Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Charleston Southern University family is mourning the loss of one the school’s founders. Fred K. Norris Jr. of Eutawville died on May 11.
Norris, the owner of St. Julien Plantation in Eutawville, had a long history with the University, serving numerous terms on the board of trustees, including serving as chairman, vice chairman, academic affairs committee chairman and building and grounds committee chairman.
The late Margaret Gilmore wrote of Norris: “Fred K. Norris Jr. was following the footsteps of his father when he became involved with Baptist College [now Charleston Southern University]. His parents had been eager to see the long-awaited institution become a reality, and at their passing his loyalty deepened.
“His participation and leadership on many committees was always admirable. Norris Hall stands today, a visible evidence of the generous financial assistance he and his family provided to house the first library holdings, the technical lab, classrooms and a large lecture hall.”
Norris Hall was dedicated in May 1968.
Norris and his wife, Mary Ann, assisted many students with their education through the Dr. and Mrs. Fred K. Norris Jr. Endowed Scholarship and were Life Members of the President’s Club.
CSU President Jairy C. Hunter Jr.: “Fred Norris was active in the University from its very beginning. He served almost three decades as a trustee. His participation and leadership as chairman and on many committees has always been admirable. He and his family generously donated to the young college and have participated significantly in the development of this University.”
Norris was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters by the University in 1972. A daughter, Mary Norris Mitchell, graduated from the University in 1976, and granddaughter, Leslie Mitchell Gearles, graduated in 2003.