Otto German

By John Stabinger
Posted on 13 April 2020 | 12:57 pm

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.

Mr. German as a sophomore in 1970

Mr. German previously served the College as an Assistant Director of Financial Aid/Veterans Affairs, Assistant Director of Student Activities, Assistant Director of Admissions, and Associate Dean of Admissions. He has served as an assistant basketball coach at Porter-Gaud School and Wando High School. “I have worked in many areas of the College and have given back in many years of service,” Mr. German said.

Before choosing to attend the College of Charleston, he considered South Carolina State University, but chose the College because it offered an academic challenge. As a basketball player, he had connections with local sports media that he would not have had anywhere else: he was named the Lowcountry Player of the Year and received an honorable mention for All-American. Mr. German was the second black student-athlete to receive a full basketball scholarship to the College. He said of his time as a student, “The College gave me a great education and everlasting friendships with teammates and others.”

Mr. German as a senior in 1973

Most importantly, he chose the College of Charleston because he wanted to be “a part of change” and accepted the challenge of integrating the College. “During that time, integration wasn’t accepted by all and some were pleasant and accepting while others were not,” he said. “From that experience, I always treat people the way I want to be treated and speak to them the way I want to be spoken to.”

His favorite moment as a student at the College was his 1973 commencement because “there were many who thought I wouldn’t make it.”

Mr. Ganaway ’71 and Mr. German ’73
at the 2009 ExCEL Awards

“I was very fortunate to be a part of the history of the College with regard to integration, as well as being a part of its rich academic and athletic history. I am extremely proud that I am one of the pioneers who paved the way for future black students to have an opportunity to one day walk across the Cistern and receive his or her degree.” In 2009, Mr. German received the Eddie Ganaway Distinguished Alumni Award from the College, which recognizes an alumnus or alumna who has distinguished themselves in their field, promotes the College to become a better and more inclusive community, and is a loyal supporter of the College.

For current students, Mr. German advises “Be yourself and don’t let anyone discourage you in any way, shape, or form. Use your time here at the College as your launching pad for your future. Set your goals high and go for them.”