MEMORIAL BRUNCH: Congressman Jim Clyburn continues legacy of late wife with new fundraiser at annual golf tournament

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Congressman Jim Clyburn says that before his wife passed away, she told him to continue the Clyburn Foundation’s goal of helping high school graduates pursue a college education.

The Clyburns’ annual golf tournament started back in 1978, even before Jim was elected to Congress. The tournament has provided shcolarship money for high school garuatese in Clyburn’s district to go to college. Many have chosen of the Palmetto State’s eight HBCUs.

“While we are eight pillars, we need a foundation that holds those pillars up. Dr. Emily Clyburn’s legacy is that foundation,” said a speaker with Benedict College.

Dr. Emily Clyburn passed away in 2019, but her husband Jim has continued the Clyburn Foundation’s Rudolph Canzater Memorial Classic.

“The golf tournament was a fun thing for people who loved golf. Emily was not into golf,” said Rep. Jim Clyburn. 

So Emily focused on a luncheon at the golf tournament for those who were also not into the sport.  The Clyburns’ event has helped students with almost $6 million worth of scholarships.

Monday’s renaming of the luncheon to the Dr. Emily Clyburn Memorial Brunch coincided with the kickoff of the Clyburn Foundations fundraiser in collaboration with the eight HBCUs in South Carolina.

“At Denmark Tech, we actually serve three of the poorest counties in South Carolina, Allendale, Barwell and Bamburg Counties. We often say that just because people are poor, it doesn’t mean they want to be treated poorly,” said Denmark Technical College president Dr. Willie Todd. “Often when people give to our HBCUs, they forget about Denmark Tech.”

But not Jim Clyburn. He spoke about the importance of a technical college degree at the renaming event.

“Training an electrician, a plumber or mechanic is just as important as training teachers, doctors and lawyers,” the congressman said.

Clyburn’s parents and siblings attended Morris College in his hometown, a school where students have benefitted from scholarships.

“Yes, Morris College does have students that do have challenges when it comes to meeting their financial obligations to get a college education,” said Dr. Leroy Staggers, Morris College president.

The Clyburn couple’s alma mater, South Carolina State, has students who have received a head start on their education thanks to the scholarship. 

“The computers, the scholarships and all of those things make the difference for some of our families who would have to sit out if it weren’t for what you do to get them started immediately after high school,” said Col. Alexander Conyers, interim president at SCSU.

Emily Clyburn herself could relate. She had to sit out a year and work while her sister finished college. Her family could not afford to have two students in college at the same time.

Congressman Clyburn spoke about their passion for equity for high school students in South Carolina.

“That’s what this is all about,” he said. “Making sure that we put our resources where they can be used beneficially.”

The scholarships from the golf tournament can go to any student in South Carolina’s 6th district no matter where they attend or to any student studying in the district, no matter where they come from.

Categories: Local News, Richland