Board of Visitors
The purpose of the Board of Visitors of the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences is to garner community and financial support to enable the College to progress along a broad range of activities, including funding research, creating endowed chairs, improving faculty salaries, attracting a larger number of more qualified students, and providing needed services to the state and nation.
Not pictured: Col. Christian J. Becht; Daniel P. Bouknight; Richard Currence; Joyce M. Hill; Marva Smalls
Peg Averyt is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, and she received a B.S. in business from the University of South Carolina. She worked at Five Points Savings and Loan and WCSC TV in Charleston before marrying Gayle Averyt, former CEO of Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company. After her children were grown, she followed her dream and opened a shop specializing in fine teas, gifts, local art, and findings from her worldly travels called Finleaf. Peg's warm and vibrant personality, along with her creative spirit, has been a great addition to Devine Street. She is also on the board of the USC School of Dance.
Bruce P. Baganz
Bruce Baganz is a business executive in oil and natural gas exploration & production based in Houston, Texas. He is President of Security Energy Company, concentrating on private oil and gas investments. He received his Ph.D. (1979) and his M.S. (1975) in geology from USC. Bruce is also president of the Board of Trustees of The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., an international center for the exhibition, study, collection and preservation of the textile arts. The institution maintains an acclaimed collection of more than 17,000 textiles and rugs that date from 3,000 BCE to present.
Gerald L. "Jerry" Baxter
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jerry graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 1981 with a B.A. in history, and has since spent 26 years in consumer products sales. Twenty-four of those years have been in the alcoholic beverage industry. In 1996, Jerry joined Ben Arnold Beverage Company and held positions that include Vice President of Sales- Wine Division, Corporate Director of Training and Development, and Vice President of Sales- Diageo Division. Currently, he is Vice President of National Accounts for The Charmer Sunbelt Group.
Vasa Cate received his B.S. in biology from USC in 1964, and M.D. from MUSC in 1970. He did his internship and residency in Internal Medicine and received training in gastroenterology all at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia from 1970-1974. He went on to establish the Consultants in Internal Medicine (later Consultants in Gastroenterology) in 1977 next to the Lexington Medical Center. Vasa also served as Chief of Medicine while on the staff at Lexington Medical Center. He remained with Consultants in Gastroenterology until his retirement in 2004.
Donald L. Fowler
Don Fowler received a B.A. in psychology from Wofford College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in political science. He began teaching at USC in 1964, where he continues as an adjunct professor of American Politics. He is the Chairman of the Board of Fowler Communications, Inc., an advertising and public relations firm, and of Khare/Fowler Incorporated, a governmental relations firm. Don served as Chair of the SC Democratic Party from 1971 to 1980, as CEO of the Democratic National Convention in 1988, and as Chair of the Democratic National Committee in 1995 and 1996.
Belinda Friedman Gergel
Belinda Gergel graduated from Columbia College in 1972 and went on to earn an M.Ed and Ph.D. from Duke University. In 1978, she returned to Columbia College to oversee the establishment of the Evening College, and outreach programs for professional women. From 1993 until 2001, she she was a faculty member and later the Chair of the Department of History and Political Science. Since her retirement in 2001, Belinda has focused her attention on scholarship and civic service. She is the author of several works on South Carolina history and she has been appointed to several city commissions.
Charlton F. Hall, Jr.
Charlton Hall received a B.S. in business administration from USC in 1959, and is the owner of Charlton Hall Galleries, Inc. of Columbia, one of the nation's leading auction houses for fine art and antiques. He is the benefactor of the Nadine Beacham and Charlton Hall, Sr. Visiting Lectureship in New Testament and Early Christianity. In addition, he has generously planned a gift for the University that will not only enhance the Hall Lectureship, but also provide for an endowed chair to complement the lectureship, as well as fund the South Carolina baseball team's home dugout and benefit the SeniorSMART Center.
Elizabeth Todd Heckel
Elizabeth Todd Heckel received a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. She was Project Manager for the MSW Systems Changing Grant, the Center for Child and Family Studies from 1991-93 and served on the Women’s Studies Partnership Board from 2002-07. For the past 11 years she has been the Program Director for the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina/USC Site. She was awarded the “Outstanding Service Award for Extraordinary Leadership and Dedication to Diabetes Service in SC” in 2000 by the Association of Black Health Professionals.
