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Commemorating the College’s Milestones in Diversity

Featured Alumni

In 2017, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first black student to enroll at the College of Charleston, a distinctive milestone in our institution’s history that enriched our campus culture forever. In conjunction with the College of Charleston’s Black Alumni Council and the Office of Institutional Diversity, we are recognizing inspiring alumni who have propelled the College to create an inclusive, welcoming community for all. We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of this notable group of alumni and share their achievements, College memories, and advice with students, alumni, and friends. If you would like to be featured or know someone who should be, please contact us.

Eddie Ganaway '71

On one sultry summer day in the 1950s, Eddie Ganaway ’71 wandered a few blocks south of the Lincoln Theater – then downtown Charleston’s only theater that allowed black moviegoers – and found himself gazing at the College of Charleston.

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Linda Dingle Gadson '72

Linda Dingle Gadson ’72, originally from Hollywood, SC, is the Executive Director of Rural Mission, Inc., on Johns Island, SC, where she has worked for 45 years. Rural Mission is a non-profit organization founded to care for migrant farm workers and needy families. Ms. Gadson’s son, Shaytee Gadson, who is also an alumnus of the College, wrote a book about her life called Hallelujah in Hollywood.

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Otto German '73

Otto B. German ’73 is from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and has devoted much of his life to the College of Charleston. He was first employed by the College in 1973 and has served in many different roles but is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics and Compliance and is Chair of the Black Alumni Council.

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Demetria Noisette Clemons '75

Dr. Demetria Noisette Clemons ’75 lives in Columbia, South Carolina, and retired after more than 34 years of experience in education, working as a Principal Specialist, Principal, Grant Coordinator, Counselor, and Teacher. She currently works as an educational consultant specializing in accreditation, data analysis, and educational administration. Dr. Clemons was instrumental in initiating efforts in the College’s ability to offer a graduate level certificate in Urban Planning. She serves on the College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees, chairs the Student Affairs Committee Chair, and is a member of the Academic Affairs, Alumni Relations, and Executive Committees.

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Louester "Lou" Smalls Robinson '77 

To put it mildly, CofC alumna Dr. Louester “Lou” Ann Smalls Robinson ’77 knows quite a bit about higher education: she received her Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and holds a certificate in Management and Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the Dean of Trident Tech’s Palmer Campus in downtown Charleston and her mission is to “act in our time to prepare our students for a better future.”

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Deborah Deas MD, MPH '78

Deborah Deas, MD, MPH joined the University of California, Riverside, as the Mark and Pam Rubin Dean of the School of Medicine and the Chief Executive Officer for Clinical Affairs in May 2016. Dr. Deas specializes in treatments of adolescents and adults with substance abuse disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and anxiety disorders. She considers herself fortunate and says “My chosen profession really is my passion to improve the health of underserved communities and diversify the physician workforce.”

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Mitchell Leverette '85

CofC alumnus Mitchell Leverette ’85 is a geologist and the Chief of the Solid Minerals Division at the Bureau of Land Management for the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. The first black student to walk across the Cistern with a Geology degree, he is now one of the country’s foremost experts in his field.

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Bartina Lorick Edwards '87

Bartina Lorick Edwards ’87 lives in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, just across the state line from Charlotte, North Carolina, where she is an employment and business lawyer. Her practice handles business law, which includes entity formations, HR consulting, and advising clients on equal employment opportunities and compliance. Ms. Edwards owns two other companies, CP3 Paradigm, LLC, which focuses on harmonizing mindfulness and business, and Next Steps, LLC, which helps people connect, collaborate, and create through purpose and passion. She speaks, writes, and volunteers to serve her community in meaningful ways, and says “My greatest successes have always come by and through helping others.”

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Michael Gibbs '87

Michael Gibbs ’87 is the Director and Project Manager for Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a business and finance company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Almost 20 years ago, he started working in financial technology. In his current position, he is responsible for the websites and mobile trading platforms for ICE and the New York Stock Exchange.

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Tracy Swinton Bailey '95

Tracy Swinton Bailey ’95, PhD, of Myrtle Beach, SC, is the Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Readers, an after school and summer literacy program that improves reading skills in low-income communities through one-on-one tutoring, free books for home libraries, and inspiring a high-energy learning environment. Dr. Bailey founded the nonprofit in 2010 to “give back to communities in much the same way that the College of Charleston gave back to me.”

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