Alumna Establishes Funds to Support Future Educators, Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society

October 31, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point Elrod has established three new funds: the Elrod Scholarship, the Elrod Annual Restricted Scholarship and the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society Fund.
bullet point The Williamston, S.C., resident taught government and economics for 37 years.

Maggie Elrod

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — A strong desire to teach led Maggie Elrod '78 to Winthrop, where the first-generation college student formed life-changing relationships and became involved with the university's Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society chapter. Elrod has established three new funds, including an endowed scholarship, to honor her experiences and encourage first-generation Winthrop students with a desire to teach.

"When I went to Winthrop, it was a total new experience that had such an impact on me," said Elrod, a retired educator. "I want to give someone who is a first-generation college student the same experience I had."

The Elrod Scholarship and Elrod Annual Restricted Scholarship will aid juniors or seniors majoring in history or social studies who intend to become teachers, with first preference given to first-generation college students.

Elrod's third gift established the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society Fund to benefit Winthrop's chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. The organization will receive financial support from the gift, which will provide funds for programming and events sponsored or co-sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta.

Elrod's gifts reflect the university's increased emphasis on creating a thriving culture of philanthropy, with fundraising designated as a top priority in President Dan Mahony's recently unveiled strategic plan.

During her time at Winthrop, Elrod established strong mentor relationships with three professors: Frederick Heath, history; Louise Pettus '46, history; and the late James E. Colbert, education. She noted that their guidance "had a significant impact on me" that inspired her to give back. The history major was active with Phi Alpha Theta, where she served as the society's president during her senior year.

"Winthrop was the right place and the right fit, and the professors there were so skilled at what they did," said Elrod, a resident of Williamston, South Carolina. She pursued her combined passions for education and history at Winthrop, and after graduation she went into teaching. Elrod taught government and economics for 37 years at Wren High School in Piedmont, South Carolina. During her time there, she also worked with students in the Teacher Cadet program.

For more information, contact Meredith Carter, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or

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