In celebration of Independent College and University Day, six Erskine students—Logan Franks, Austin Hough, Crawford Krebs, Meg Randall, Walker Riley, and Amanda Stevenson—joined students from South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) member schools April 13 at the State House in Columbia to express gratitude for the funding and support of tuition grants.
The Erskine group was accompanied by Grady Patterson Professor of Politics Dr. Ashley Woodiwiss and Vice President for Communications and Strategic Initiatives Cliff Smith.
Activities for the day, in addition to visiting legislators at the State House, included a meeting with SCICU President and CEO Mike LeFever, who introduced SCICU 2016 Legislative Champion Rep. Rita Allison. Allison, who serves District 36 and is chair of the House Education and Public Works Committee, spoke about the importance of students thanking legislators for their support of tuition grants and stressed the importance of independent higher education for the growth of South Carolina. Katie Harrison, deputy director of the South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission, also talked to students.
Leading up to the celebration was a four-month letter-writing campaign in which more than 4,400 tuition grant recipients at SCICU schools wrote some 8,200 letters of thanks to South Carolina legislators. Among the 20 SCICU institutions participating in the annual legislative letter writing competition, Erskine College had the highest percentage—85 percent—of its tuition grant recipients writing letters to members of the South Carolina General Assembly.