Winthrop honors former biology professor, school’s 10th largest donor

08/07/2014 4:37 PM

08/07/2014 9:23 PM

Winthrop University honored one of the school’s most prolific donors this week and celebrated her lifetime of donations that includes support for student scholarships.

The university held a reception Wednesday for friends and former co-workers of Elizabeth King, who taught biology at Winthrop for 25 years. The late King’s most recent gift to Winthrop is to the Dr. Elizabeth Norfleet King Endowed Graduate Scholarship in cellular biology.

The latest donation from King’s estate makes her Winthrop’s 10th largest donor in terms of lifetime cumulative giving, bringing her total to $853,000. Her generosity will benefit student and faculty biology research and development, officials say.

Winthrop’s Acting President Debra Boyd described King as “a wonderful and noble person.” Her legacy is that she “wanted to ensure that students and faculty members could continue to experience science in the way that she wanted, which says so much about who she was,” Boyd said.

Previously, King established the R. Morrison and Miriam D. King Endowment for biology to honor her parents.

“Lib King touched many people as colleagues, and she leaves behind a significant promise of support that will have a tremendous impact on our program for years to come,” said Dwight Dimaculangan, Winthrop’s director of undergraduate research and chairman of the biology department.

King was a native of Concord, N.C., and earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. She also held a master’s degree in zoology and physiology from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in cellular physiology from Duke University.

Paula Mitchell, a Winthrop biology professor who worked with King, remembered King as a gifted storyteller who never stopped exploring her field. “She was always adding to her knowledge, always expanding her horizons. It’s wonderful that she left us the ability to do that as well through her gifts.”

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