Dr. John B. Edmunds, Jr.
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.
He is 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 is the author of 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 has 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 has been 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 is more than a colleague; he is a friend and a mentor. Dr. Edmunds is married to the former Judy McGrath of Columbia, South Carolina. They have two daughters and make their home in Spartanburg.
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.