Greetings Matherites, MIC Board, Families and Supporters,
We are so happy to welcome you to this long-awaited event in celebration of the founding of this great and historic institution, the Mather School. As we focus more on the Reconstruction years that had such a profound effect on the Lowcountry and surrounding areas (1861-1877), we understand the significance of Rachel Crane Mather's decision to leave her home in Boston, Massachusetts and travel south to Beaufort, South Carolina to teach the daughters of the newly freed slaves how to read, write and become homemakers. In the spring of 1868, after much prayer and supplication, Mrs. Mather purchased 20 acres of land in Beaufort for $87 and founded an orphanage that later became Mather Industrial School, thus the living legacy of Mather School began.
For the next 100 years of Beaufort's proud history, Mather School produced some of the best minds and talents in the nation. Mather School closed its doors in 1968, but its legacy of education and "training for service" lives on. The Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) (located on the campus of the former Mather School) has picked up the mantle and is racing forward in its endeavor to reach as many of our area's population that are desirous of an affordable excellent education in a variety of fields of study. From 1968 and now under the present leadership of Dr. Richard Gough, the Technical College of the Lowcountry has welcomed more than 85,000 students from Beaufort and surrounding counties! We applaud them.
We could not have partnered with a more dedicated entity than TCL as they have strived to help us keep Rachel Crane Mather's legacy alive. TCL dedicated the former library on the campus in memory of Rachel Crane Mather. With the assistance of the Beaufort Arts Council, which shares this building with us, this former library has been transformed into the "Mather Museum and Interpretive Center (MIC)."
I would like to take a moment to thank a group of pioneering women and men who in October of 2004 had the vision to create a local chapter, Mather School Coastal/Lowcountry Alumni and Associates Chapter (MSC/LAAC) and Mather Interpretive Center (MIC) whose purpose is to preserve the legacy of the Mather School and perpetuate the ideals of Mrs. Mather by emulating her love of humankind and helping to unleash the power of an unfettered mind through education.
Maya Angelou once said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." So, let's continue to tell the Mather story.
MIC Board Acting Chairman