Bronze sculpture of Richard Theodore Greener


Legacies Classification
Memorial Artwork
Memorial Type
Sculptural Memorial
Memorial Context
Memorialized Subject
Greener, Richard Theodore
Bronze sculpture of Richard Theodore Greener
Background and Context
Richard T. Greener was the first Black faculty member at the University of South Carolina, which was the only state-supported Southern university to fully integrate during Reconstruction. From 1873 to 1877, African Americans served as trustees and faculty and attended as students. By the 1876-1877 academic year, the majority of the student population was African American. Greener taught philosophy, Latin, Greek, and law from 1873 to 1877 and served as librarian for several months. He was among the first Black graduates of the university’s law school, graduating in 1876 and gaining admission to the South Carolina Bar that same year. Greener had to leave USC when Reconstruction ended and the South Carolina government closed the campus temporarily in 1877 (reopening it as an all-white school again in 1880). Greener later became a professor and dean of the Howard University Law School

This time period was long considered a shameful part of the university's history. An historical marker about the university erected in 1936 dismissed the Reconstruction era as "Radical Control." More recent research on USC's African American history, conducted by faculty and students, led to several commemorative projects, including this memorial statue of Greener. The idea of a statue to Greener began in the fall of 2010 in USC faculty member Katherine E. Chaddock's class on the history of higher education. Her lecture on Greener sparked an interest among a group of students, faculty, and staff in finding a way to represent Greener on campus, ultimately leading to the installation of the statue next to Thomas Cooper Library - a prominent and highly trafficked area. Created by sculptor Jon Hair, the statue was dedicated on Feb. 21, 2018, with Greener's granddaughter, Evelyn Bausman, in attendance. A symposium on Greener was held nearby in the Russell House. US Congressman James Clyburn was the keynote speaker. At the symposium's conclusion, attendees walked to the statue for the unveiling.
Physical Description
Nine feet tall silicon bronze statue on a 20" granite pedestal. Greener is standing, holding a book, and gazing toward the buildings of the original campus where he lived and worked.
Memorial Inscription
Richard Theodore Greener (1844-1922)
Professor of philosophy, scholar, librarian, and law graduate of the Reconstruction-era University of South Carolina. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Boston, Greener attended preparatory school at Oberlin College and Phillips Academy, Andover. He was the first African American to graduate from Harvard College and the first African American faculty member at the University of South Carolina, from 1873-1877. He later served as the Dean of the Howard University law school, as the secretary of the Grant Monument Association, and as a US consular officer to Vladivostok, Russia.
Creator/Participating Person(s)
Richard T. Greener Committee
Hair, Jon.
Date created, installed or dedicated
21 February 2018
Funded by
University of South Carolina Education Foundation
Location: Institution, City, State

Position: 397 (12 views)