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Chris Crowley '11 Receives USC Upstate Distinguished Alumni Award
The 2013 Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award was presented to Chris Crowley '11 at the Convocation honoring December graduates.
This University of South Carolina Upstate alumnus is working to make his community a better place, starting with the campus where he earned his degree.
Chris Crowley graduated from USC Upstate in 2011 and stepped up to lead the University’s $50 million Capital Campaign in 2012.
“If you want to change the economic future of the Upstate, what better place to start than USC Upstate,” Crowley said. “If you don’t have quality people to fill jobs, then businesses won’t come.”
Crowley understands the business world. He’s spent more than 23 years operating Cherokee Textiles with 10 of those years as its CEO. It was during that time he decided he should complete his college degree.
Crowley said that he had attended three colleges but never earned enough credits to finish his degree. He returned to USC Upstate in May 2010, and it wasn’t long before he realized what made the campus so special.
“I fell in love with the kids,” Crowley said. “I realized how many of them were first-time college students, the first generation from their family to attend college.”
With that in mind, Crowley readily accepted the challenge of leading the University’s Capital Campaign.
Crowley said with the largest majority of the student body coming from the Upstate area and many making their homes here after graduation, he said it is important to grow the University’s presence.
“USC Upstate graduates are the ones who are going to staff any new companies,” Crowley said. “In lots of ways, the economic future of this community is tied to USC Upstate more so than any other institution of higher education.”
It’s an investment that Crowley has made both professionally and personally.
In his letter to the nominating committee, Dr. Robert McCormick, associate professor of history and chair of the Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy and American Studies, wrote that one of Crowley’s greatest achievements was his compassion for Upstate students. McCormick said that on numerous occasions, Crowley had purchased books for students struggling financially, helped with transportation, and helped students find employment.
“His sincere determination to uplift Upstate citizens to heights they believe unobtainable is his greatest attribute and contribution,” McCormick said. “Spartanburg is lucky to have Chris Crowley in its community. Likewise, the University has no greater champion.”
In addition to his work with USC Upstate, Crowley led the capital campaign for the construction of St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Spartanburg Day School. He is married to Garrow Crowley and has three children, Kathleen, Mark and Elsa Crowley.
The University of South Carolina Upstate Alumni Association is extremely appreciative of all the nominations that were submitted for our Distinguished Alumni Award. To submit a nomination for our 2014 award, please click here.
2012Dr. Sherwood Thompson '80
2011Sonya Kay Ehrhardt '08
2010Lee Ann Johnston '80
2009Michael E. Meilinger ‘93Penny D. Meilinger ‘92
2008C. Dan Adams '83
2007Milton A. “Chip” Smith, Jr. ‘78Mary Lou Hodge, RN ‘82
2006Dolores Anderson ‘81
2005Stephanie Seay ‘91
2004Lisa Leary ‘87Jane Bottsford ‘69
2003Ainsley M. Williams ‘93Barney G. Gosnell ‘79
2002William Robert Cobb ‘74
2001Priscilla Joyce Lipscomb ‘89Jonathan Taylor McClure ‘83LTC (Ret) Barry G. Murray ‘82Dr. Edward Homan Overstreet ‘91
2000Debroah Ruth Shehan ‘96Albert V. Smith ‘77James Robert Smith ‘72Mike Wood ‘77
1999Johnny Mack Brown ‘76
1998Reverend Robert Lee Brown ‘84Wilson W. Casey ‘77Henry Alexander Danis ‘83Dr. Daniel Livingston Dreisbach ‘81Rebecca Marion Grant ‘83Harold Andrew May ‘95Paul Lee Thomas ‘83Darrell Edward Whitaker ‘92
1997Kimberly Jean Ashby ’85 & ‘91Tonie Gail Edwards ‘89Toni Lea Nunsz ‘91Jane V. Turner ‘78
1996David Alan Bellew ‘80Rev. Mary Jo Cartledgehayes ‘83Steve Harvey ‘80Duveen Karen Woolbright ’80 & ‘88
1995Robert Meadow Carpenter ‘85Kathleen Gibson Elam ‘83Gloria Hope Graves ‘91Vanessa Thompson ‘94
1994Bonita B. Landers ‘84Tyrone Sterling Toland ‘90
1993Harry Howell Clyborne ‘80Dr. Linda Claire Miller ‘81Robert Lee Speer ‘83
1992Lee Hunter Bender ‘82Elaine Emory Bond ‘90Paul Alan Gray ‘84Carl Franklin Hyatt ‘81Joni S. Phillips ‘90Lou Lyn Turner ‘84
1991Dr. Jimmy Arthur Ferrell ‘81Jeffery Wayne Ray ‘88John Carter Wallace ‘89
1990Cynthia Ann Gardner ‘86William Craig Newsome ‘88Cynthia Denise Smith ‘81
1989Janet Sue Kirby ‘83Susan H. Krause ‘85
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Contact UsDirector of Alumni RelationsCharlianne Wyatt Nestlen864-503-5240Student AssistantJessica DeBiase864-503-5856USC Upstate Alumni RelationsCampus Life Center, Room 212800 University WaySpartanburg, SC 29303Phone: 864-503-5240Fax: 864-503-5264Faculty/Staff Directory
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?