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West Forum Moves to Winthrop This Fall to Train Next Generation of Leaders

Quick Facts

 A $25,000 grant from the West Foundation will help establish the forum on politics and policy
 An inaugural lecture will be given in the spring

John West
ROCK HILL, S.C. - A $25,000 grant from the West Foundation will begin the training of a new generation of civic leadership at Winthrop University. As of this fall, Winthrop will house the John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy, formerly located at the University of South Carolina. The Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center, named for the late governor’s wife, a 1943 alumna of Winthrop and an active member of the alumni community, is already part of the new heart of the campus.

The West Foundation created the forum in 2002 as a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that works to enhance the quality of South Carolina’s political environment. Its goal is to promote civic education and a civil society and to encourage an informed, responsible leadership. The late governor contributed to the state of South Carolina and the nation in a variety of roles, serving in the State Senate for 12 years, as lieutenant governor and then governor. He also served the nation as the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia for four years. Following his distinguished political career, West taught part time at the University of South Carolina for two decades until his death in 2004.

The John C. West Forum on Politics and Policy will reside within Winthrop’s Department of Political Science. It will focus on the development of civic leaders and seek to engage public and private resources to support a civic involvement initiative for students. Built upon the career and ideals of the former ambassador and governor, the forum seeks to encourage students to become involved as informed participants and leaders in civic life.

Karen Kedrowski, chair of the Department of Political Science, will lead the forum initiatives and programs at Winthrop. The forum’s advisory board members are: John C. West, Jr., chair; Rachel Hodges, former First Lady of South Carolina; S.C. Rep. William Cotty, R-Columbia; S.C. Rep. James Harrison, R-Columbia; and Reginald I. Lloyd, director of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and a 1989 graduate of Winthrop.

The forum’s inaugural lecture will take place in the spring and will be open to the public. For more information, contact Kedrowski at 803/323-4662 or at

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