Virginia Uldrick. Major Accomplishments. Founding Director and first President of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Founding Principal of the Fine Arts Center
Her superiors had her go to a naval institute in Washington, DC, to ask for a 26- inch refractor telescope.
Numerous awards, including:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award
Order of the Palmetto
Distinguished Alumna AwardOther achievements, awards, and positions
Press for interview with Virginia Uldrick. It is 27 minutes long.
Q: What is your fondest or best memory of Greenville High?
A: Greenville High School has provided me with so many memories that one would really build on the next. I was deeply inspired by the choral teacher, Francis Lynch, and each one of my teachers in the academics inspired me to reach for the best that I had within me. So that was a highlight as a student, and then some of the things that happened to me in my classes here really helped me to focus more on my college work. I had an excellent education in Greenville High School.
Q: What was your plan, goal or dream while you were a student at Greenville High?
A: I wanted to be an opera singer. And I suppose I was inspired by this teacher at Greenville High that planted the seed. In college I was inspired by all of my teachers, academic and art, but I think those people in music and drama were the ones that helped me to decide what I wanted to do in my future with hardly the highest expectation that I would ever fully realize my dreams. Then as I moved along I had the wonderful opportunity to study with the best people in the world in choral music. I did get a music degree.
Q: What do you think is the highlight of your career or life?
A: I'm saying all of these things to help you understand there is no one place that I can say, “This is it.” Eveything was a progressive and inspiring and extrodinary moment in my life. I don't know how it happened. I just know that I had a lot of ambition. I wanted to learn how to teach and satisfy the needs of young people with talent because they were not given the education they needed at the time.
Q: Who has been your greatest mentor? Who has influenced you the most?
A:I was deeply inspired by Robert McClain, who was the drama teacher. I was deeply inspired by the choral teacher, Francis Lynch, and each one of my teachers in the academics inspired me to reach for the best that I had within me. I think M. T. Anderson deeply inspired me, my high school principal and my first superintendent as a teacher when I came back to Greenville. My students inspired me to want to find out how students learn better, what they need to know and do. Richard Riley was governor at that time. He established through executive order the Governor's School summer program. That program was so successful that he said to me, “Virginia you must take the students to the mountaintop, and when they go there, they will never look back; they'll want to keep soaring. And you must partner with people who cannot afford to really duplicate services. So be careful how you plan to develop your programs.”