cellular biology at Winthrop with an initial gift of $50,000 and a pledge of at least an additional $500,000. The atrium in the Life Sciences Building is to be named in her honor during a ceremony March 21.
The first of the scholarships through the Elizabeth Norfleet King Endowment in Cellular Biology will be awarded this fall.
Winthrop officials said they are delighted with King’s generous gift. "Dr. King’s love for Winthrop and students did not end when she retired from the faculty. Her gift is important support for graduate students that will help them focus time and energy on their studies. This will strengthen graduate students’ experiences here," said Tom Moore, vice president for academic affairs.
King was recruited to Winthrop to teach cellular biology, joining the Winthrop faculty in 1969. She also taught endocrinology and human biology classes until her retirement from Winthrop in 1994. King taught at a variety of colleges, including Wellesley, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Duke and Vassar prior to her 25 years at Winthrop.
She continues to live in Rock Hill and frequently visits the campus and her old department. "She is trying to use her financial resources to help attract quality students to the biology program," said Dick Houk, a retired biology professor who taught with King and remains a good friend. "Teaching has been her life."
Her gift comes at a time when Winthrop has completely modernized its science facilities and placed increased emphasis on student "deep learning" through engaged scholarly research. Last fall, the university shared in a multi-million dollar federal grant with six other South Carolina colleges and universities to bolster its biomedical research and expand educational opportunities for undergraduates.
"This gift will help us recruit talented students to our growing program and will allow us to extend our ability to attract and support students with interests in pursuing graduate training and a scientific career in this important area," said Janice Chism, biology professor and director of graduate studies for the Department of Biology.
King earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, a master’s degree in zoology and physiology from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in cellular physiology from Duke University.
Former student Lynn Goodson Snyder '73, now a part-time biology instructor at Winthrop, said King was always on the cutting edge of her field. "I really hold her in high esteem," said Snyder, who still keeps in contact with King. "She has been very dedicated to science."
During Winthrop’s first capital campaign, King established a $100,000 endowment for faculty research in biology in memory of her parents, R. Morrison and Miriam D. King of Concord, N.C. King’s mother taught in the public schools of Concord for six years before her marriage and continued a lifelong support for education. King’s father, Dr. R. Morrison King, taught small classes of nurses until certified nursing schools became available. He also served for many years as chairman of the Concord school board and was Cabarrus Memorial Hospital’s first chief of staff.
For more information, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150.