The Technical College of the Lowcountry hosted its first Mather History and Education Day on Friday, February 19 at the TCL Beaufort Campus, the former site of the historic Mather School.
“TCL wants the Mather School to be more than our history,” Vice President for Institutional Advancement Mary Lee Carns said. “The Mather School’s leadership in education can be an active example for today’s TCL students, alumni and future students. This year’s inaugural event ensures the Mather legacy continues.”
Though the college has invited Mather alumni on campus annually for years, this year’s event was expanded to include Beaufort Middle School students as well as TCL students and alumni. Middle school students visited story circles, where they heard first-hand experiences from Matherites, current TCL students and TCL alumni. The event culminated with the group journeying together to ring the original Mather School bell.
Rachel Crane Mather established the school 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. In the early 1970s, the school became part of the South Carolina Technical College System.