Winthrop University: Louise Pettus Leaves Legacy as One of Winthrop’s Most Generous Faculty Members; On-Campus Memorial Planned to Celebrate Her Life
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Louise Pettus Leaves Legacy as One of Winthrop’s Most Generous Faculty Members; On-Campus Memorial Planned to Celebrate Her Life

August 27, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The service for Louise Pettus, who died Aug. 15 at age 95, is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Tuttle Dining Room.
  • Interim President George Hynd called Pettus a kind and giving woman, as well as an exceptional friend to her alma mater.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University will host a Sept. 2 memorial service for an alumna who stood out as an historian, professor and one of its most generous faculty members.

The service for Louise Pettus, who died Aug. 15 at age 95, is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Tuttle Dining Room.

Interim President George Hynd called Pettus a kind and giving woman, as well as an exceptional friend to her alma mater. “A history professor for 22 years, Pettus helped preserve and illuminate the history of this region as a distinguished historian and author for more than 50 years,” Hynd said. “It was fitting that Winthrop named its Archives and Special Collections for Louise in 2006, particularly because she performed a masterful job in chronicling this institution’s past and this region’s rich history. It was one of many tributes for an alumna who loved Winthrop and remained devoted to this institution for her whole life.”

The speakers for the Sept. 2 celebration of Pettus’ life are:
* Dacus Library Dean Kaetrena Kendrick
* Pettus Director of Archives Gina Price White
* History Professor Edward Lee
* Springs/Close Family Archivist Ann Y. Evans and
* Retired Dacus reference Professor Bob Gorman

Pettus was among Winthrop’s most generous donors and contributed more than $550,000 to Winthrop in her lifetime, of which $500,000 went to Archives. An estate gift following her death will double that amount.

Historian and Teacher
Pettus earned a B.A. in history from Winthrop in 1946 and her M.A. from the University of South Carolina in 1954. She completed additional graduate studies at USC and the University of Arizona, compiling 36 postgraduate hours in history, education, economics, English and political science.

Over her long career, Pettus taught students in high schools and colleges in South Carolina, Arizona and Florida. She returned to her alma mater, Winthrop College, where she was a professor in both the School of Education and the Department of History for 22 years.

Pettus helped preserve and illuminate the history of the Piedmont region as a distinguished historian and author for more than 50 years. She was an American history educator, a writer, a recipient of the Outstanding Publication Editor award for South Carolina, a member of the Confederation of State and Local History Societies, and a member of the York County Genealogical and History Society.

Her constant research led to her office becoming a repository of family histories, articles, books and artifacts. In much of her research, she worked alongside her brother, Lindsay.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Winthrop University Foundation for the Historical Preservation Fund (1613), 701 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29733. Please contact University Advancement at 803/323-2275 or giving@winthrop.edu for assistance.

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Last Updated: 10/4/21