Alumna Establishes Endowed Scholarship to Honor Late Mother

August 14, 2017


  • The Doris Harrison Ford Endowed Scholarship will support students with financial need, with first preference given to political science majors.
  • Marsha Ford earned her B.A. at Winthrop in 1971.

Doris Harrison FordROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Marsha Ford ’71 has a vivid memory of watching the John F. Kennedy/Richard Nixon debates with her parents. Her mother, Doris Harrison Ford ’44, took a keen interest in politics that Marsha plans to honor with a new endowed scholarship at Winthrop University. 

Funded through a bequest, the Doris Harrison Ford Endowed Scholarship will provide support for students with financial need, with first preference given to political science majors and second preference to mass communication majors. 

Marsha described Doris as an “astute observer of political climates,” noting that her mother’s lifelong interest in politics informed her own political leanings. 

“My mother maintained an interest in politics because she thought it was vital to show up and vote and pay attention to what’s happening politically,” said Marsha, retired emergency physician, medical toxicologist and former director of the Carolinas Poison Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She earned her B.A. in philosophy and religious studies at Winthrop in 1971.

Marsha also established the Dr. Marsha Ford Political Education and Engagement Fund, an annual restricted fund, in spring 2017 to support the Department of Political Sciencewith programming related to political engagement and education, including materials, transportation, speakers’ fees, receptions and student travel, among other departmental needs.

Marsha’s gifts to Winthrop illustrate the university’s emphasis on creating a thriving culture of philanthropy, with fundraising defined as a key priority in the Winthrop Plan, the university’s strategic plan through 2025.

Born in Brunson, North Carolina, Doris Harrison Ford earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics at Winthrop in 1944. Before settling into her career as a special education teacher, she worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and as editor of the Great Falls Reporter newspaper in Great Falls, South Carolina. She was a member of the South Carolina Education Association.

Planned gifts are an important and meaningful way to give to Winthrop. Please contact Evan Bohnen, vice president for institutional advancement, at or 803/323-2275 for more information about including Winthrop in your estate plans.

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