UofSC names residence hall after one of the school’s first African American students

COLUMBIA, Sc (WOLO)– A residence hall at the University of South Carolina has been named for an African American educator.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the residence hall at 700 Lincoln Street for Celia Dial Saxon. Saxon was one of the first African American women to attend South Carolina College in 1877.

“Celia Dial Saxon is one of the university’s most remarkable alumni, a woman whose impact and reputation stretched across the nation,” Interim President Harris Pastides said. “Our university rightly honors her by naming this building for her. Not only was she a true education pioneer, but she embodied the spirit of equality and justice through her life’s work. The Celia Dial Saxon Building will stand as a reminder to current and future generations of students of the high ideals she championed.”

Officials say the residence hall will be formally dedicated at ceremony in the future.

“As a great woman, peerless educator, and one of the most admired and respected citizens of South Carolina, Celia Dial Saxon is more than worthy of this honor,” said Board Chair Dr. Dorn Smith. “I’m very proud that the board recognized the importance of commemorating her contribution to our culture and our heritage.”

Officials say Saxon is the first African American to have a campus building named after them at UofSC.

“Celia Dial Saxon’s life stands as a testament to perseverance, compassion, hard work and a commitment to excellence,” said Alex English, co-chair of the History Commission Implementation Group that considered candidates for whom to name the residence hall. “Her legacy bestows honor and dignity to our campus. It’s only fitting that, as a distinguished alumna of our state’s largest university, her name be memorialized here.”

Saxon’s teaching career spanned 57 years.

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