On Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 12:00 p.m., the Morris College Board of Trustees will unveil a life-size standing bronze sculpture in honor and memory of Morris College’s late and legendary president, Dr. Luns C. Richardson. The ceremony will take place in front of the Solomon B. Jackson, Jr. Administration Building.
A distinguished educator and administrator, Dr. Richardson began his tenure as the college’s ninth president on July 1, 1974. He retired on June 30, 2017 after 43 years of service and leadership. Having claimed the distinction of being South Carolina’s longest serving college or university president, he led the college in its initial accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 1978 and membership in the College Fund and United Negro College Fund (UNCF) in 1982. These two milestones launched the college into an era of remarkable growth and development.
In addition to the expansion of academic programs and services, the surrounding neighborhood benefitted from his valuable leadership as well. In 2006, the college was awarded a $600,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood of the institution. Working in conjunction with the Morris-North Sumter Empowerment Housing Project, the grant allowed for the building and selling of a minimum of two more affordable quality homes to low-and moderate-income people as well as financing for the renovation of six additional owner-occupied homes.
On January 7, 2010, Dr. Solomon Jackson, Jr. presented a $10 million gift to Dr. Richardson. This was the largest, most generous and unprecedented individual gift ever given to the college. As a result of his gift, the college was able to embark upon further expansion.
Apart from his career in higher education, of which he received numerous awards and honors, Dr. Richardson served as pastor of the Thankful Baptist Church in Bamberg, SC from 1958 to May 25, 2014.
The sculpture was done by Certified Palmetto Bug Casting, LLC of Camden, SC, where Maria J. Kirby-Smith is a managing member.