Mather in the News
Mather School Coastal/Lowcountry Alumni Chapter presents check for TCL scholarship
Photo: From left to right: Dorothy Giddens, Chapter Recording Secretary; Louise Mathews, TCL Foundation Executive Director; Floretta Glover, Chapter Chaplain; Dr. Thomas Leitzel, TCL President; Alvesta Robertson, Chapter President; Shirley Heyward, Chapter member; and Irene Hicks, Chapter Past President.
Members of The Mather School Coastal/Lowcountry Alumni and Associates Chapter recently visited the Technical College of the Lowcountry Beaufort Campus to present the TCL Foundation with $500 for an annual student scholarship.
The Mather School was located on what is now TCL’s Beaufort Campus and was established by Rachel Crane Mather in 1868 to educate the daughters of freed slaves and to prepare young black women as teachers. In 1881, the school became part of the New England Baptist Missionary Association and continued educating area African-Americans until 1968, when it opened to all races. In 1972, the school became part of the South Carolina Technical College System.
The Mather School Coastal/Lowcountry Alumni and Associates Chapter was organized in 2004, chartered in 2005, had its first Founders Day in 2006, and gave its first scholarship in 2007.
The Chapter’s mission is to continue the legacy of The Mather School. To help carry this out, the Chapter awards an annual scholarship to a TCL student. The Chapter’s primary consideration for an applicant for this scholarship is that a family member attended, taught in, or is some other way connected to The Mather School.
For more information, please contact Louise Mathews at 843.470.5962.
Mrs. Rachel Crane Mather created a school to educate the daughters of liberated slaves back in 1867. She was a firm believer that everyone deserved the chance to get a good education, which is why she acted on her belief and began to teach and raise funds for a women’s dormitory.
In 1901, the Mather School graduated its first three students from elementary school. Throughout the years, the school grows and then in 1932, the Mather School high school program was approved by the South Carolina State Department of Education as Mather Industrial School.
By 1954, the School increased its educational opportunities by adding the Junior College Department and allowing boys to enroll. More sustained growth and support allowed for an accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1955. One year later Mather Junior College graduates its first class.
By 1968 – 100 years after starting- the Mather School had been designated by the Office of Economic Opportunity for a pilot program to assist high school graduates in the Lowcountry to overcome certain academic deficiencies before entering college, had begun a merger relationship with Benedict College in Columbia and the Beaufort campus had been given to the State of South Carolina as an area trade school.
In 1970 the school becomes known as the Beaufort Regional Training Center which then became part of the State Technical College System two years later with a name change to the Beaufort Technical Education Center. In 1974, the State Board designates a four-county service area of Beaufort, Hampton, Jasper and Colleton counties and in 1978 the Center is accredited by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools.
The Center’s name changed again in 1979 to Beaufort Technical College. Nine years pass, where the College continues to grow and add programs like the Upward Bound Program. In 1988 there’s another renaming effort, this time to the Technical College of the Lowcountry. In 1990, an associate of arts and associate of science degrees were added and most recently in 2006 the New River Campus opens its doors for classes.
So since its inception back in 1867, the school has seen many changes. But one thing remains constant – the belief that every human being deserves a chance to further their education.