Darla Moore gives $1 million to Claflin University - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Darla Moore gives $1 million to Claflin University

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Darla Moore presents a check for $1 million to Claflin University officials Darla Moore presents a check for $1 million to Claflin University officials

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - After hearing Claflin University's choir sing at the dedication of a museum showcasing the life of her hero, prominent South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore decided she wanted to invest in the school's music program.

When it opened in Moore's hometown of Lake City, the Ronald E. McNair Life History Center held a grand opening dedication and celebration. The museum pays tribute to the life of McNair, a Lake City-born astronaut and physicist who died in the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle explosion.

One group of performers caught Moore's attention in a very big way.

"The group who overshadowed all the other participants was your very own Clafin choir," said Moore during Tuesday's announcement. "It was a 'wow' moment. When you began to sing it was like the heavens had opened up and we were surrounded by beautiful, inspiring music."

"I knew Claflin had a jewel in its Department of Music," said Moore. "The investment I'm making in Claflin University and the School of Music is on solid ground."

Moore announced Tuesday her commitment to give $1 million to the Claflin University music department.

The gift will be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund, which will provide support to students in the university’s nationally-accredited music program.

Moore is the vice president of the private investment company Rainwater, Inc.and founder and chair of the non-profit think tank, the Palmetto Institute.  

The Darla D. Moore Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Department of Music is being established as Claflin conducts one of the most ambitious capital campaigns in thee University’s 143-year history.  The $96.4 million capital campaign,“The Campaign for Claflin University: Imagine the Possibilities”, aims to strengthen academic programs, build the endowment and enhance campus facilities,among other endeavors. 

This was not the first gift Moore has given to Claflin University, but it is the largest.

She also has a long history of giving to her alma mater, the University of South Carolina. USC's business school is named for Moore, who has pledged $70 million to the university over the years.

She had served on the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees as the governor's appointee for 12 years until Gov. Nikki Haley removed her in 2011, citing the need for a "fresh set of eyes" on the board.

Weeks later, Moore promised to give USC $5 million for an aerospace research center to be named in McNair's honor.

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