Professor emeritus pledges $140,000 to Clemson English Department
Through the creation of two scholarship endowments, Professor Emeritus John L. Idol has created new opportunities for aspiring students of English and creative writing. The John and Marjorie South Idol Endowed Scholarship in English will provide one need-based or merit-based scholarship to a Clemson student majoring in English, and the John and Marjorie South Idol Creative Writing Scholarship Endowment will provide scholarships to Clemson English students who excel in creative writing.
Idol also pledged gifts to the previously established Idol-South Endowment, which supports faculty research and writing, and to the South Carolina Review, Clemson’s literary journal.
Idol taught literature and poetry at Clemson for 30 years, retiring in 1995.
“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Idol for these inspired gifts,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “Student scholarships go to the very heart of our mission here at Clemson, helping talented students get the educational opportunities they deserve. John and Marjorie Idol were tremendous assets to the Clemson community when they lived here, and through these gifts, their legacy continues.”
John Idol is the author of “A Thomas Wolfe Companion,” “A Critical Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne,” and the novel “Blue Ridge Heritage.” He has written more than 50 articles and book reviews on Wolfe and served a term as president of the Thomas Wolfe Society and a term as associate editor to the Thomas Wolfe Review. Additionally, Idol served as the editor of The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review for nine years with fellow Clemson professor Skip Eisiminger as associate editor.
In 1991 Idol was awarded the Clemson University Class of 1939 Award for Excellence. The award is presented annually to one distinguished member of the faculty whose outstanding contributions have been judged by their peers to represent the highest achievement of service to the student body, university and community, state or nation.
After retirement, Idol continued teaching in North Carolina at Duke University’s program for learning in retirement and at the Chapel Hill Senior Citizen’s Center. He resides in Boone, North Carolina.