Clinton College President Elaine Copeland '71 Awarded Order of the Silver Crescent

January 21, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point The Order of the Silver Crescent is one of South Carolina's highest civilian awards.
bullet point Copeland earned her M.A.T. in secondary education at Winthrop.


Elaine Copeland, right

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Clinton College President Elaine Copeland '71 received the Order of the Silver Crescent, one of the state's highest civilian awards, at Rock Hill's annual prayer breakfast on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

State Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, surprised Copeland during the breakfast and presented the once-in-a-lifetime achievement award bestowed by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. The award recognizes South Carolina residents for significant contributions, leadership, volunteerism and lifelong influence within a region or community.

Copeland, a self-described "servant-leader," became president of Clinton College in 2002. In her time there, she has expanded the institution from a two-year to a four-year program; developed more subjects and majors; and stabilized the college's finances. She also taught psychology courses and headed the college's business department. A licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor, Copeland earned her B.S. at Livingstone College; her M.A.T. at Winthrop; her M.B.A. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and her Ph.D. in counseling at Oregon State University.

The Catawba, South Carolina, native has more than 40 years of experience in education and worked previously at Urbana-Champaign and Livingstone. In addition, she has written more than 30 published works, monographs, book chapters and book reviews and developed multicultural counseling, psychology and business courses.

Copeland has remained active within York County, serving on the Rock Hill Rotary and Chamber of Commerce boards as well as the Upper Palmetto Board of the Rock Hill Y.M.C.A. A former member of the United Way of York County Board, Copeland currently represents York County on the Catawba Regional Council of Governments (which includes York Lancaster, Chester and Union counties). She also serves on the board of the Rock Hill Development Corporation.

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

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