Winthrop's Largest Estate Gift Totaling $3 Million to Establish Student Service Program

October 05, 2017

Quick Facts

bullet point Reed's gift will be used to establish the Elizabeth Hope Reed Fellows Program, a service-focused student scholarship program.
bullet point The $3 million estate gift is the largest estate gift in Winthrop's history.

Elizabeth Reed

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Late alumna and longtime educator Elizabeth Reed '41, '51 believed in the value of fostering learning through community service. Through a charitable annuity and additional gifts, she committed $3 million-the largest estate gift in Winthrop University's history-to establish a service-focused student scholarship program.

The Elizabeth Hope Reed Fellows Program will support students who demonstrate financial need, maintain good academic standing and commit to volunteering at least eight hours a week. Scholarships will be renewable and available to undergraduate and graduate students.

President Dan Mahony said that Reed's gift illustrates her commitment to service-learning, which is a key component of the Winthrop experience.

"The Elizabeth Hope Reed Fellows Program will advance a commitment to service beyond self — one of Winthrop's core institutional values," said Mahony. "Elizabeth Reed's generous gift will have a tremendous positive impact on our students for generations to come."

He added that the estate gift underscores the importance of fostering greater community engagement, which is one of the main goals in the Winthrop Plan, the university's strategic plan through 2025.

Reed, a native of Rock Hill, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees-both in home economics-at Winthrop. She taught home economics in the North Carolina public school system for more than 38 years, and she was among the first to teach co-ed classes in family life education. Reed also established pilot programs in childcare and the dual role of women as wage earner and homemaker to keep pace with a rapidly changing society.

Community service, too, played a vital role in her life: Reed was a 50-year member of the American Home Economics Association, and she earned the "Quality of Life Award" from the N.C. Chapter of the American Cancer Society, where she was a longtime volunteer. In addition, she served as vice president and president for the Jackson County Chapter of North Carolina Retired School Personnel.

Reed's nephew, Bill Mitchell of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, described his aunt as a "veteran school teacher and a prolific reader" who enjoyed staying active in her community and helping others. Mitchell's wife, Elizabeth Poag Mitchell '64, earned her B.S. in business administration at Winthrop and has strong ties to the university.

To learn more about legacy giving or estate gift planning to Winthrop, please contact Evan Bohnen, vice president for university advancement, at, direct 803/323-2275 or toll-free 800/801-1083.

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