Gamecock Athletics Dept. mourns passing of longtime administrative assistant

Updated: Jan. 5, 2017 at 12:26 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The University of South Carolina Athletics Department mourns the passing of longtime administrative assistant to the athletics director, Emily White.

She was 78 years old.

Since 1967, hite assisted head football coaches, baseball coaches and athletics directors at South Carolina, working with 10 athletics directors during her tenure. She was considered the matriarch and "First Lady" of Carolina Athletics, and was inducted into the University's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of Emily's passing," said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "Emily loved the Gamecocks and displayed her devotion and support to Gamecock Sports for many, many years. She was the backbone of the department and will be missed greatly by everyone whose lives she touched."

Emily Sue Dawson White was born in Columbia on June 1, 1938, and was raised in West Columbia after moving there with her family when she was 5-years- old. She later attended the University of South Carolina. She was a member of Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church and was married for almost 45 years to Owens Lamar White, until his passing in 2001.

White was recognized as the Lexington County Fan of the Year in 2010-11 by the Lexington County Gamecock Club. Upon her retirement, she was honored by the South Carolina Senate for "forty-five years of outstanding and selfless service to the University of South Carolina Athletics Department and for her undying devotion to Gamecock sports" in a resolution dated June 5, 2012. Following her retirement, White continued to work part-time in the executive offices of the Athletics Department. January 3 was her 50th anniversary working for South Carolina Athletics.

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