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Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr. served for 43 years as a professor of American history at the University of South Carolina Upstate. A Spartanburg native, Dr. Edmunds earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina, where he specialized in the history of the Palmetto State. In 1967, as the first professor hired by the University of South Carolina Upstate, Dr. Edmunds began a career distinguished by excellence as a teacher, a scholar and an administrator. For more than four decades, Dr. Edmunds inspired Upstate students with his enthusiastic teaching. Dr. Edmunds was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of South Carolina history, his deep affection for his native state, and his ability to convey his love for South Carolina to his students. He authored two books, Francis W. Pickens and the Politics of Destruction and The Episcopal Church of the Advent: History and Records, 1848-1998, as well as numerous articles on South Carolina. Over the years, Dr. Edmunds gained a reputation as a popular and engaging speaker on South Carolina history, often giving his time to speak with organizations around the state. At USC Upstate, he served in numerous positions from professor to chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences to Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. His contributions go well beyond the University. He served on the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education and as president of the South Carolina Historical Association. In the community, he was active with organizations such as the United Way of the Piedmont and the Spartanburg Civil Rights Committee. To all who have worked with Dr. Edmunds, he was more than a colleague; he was a friend and a mentor. Dr. Edmunds, who passed away on December 20, 2016, is survived by his wife Judy McGrath Edmunds and two daughters.The Dr. John B. Edmunds Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series is dedicated to bringing significant scholars in history, political science, philosophy, and religion to the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Upstate community. Sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate, the series features an address by distinguished scholar each spring.
Dr. Robert McCormick
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
The University of South Carolina Upstate is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of USC Upstate. Comments or Complaints?