Winthrop University Home Page
Menu Header


Reception Honors Late Winthrop Professor, University's 10th Largest Donor

Quick Facts

 Late Associate Professor Emerita of Biology Elizabeth King established an $850K graduate scholarship to recruit and retain graduate students in cellular biology.
 King's lifetime cumulative giving makes her Winthrop's 10th largest donor in terms of lifetime cumulative giving history.

Dick Houk (left), professor emeritus of biology, and
Acting President Debra Boyd present a check
for the latest gift to the Dr. Elizabeth Norfleet
King Endowed Graduate Scholarship
in Cellular Biology.
King taught cellular biology at Winthrop
from 1969-94.
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Colleagues of late Associate Professor Emerita of Biology Elizabeth King never doubted that she cared about three things: her field, her students and her university. Now, through an endowed scholarship, King has created a way to support and advance the causes close to her heart.

King’s friends and coworkers gathered Aug. 6 at a reception in Tillman Hall to honor her 25-year career at Winthrop and her contributions to the Dr. Elizabeth Norfleet King Endowed Graduate Scholarship in Cellular Biology. The endowed scholarship, which totals $853,291, supports recruitment and retainment of graduate biology students who demonstrate an interest and aptitude in cellular biology, King’s primary research interest. The endowment facilitates continued studies and research within Winthrop’s Department of Biology. King’s latest gift makes her Winthrop’s 10th largest donor in terms of lifetime cumulative giving.

Winthrop’s Acting President Debra Boyd described King as “a wonderful and noble person,” noting that her gift will create a lasting legacy for biology students and faculty.

“Dr. King wanted to ensure that students and faculty members could continue to experience science in the way that she wanted, which says so much about who she was,” said Boyd. “We’re very grateful for her presence at Winthrop and her legacy.”

King, who also established the R. Morrison and Miriam D. King Endowment for Biology to honor her parents, was recruited to teach cellular biology and joined the Winthrop faculty in 1969. She retired in 1994 as associate professor emerita of biology. She taught previously at Wellesley College; the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; Duke University; and Vassar College. King also conducted field research outside the U.S., and longtime friend Bob Breakfield, professor of taxation and business law remembered her as a scientist who “lived her philosophy about preserving the environment.”

“She had the lowest carbon footprint of anyone,” joked Breakfield, who helped King establish her Winthrop endowments. King was widely known for walking nearly everywhere; she rarely used cars.

King also made firm plans to secure continued support for student and faculty development in Winthrop’s Department of Biology. Director of Undergraduate Research Dwight Dimaculangan noted that King’s generous gifts will ensure her “remarkable legacy” – one of dedication to her field and to Winthrop – remains strong.

“Lib King touched many people as colleagues, and she leaves behind a significant promise of support that will have a tremendous impact on our program for years to come,” said Dimaculangan, chair for the Department of Biology.

King, a native of Concord, North Carolina, 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.

Professor of Biology Paula Mitchell, who worked with King, remembered her late colleague as a gifted storyteller who never stopped exploring her field.

“She was always adding to her knowledge, always expanding her horizons,” said Mitchell, who inherited King’s lab when she retired. “It’s wonderful that she left us the ability to do that as well through her gifts.”

For more information, contact Meredith Carter, campus relations coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or email her at

About the scholarship
The Dr. Elizabeth Norfleet King Endowed Graduate Scholarship in Cellular Biology illustrates key tenets of the Winthrop Stands initiative: the notion that Winthrop University stands, first and foremost, for providing access, quality and an exemplary education to its students. Gifts of all sizes and types have a place in Winthrop Stands, which allows the university to complete the Distinction capital campaign. For more information, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150 or, or make an online gift.

[Back to Previous Page]

© Winthrop University · 701 Oakland Avenue · Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA · 803/323-2211