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John C von Lehe“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” –Kalu Kalu

There is much to be said about leaving a legacy, living a life that serves and empowers others. There is a want and a need to preserve those legacies - some do it in song or poetry, some build monuments or plant trees as reminders and some create scholarships or foundations to help others build and nurture their own legacies.

John C. von Lehe, Jr., BS ’65, Law ’68, is one such person. John recently endowed a fund, the Agenora Adams von Lehe Endowed Fellowship Fund, in memory of his mother, Agenora Adams von Lehe. Born Agenora Peterkin Adams in 1902, Mrs. von Lehe was reared on her maternal grandfather Peterkin’ plantation, Lang Syne, located near Fort Motte, S.C. in Calhoun County.; She graduated from Chicora College, a Presbyterian women’s school, located in Columbia, and became a teacher in the Calhoun County schools where she was elected and served as County Superintendent of Education. She married John C. von Lehe in 1942. When his job as a Southern Rail Road telegrapher caused his transfer to St. George in Dorchester County, she became the Agenora Adams von LeheDirector of the Dorchester County Welfare Department, a forerunner of the S.C. Department of Social Services, a position she served in for 25 years. She died in 1995 and is buried in St. Mathews Parish Church graveyard at Fort Motte. She was a devoted champion of the underprivileged and disenfranchised in both her chosen career as a social worker and in her personal life. The fellowship in her honor will support upper division BSW and MSW students who have a goal of pursuing a career in child welfare.

John C. von Lehe, Jr. taught as an adjunct in the business school for eight years during which time he took accounting courses - was elected to Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary accounting fraternity, and became a CPA. He was elected to the USC board in 1998 and is currently serving as vice chair. John is a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where he practices in taxation, estate planning and appellate law.

If you are interested in honoring someone’s legacy or starting your own legacy, you have the opportunity to become a part of the historic Carolina’s Promise campaign, which will raise at least $1 billion dollars to support students, research and programs at the University of South Carolina. We hope you will consider supporting the next generation of the College of Social Work students. For more information on supporting the College of Social Work, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Development & Alumni Relations,  at 803.777.3902 or visit us online.

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