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Scholarship Fund to Honor Former York County Educator

Quick Facts

 A long-time teacher in the public schools in York County, Senn taught for more than 25 years at a variety of schools.
 Senn taught literally thousands of students, including U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-SC.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The children of the late Carolyn Ogilvie Neely Senn of York County are establishing a $25,000 endowed scholarship in the name of their mother to assist students majoring in education at Winthrop University.

A long-time teacher in the public schools in York County, Senn taught for more than 25 years at a variety of schools, including Sullivan Junior High in Rock Hill, York Junior High in York and Sharon School in Sharon, before her death in 1972.  In addition, Mrs. Senn was a biology lab instructor at Winthrop from 1964-65.  She and her husband, Clarence W. Senn, both of whom were originally from Newberry, S.C., owned and operated Snow White Dairy on what is now West Mount Gallant Road between Tirzah and Newport.

Born in Fort Mill, S.C., Senn was the oldest child of Augustus Theodore and Margaret Walker Ogilvie Neely. A Newberry High School graduate, she attended Winthrop as a day student while living with her paternal aunt, Vivian Lee Neely Ketchen in what is now referred to as the "Ketchen-Long" home on Ebenezer Road. Senn was graduated in 1936 from Winthrop with a B. A. in biology and a minor in history.

Carolyn and Clarence Senn had five children: Margaret Ruth, Carolyn Neely, Luellen Cannon, Clarence Washington and William Edward.

"Our mother valued education and loved her years at Winthrop. She believed that people with the ability to teach were very special and were to be held in the highest esteem. We hope that this scholarship will, in some small way, assist a deserving person in their desire to become a teacher," stated her son, Clarence, who owns and operates Senn Cattle Farm on the family farm.

Senn taught literally thousands of students during her 25 years career, including U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-SC. Spratt stated, "As I moved up the ladder of my education, I would occasionally have someone remark that I had come a long way from the small-town school where I started. I would always be quick to tell them that if I had succeeded academically, it was because of my teachers in York’s public schools, not in spite of them. Carolyn Senn was one of those teachers. She was a gifted teacher, who knew her subject, loved her work, and inspired us to learn. She also caused us to behave by her natural sense of humor and classroom presence, which I remember warmly to this day. She was a model teacher, whose example ought to be held up to young, aspiring teachers."

Several generations of the Senn family members have Winthrop connections. One of Senn’s children, Luellen, earned a B.S. degree in elementary education. Her daughter-in-law, Christie Lu Ellen Byrd Senn, also graduated from Winthrop with a B.A. and M.A., both in English. Granddaughter Audrey Lynn Skews Culp received her M.Ed. in elementary education, while granddaughter Suzanne Senn Skews received her B.S. in special education. A fourth-generation Senn, great-granddaughter Carolyn Elizabeth Quarles, a member of the class of 2007, is majoring in chemistry at Winthrop.

The Carolyn Ogilvie Neely Senn '36 Endowed Scholarship is expected to be given annually to deserving students from York or Newberry counties in South Carolina.

"We are delighted the Senn family has chosen to invest in the College of Education and the preparation of teachers. This scholarship will benefit not only the Winthrop students who are recipients but the many children they will influence throughout their careers," said Patricia Graham, dean of the Richard W. Riley College of Education.

For more information, contact Winthrop’s Office of Development at 803-323-2150 or call toll-free to 888-219-1791.

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