Matthew Heric is the Chairman and CEO of IAVO (International Association of Virtual Organizations, Inc.) Research and Scientific, an engineering and software development firm which offers a unique blend of technical and business knowledge. IAVO recently donated 400 licensed copies of its GeoGenesis geographic imaging and modeling software to the University of South Carolina, along with five years of support and maintenance. Matt earned his M.S. in geography in 1987 from the University of Carolina and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Education in 1996.
Tommy L. Hickman
Tommy Hickman earned his B.S. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina. He is Senior Vice President - Manufacturing for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Certified as a quality engineer, he is a board member for the Piedmont Section of the American Society for Quality. Tommy is also a member of the Educational Foundation Board and Alumni Association Board of Governors at Carolina. He was awarded the 2001 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award by USC, and in 2003, he was given the Excellence in Leadership Award for community service by the Salvation Army Boy's Club.
John Hoey received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and an M.B.A. at the State University of New York. With over 23 years in the private sector with growth-oriented publicly-traded companies, John is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the Y of Central Maryland. In this role, he oversees the growth and development of one of the 30 largest independent Y organizations in the United States. He previously served as President of Progressus Therapy, a leading national provider of school-based and early intervention special education services across the country.
Scott Howell is a 1983 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He is CEO of Scott Howell & Company and The Wolf Group based in Dallas, Texas. The two firms specialize in corporate advertising, political advertising and grassroots consulting. TWG has created winning campaigns for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, the Dallas Cowboys as well as grassroots efforts for companies like American Airlines. Scott Howell is also recognized as one of the top political media strategists in the country. He's worked on numerous high profile campaigns including Presidential campaigns for George W. Bush and Rudolph Giuliani as well as dozens of successful congressional campaigns including both of South Carolina's United State's Senators .
Carol J. Kososki is a community activist and the retired Executive Director of the South Carolina Occupational Information System (SCOIS), a statewide computer network for career information in some 1500 sites in South Carolina. She retired from South Carolina state government after 37 years of service. She served in the governor’s office during two administrations and later founded SCOIS to assist career decision-makers with up-to-date college catalogue, jobs, and financial aid information which is available on University of South Carolina campuses. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in French from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. degree from Emory University. She also earned the Certified Internal Auditor credential.
Victor Laurie earned B.S. degrees in both chemistry and mathematics from the University of Sout Carolina in 1954. After graduating first in his class at Carolina, Victor left the state of South Carolina and went on to receive his A.M. and Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University. He has been a professor of chemistry at Stanford University and Princeton University, and he, along with his wife, endowed the Victor W. Laurie Scholarship in Mathematics and the Victor W. Laurie Scholarships in Chemistry and Biochemistry with the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences.
Joseph E. Major II
Joseph Major, II received a B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina in 1959 and a J.D. from the Carolina school of Law in 1962 (Wig and Robe). Joe worked as a Law Clerk to George Bell Timmerman, US District Judge, and served on the staff of Senator J. Strom Thurmond in 1963. He was also a partner in the former Leatherwood Law firm where he specialized in the defense of Products Liability, Commericial Littigation, and Medical Malpractice cases. Now retired and living in Greenville, SC, Joe enjoys researching family genealogy and dabbling in historical research, as well as playing golf.
Thomas L. Markham
Thomas L. Markham attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he obtained B.S. (1961) and M.S. (1963) degrees. He completed his Ph.D. in mathematics at Auburn University in 1967. In 1968 he joined the faculty at USC in the Mathematics Department. He was actively involved with the department until his retirement as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics in December, 1999. Upon his retirement, a scholarship fund was established in his name. Today Tom divides his time between travel, philanthropic work, numerous hobbies and research in his field of linear algebra.
Peter McCausland received his B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina in 1971 before graduating cum laude from Boston University Law School in 1974. In 1982 he founded Airgas, Inc., the largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and welding equipment and one of the largest distributors of safety supplies in the United States, and he has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company since 1987. Before starting the company, he served as General Counsel for MG Industries, Inc., an industrial gas producer.
