Leadership program gets underway

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Photo above: Distinguished professor emeritus of history at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Larry Rowland, explains that all American history started in Beaufort County. Photo by Steve Brown.

The Beaufort County Senior Leadership Program (BCSL), established in 1993, recently kicked off its 2017 program.

BCSL is offered by Clemson University with the co-sponsorship of the Beaufort County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

This unique 13-week program focuses on building community through volunteerism and civic engagement and is open to all citizens in Beaufort County.

The 2017 program began on Jan. 11 with History Day I.

Drs. Larry Rowland and Steve Wise, Beaufort County historians, started the day by setting the foundation for the exploration of the history of Beaufort County.

Several docents from the Dataw Island Historical Foundation provided an informative tour of the Sam’s Plantation Tabby Ruins. Sam’s Plantation is on the National Register of Historic Properties because of its archaeological and architectural significance.

The 35 program participants then enjoyed a traditional Gullah lunch at Gullah Grub Restaurant in nearby Frogmore.

At Penn Center, Dr. Rodell Lawrence shared his vision for honoring the site of the former Penn School, one of the country’s first schools for freed slaves. Penn Center is considered one of the most significant African-American historical and cultural institutions.

Natasha Robinson also provided Gullah-flavored poems and her insights into the Gullah culture.

Maria Benac, the branch manager of the St. Helena Library, gave a tour of the LEED-certified building and showcased the many resources and programs available to the community.

Head of the Beaufort District Collection, Grace Cordial, shared the historical resources available through the Beaufort County Library System.

Past graduates of BCSL are volunteers at the Dataw Historic Foundation, Penn Center and Beaufort County Library. Additional volunteer opportunities are available.

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