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College of Social Work

  • The College of Social Work is celebrating our 55th anniversary in 2024.

Our History

From its inception in 1969, the College of Social Work has operated as an institution of highest quality. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2019, the college continues to grow and develop to meet emerging needs and challenges.


1968 The College of Social Work was reestablished by a group from the Governor’s Advisory Board for Mental Health. The University of South Carolina had offered a graduate program in social work in the early 1940s but was discontinued after a brief period.
1969 The first class of 22 students began their studies in September under the leadership of Dean Joseph Hungate and Associate Dean Maxwell Cook.
  • Part-time courses were offered in Charleston.
  • The first class of 22 students graduated.
1978  All faculty and administrative offices were moved to DeSaussure College after the building’s renovation. Classrooms were moved to Harper College.
1980 Frank Raymond was appointed dean after serving as acting dean since 1979. John Gandy and Lois Abramczyk were named associate deans.
1984  A combination degree in social work and public administration was offered. 
  • The college sponsored the National Conference on Social Work in Rural Areas and initiated the National Black Family Summit.
  • The Center for Child and Family Studies was established.
  • The college began organizing trips abroad for faculty and staff.
  • The college’s international program began with activities in Mexico.
  • The doctoral program in social work was implemented. It was the first doctoral program in social work in Georgia, North Carolina or South Carolina.
  • A certificate in gerontology was added.
1990 A combination degree in social work and public health was offered.
1993 The college launched its Master of Social Work program in Korea to a cohort of 28 students. The program was started in response to an invitation from Korean social workers who were aware of the college’s reputation for part-time social work education. The college was first  school of social work to offer an MSW program in its entirety on foreign soil.   
  • To celebrate the college’s 25th anniversary, a special ceremony was held on October 7 in the Capstone Ballroom honoring all alumni, graduates, students and instructors.
  • The I. DeQuincey Newman Chair was established. It was the first fully endowed chair at USC named after an African American.
  • On February 24, the college sponsored the “Community/College Collaboration” conference, which featured the film, “Reflections: 25 Years of Social Work Education in South Carolina,” produced by Jerry Randolph of the College of Social Work. The keynote speaker was Barbara White, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Master of Social Work degrees were conferred to 25 Korean students after they completed an experimental project between the College of Social Work and the King Nam University, the largest and oldest undergraduate social work education program in South Korea.
1999 A combination degree in social work and law was offered.
2002 Leon Ginsberg was appointed dean.
2003 Students studied in India for the first time as part of USC’s study-abroad program.
2004 The certificate in graduate studies in drug and addictions studies was moved to the College of Social Work.
2005 Dennis Poole was appointed dean.
2006 The Honorable Matthew J. Perry spoke at the I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Justice annual lecture. Perry was the first African American United States District Judge in South Carolina.
2009 The Bachelor of Social Work major began with seven students.
2011 Anna Scheyett was appointed dean.
2013 The certificate for Social and Behavioral Health Services for Military Members, Veterans and Military Families was established.
2015 The College of Social Work moved to its renovated home at Hamilton College.
2017 Sarah Gehlert was appointed dean.
2020 Ronald Pitner was appoined interim dean.

Teri Browne was appointed interim dean.


Teri Browne was appointed dean.

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