$250,000 Gift Honors Seneca Couple, Funds Carolina Scholar Award at University of South Carolina

January 13, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC – January 13, 2009 – The University of South Carolina has received a $250,000 gift that will endow a prestigious scholarship for Palmetto State students and bear the name of William H. and Ruth C. Bond of Seneca.

The Bonds’ son, Michael, a 1974 graduate of Seneca High School, was a recipient of a Carolina Scholar Award that enabled him to attend the university and earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1978. A corporate lawyer in New York City, Bond wanted to help academically gifted students and honor his parents who encouraged his education.

He chose to endow a Carolina Scholar Award, the university’s most valuable and prestigious scholarship for in-state students. The William H. and Ruth C. Bond Scholarship will be among the awards that are given to 25 students annually to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board. Carolina scholars receive admission to the university’s South Carolina Honors College.

The award recognizes outstanding scholarship, character and leadership in school and the community and is renewable for four years of undergraduate, graduate or professional studies at the university.

With the recent occasions of his parents’ 56th wedding anniversary and his mother’s 80th birthday, Bond said it seemed an opportune time to announce the gift. Bond’s father worked for the S.C. Department of Transportation for 44 years; his mother was a bookkeeper.

“I think they were pretty shocked and deeply touched by it,” Bond said of his gift. “It definitely made their day.”

University President Harris Pastides wrote the couple a letter recognizing the influence they had in shaping their son’s future and dedication to higher education.

“As parents, the values you set for your children resulted in Mike’s desire to recognize each of you in such a special manner,” Pastides wrote.

Bond said receiving a Carolina scholar Award helped influence his decision to stay in the Palmetto State and provided him with the foundation to pursue a law degree at the University of Virginia. Among his awards and honors, Bond was named a “Best Lawyer” in the specialty of real estate law in “The Best Lawyers in America 2009.”

Bond is a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York. His career with the firm includes positions in Dallas, Texas, and Washington, D.C.  Bond and his wife, Lynnette, have three children.

The Carolina Scholars Program, established in 1969, was begun to encourage South Carolina’s most academically gifted students to remain in state for their education. Approximately 800 students have received awards in the four decades of the scholarship program.