November 16, 2012
Campaign Committee Member Honored with Tommy Suggs Scholarship
A large audience gathered at The Zone Nov. 8 to attend a black-tie gala honoring Gamecock football great Tommy Suggs through celebration of the Tommy Suggs Endowed Quarterback Scholarship. Already exceeding $400,000 in direct contributions and pledges, it’s the inaugural scholarship for a named position on the football team.
Suggs, ’71, business administration
, is President and CEO of KeenanSuggs Insurance in Columbia and the long-time radio color commentator for Gamecock football. He is the only Carolina quarterback to beat Clemson four times (once as a JV player), and in addition led Carolina to its only outright conference championship—the ACC title in 1969.
A role model for Carolina student-athletes, Suggs is also chair of Athletics’ Garnet Way Campaign, and a member of the Carolina’s Promise Campaign Committee.
“Tonight is not about me, it’s about the endowed scholarship,” said Suggs, who attended the gala with his wife, Jane. “I am humbled, honored, shocked, surprised, and indebted to all of you for being here and participating financially and with your time.”
Gala emcee John Harloe, ’74, history, ’75, MBA
, one of Suggs’ Sigma Nu fraternity brothers, said 23 of Suggs’ fellow Sigma Nu members were on hand to fete him—while more than 90 percent of all invited guests attended to show their appreciation and fondness. Close to 300 attended the gala, enjoying a champagne toast at the end of the evening to honor Suggs.
"Since Tommy Suggs came to Carolina, there have been seven head football coaches, eight athletic directors, seven university presidents — but only one Tommy Suggs,” Harloe said, quoting the late great Bob Fulton, who called Gamecock football and basketball games on radio for 40 years. Suggs has been on Gamecock radio nearly that long at 39 years—and conceived the idea of the “2001” theme as Gamecocks take the field. It came from watching Elvis in concert.
“The Tommy Suggs Endowed Quarterback Scholarship: It just has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?” remarked University President Harris Pastides
. “Tommy represents the epitome of a life well quarterbacked.”
Harloe and another Sigma Nu member and gala speaker, Peter McCausland, ’71
, history, made lead gifts to the scholarship. They form the endowment’s Steering Committee along with Chair Susie VanHuss
, The Honorable William Hubbard, ’74, ’77
, Jimmy Addison, ’82
, and fellow Sigma Nu members Alden Sweatman, ’63
, and Stan Juk, ’67
Suggs called 2012 one of the special years of his life: the scholarship in his honor, an honorary doctorate of business administration from the Darla Moore School of Business, and one more thing. At the halftime of the Tennessee game, singing legend Darius Rucke
r told Suggs, “I love your voice.”
To give to the Tommy Suggs Endowed Quarterback Scholarship, contact Athletics
Development Director Jeff Crane
, (803) 777-7546; email: JDCRANE@mailbox.sc.edu
–Larry Di Giovanni, Development Communications