Gail M. Morrison
Gail Morrison completed her A.B. in English at Denison University and her M.A. in English at the University of Michigan. Upon completing her Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of South Carolina in 1980, she taught at both Midlands Technical College and Carolina as an adjunct faculty member. In 1984, she joined the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, where she would go on to hold a number of positions, including Director of Academic Affairs and Student Services, and Interim Executive Director. Gail also served as lead staff member for the S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence/Endowed Chairs program.
CAPT. John C. Parry, Jr. USNR (Ret)
John Parry completed his B.A. in English from the University of South Carolina and an M.B.A. from Pace University. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Solix, Inc., a government and commercial process outsourcing provider. He has more than 40 years of experience including serving as President of Bell Atlantic Network Systems and Vice President of the Bell Atlantic Global Systems Company (now Verizon). A Lieutenant of the United States Navy, Parry served in Vietnam with various assignments including Surface Warfare, Aviation, Logistics and Intelligence tasks. He retired from the Navy Reserve as a Captain in 1990.
Carolyn Polston attended Carolina as a National Merit Scholar. She received a B.S. in mathematics and computer science in 1973 and a M.S. in mathematics in 1975. After 15 years in Information Technology and Management Information Services, Carolyn began her current career as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones in Wilmington N.C in 1990. In May 2000 she was featured as the cover story for Registered Rep Magazine, which named her as one of the top 10 Outstanding Brokers in the nation. Carolyn also serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the Cameron School of Business at UNC in Wilmington.
Tommy Preston, Jr.
Tommy Preston recently graduated cum laude from USC with a degree in political science. During his time at USC, he was involved in Student Government, various university committees and organizations, served as a Resident Advisor, interned for a U.S. Senator, volunteered in the community, and served as the Student Representative on the University's Board of Trustees. In 2006, Tommy was elected the 98th Student Body President. During this period, Tommy was responsible for the creation of Cocky's Reading Express, a statewide literacy initiative and the USC Student Congressional Advisory Board.
Cary K. Smith
Cary Smith attended USC where he received a B.S. degree in mathematics in 1966. He joined IBM in 1967 and during his 25 year career there he held sales, management and executive positions in numerous locations. Following his retirement from IBM he joined the Independent College Foundation of SC serving as its Executive Vice President for four years. In 1997 he joined United Way of the Midlands as its President and in 2005 became President of the Palmetto Health Foundation. His work in the not for profit sector has been focused on human services and education, an area for which he feels a great level of commitment.
J. Guy Steenrod
Guy Steenrod received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and an M.S. from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 1992 he moved to Florence, South Carolina, to assume the position of President and General Manager at Roche Carolina, a major grass-roots facility focused on the development and launch manufacturing of new drugs. In 1996 he left Roche and formed IRIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. IRIX has grown into an organization with R&D and manufacturing facilities located in Florence and Greenville, South Carolina, and a research facility located in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Glenn F. Tilton
After completing his B.A. in international studies from USC in 1970, Glenn Tilton joined Texaco Inc. and served in various marketing, corporate planning and European downstream assignments of increasing responsibility. He is now Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of UAL Corporation and United Air Lines, its principal subsidiary company. Prior to joining United in 2002, Tilton was vice chairman of the board of directors of ChevronTexaco, as well as interim chairman of Dynegy Inc. Previously, he served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Texaco Inc., a position he assumed in February 2001.
Henrie M. Treadwell
Henrie Treadwell's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of South Carolina, in which she enrolled as the first African American student as a result of a desegregation lawsuit. She later received her M.S. degree from Boston University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry an molecular biology from Atlanta University. She is Senior Social Scientist and Associate Director of Development in the National Center for Primary Care at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Prior to this she served for 16 years as program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Lois Duke Whitaker
After earning her Ph.D. in political science in 1986, at the University of South Carolina, Lois Duke Whitaker enjoyed an impressive academic career teaching at Auburn University, the University of Alabama, and Clemson, where she was the first female full professor in her department. She is now a full professor and former department chair at Georgia Southern University. Lois is a past president of the Women's Caucus for Political Science: South; a past president of the SC Political Science Association and Georgia Political Science Association; and vice-president for the League of Women Voters, South Carolina.