(Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1091]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                      TRIBUTE TO CAROLINE WHITSON


                         HON. JAMES E. CLYBURN

                           of south carolina

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable 
educator, civic leader and a dear friend. Dr. Caroline Whitson is 
retiring on June 30, 2012, after serving as the 17th President of 
Columbia College for 11 years. Her leadership of this great institution 
will be sorely missed.
  Dr. Whitson is a native of Arkansas, who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, 
and returned to her home state to earn a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in 
English from the University of Arkansas. She also earned a diploma in 
international relations from the London School of Economics.
  She began her career as an English professor, and climbed the ranks 
of academia to become a vice president for advancement, and a provost 
and vice president for academic affairs.
  Since coming to Columbia College, Dr. Whitson has embraced the 
college's original mission, a dedication to the education of women. She 
expanded the college's Women Leadership Institute and helped found the 
Alliance for Women, which is a partnership between Columbia College and 
the Governor's Commission on Women, to prevent the latter's closure in 
2004. Dr. Whitson has also instituted on campus the 4C leadership model 
that develops in young women Courage, Commitment, Confidence, and 
Competence. All of these efforts combine to support and grow women 
leaders in South Carolina.
  Her leadership of the college has also resulted in annual fundraising 
that has doubled during her tenure. The endowment has grown by 40 
percent, and she has established the McNair Scholars program and the 
Reeves Endowed Chair in Leadership Studies.
  A college cannot grow without providing the necessary facilities. So 
under Dr. Whitson's watch, the college has added a new student union, 
residential cottages, and an athletic complex. She has also led the 
renovations of the freshman center, the Goodall Art Gallery, Edens 
Library and the Cottingham Theatre. She has also made environmentally 
friendly updates to the campus, adding solar panels to reduce the 
carbon footprint, and revitalizing the landscape.
  Dr. Whitson has also expanded academic opportunities on campus by 
signing agreements for research and for faculty and student exchanges 
with both the State University of Mongolia and the Hiroshima Jogakuin 
Women's University in Japan.
  Under her guidance, Columbia College has received a number of 
recognitions for teaching and scholarly excellence from the Theodore 
Hesburgh Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the National Collegiate 
Honors Council, the Council for the Advancement and Support of 
Education, the Foundations of Excellence for the first College year, 
the NAIA Champions of Character, the National Communication 
Association, and the National Association for the Education of Young 
  Dr. Whitson has also lent her leadership skills to the community. She 
chaired the S.C. Independent Colleges and Universities President's 
Council and the Richland County Transportation Commission. She has also 
served as a member of the S.C. Tuition Grants Commission, Mayor Bob 
Coble's City of Columbia Arts Task Force, the Greater Columbia Chamber 
of Commerce, and The Nurturing Center board.
  Currently, Dr. Whitson chairs the S.C. ETV Endowment Board. She is a 
member of the Midlands Business Leaders, Eau Claire Development 
Corporation, and the United Way board. She is also a member of the 
regional technology council, EngenuitySC, and serves on the President's 
Circle of the National Council for Research on Women.
  Her tremendous work has earned her the honor of a ``Woman of 
Distinction'' from the Girls Scouts of the Congaree Area, ``Outstanding 
Advocate for Women in Business'' from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 
and the Martha Kime Piper award from the South Carolina Women in Higher 
  Dr. Whitson is married to Turner Whitson, and the couple has one 
daughter, Dr. Heather Whitson. They have a son-in-law, Dr. Ben Maynor, 
and two grandsons, Jacob and Christopher.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask you and our colleagues to join me in thanking Dr. 
Caroline Whitson for her years of service to higher education and to 
her community. Her work has improved Columbia College and the greater 
Columbia Metropolitan area. While her public role will be greatly 
missed, I look forward to her continued good work on behalf of women's 
education and improving the status of women worldwide.