Foundation Starts the New Year with a New Name
New Name Provides Immediate Recognition of Foundation's
Mission to Support the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind
Our foundation started the new year with a new name.
“We have a new name but the same important mission,” said Lynne Burton, foundation board chair. Formerly The Walker Foundation, the school’s foundation will now be known as the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. “The school has strong support throughout the state, and our foundation needed a name that individuals could immediately connect with the outstanding reputation of the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind. The new name will provide greater clarity and more immediate recognition of our foundation’s mission,” said Burton.
The new name also reflects the foundation’s renewed strength toward meeting the school’s needs. In recent years, the foundation has broadened its board membership and sought increased involvement from civic clubs and community organizations. It has developed stronger ties with current donors, enhanced relationships with potential contributors, and significantly expanded its grant writing efforts.
The school’s administrative building, Walker Hall, will retain the name and continue the legacy of the school’s founding family. In the 1840s, Reverend Newton Pinckney Walker and his wife, Martha, dreamed of success for every student and opened their home to students needing a specialized school. “In many ways, the Walkers were the school’s first donors. They were willing to give of themselves and to ask others to help meet the students’ needs. The Walker name will always serve as a reminder of the Walker family’s contributions, our rich history, and our dreams for the future,” said Ann Akerman, chief executive officer of the foundation.
Founded in 1979, the foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to securing resources that enable the SC School for the Deaf and the Blind to achieve its mission and goals. Since its beginning, the foundation has raised more than $15 million to support enriching educational experiences for both on-campus students and those served by outreach programs throughout the state. Its fundraising work focuses on raising money for instructional resources, adaptive technologies, and growth experiences that would otherwise not be available through state and federal funding.
Jimmy Wilson, CFO of J M Smith Corporation, presented the first check to the newly named SC School for the Deaf and the Blind Foundation. The check will be used toward a new playground that will include an obstacle course. Athletics Director Michael Sims and physical education teachers accepted the check on behalf of the foundation.
From left are Ann Akerman, CEO of the foundation; Michael Sims, athletics director; Nathan Pressley, PE teacher; Sanford Keyes, PE teacher; Aly Davis, PE teacher; Jimmy Wilson; Tammy Devine, past president of QS/1 and board member of the J M Smith Foundation; and Tom Farthing, vice president of Integral Solutions and vice president of the school's foundation board.