Gail and Clary Hood
USC Upstate Alumna and Her Husband Give Back to Support Students in Need
Gail and Clary Hood know first-hand what it's like to struggle with raising a young family while trying to complete a college education. Married now for 40 years, the couple can easily recall the days when Gail was an elementary school teacher working to finish her master's degree in education at the University of South Carolina Upstate (then USC Spartanburg) as they juggled caring for three children and growing Clary's business ventures.
While those years were chaotic and hectic, today they can look back on them with nostalgia but savoring the life lessons they learned. And, they want to use their blessings to help others who may be following in their paths.
The couple recently established the Gail Hogan Hood Scholarship in Education at USC Upstate with a gift of real estate valued at $170,000. Proceeds from the sale of the land will fund an endowment to provide scholarships to students pursuing a degree in education with preference given to those who are married, residents of Spartanburg County, S.C., and demonstrating a financial need.
"I hope that this scholarship fund will help students who don't otherwise have the financial means to pursue a college education," said Gail, who earned a bachelor's degree from Limestone College in 1972 and her master's degree from USC Upstate in 1980. "When I started college, it was hard to make ends meet and college is so much more expensive now. The expense alone prohibits many people from attending college so I hope this helps produce more teachers for our area."
Dr. Charles Love, dean of the School of Education at USC Upstate, said he was absolutely delighted to hear the news of the Gail Hogan Hood Scholarship in Education.
"As a result of Mr. and Mrs. Hood's generous scholarship support, the University will be able to continue our efforts of producing the highest quality of teachers for South Carolina schools," said Love.
"Scholarships of any level allow students to concentrate more on schoolwork without having to worry so much about their finances."
"We've had a certain amount of success and happiness and we want others to benefit," said Clary, who is the CEO of Clary Hood, Inc.; owner of Specialized Parts and Equipment, LLC; principal owner of Regional Utilities; and investor in several real estate deals. "I love Gail and she loves USC Upstate so it is a win-win deal for me."