1943 law school grad makes two memorial gifts
Today, women comprise about half of each incoming class of the School of Law, but Sarah Leverette hails from an era when female law students were a rarity.
She earned a degree in English from Carolina in 1940 and graduated magna cum laude from the law school in 1943 — the only woman in the class. But Leverette found limited opportunities in the private sector legal job market.
“I always said I knew the door was closed for women, but I didn’t know it was locked,” says Leverette, 95, a native of Iva, S.C.
Fortunately, career paths in education and government quickly opened. Not long after graduating, she became the School of Law’s first female faculty member, serving as librarian and legal writing and research instructor for 25 years. She went on to be commissioner and chair of the S.C. Industrial Commission (now Workers’ Compensation Commission) and continues to contribute time to the League of Women Voters and S.C. Women Lawyers
During her tenure at the law school, one of Leverette’s colleagues was Beverly Lovejoy Boyer, an assistant law librarian dedicated to children’s issues and how the law could help them.
“Beverly spoke for those who could not speak for themselves — the children,” Leverette says. “She was a most compassionate person and a vital assistant to me.”
Boyer has passed away, but, thanks to a memorial gift from Leverette, her name will adorn a conference room in the new Children’s Law Center on the corner of Gervais and Pickens, across the street from the new School of Law building under construction.
Leverette has also established the Capt. Stephen E. Leverette and Allie M. Leverette Endowed Scholarship at the School of Law in memory of her parents.
“They were forward thinking and very supportive of my going to law school,” she says. “They believed in education as a prerequisite for a full life and gave each of us a college education. I hope that this scholarship will help give USC law students the same opportunity.”