This scholarship fund is dedicated to the memory of Dallas Hirst Lumpkin (1909-1991), long-time resident of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Dallas Lumpkin possessed strong beliefs in the transformative power of education and the principle that all people should be treated equally with respect and love. She and her husband, the Rev. Bill Lumpkin, were committed to a college education for their eight children, but they also wished to support other young people pursuing their college dreams. The spirit, courage, and grace, which defined Dallas Lumpkin’s character, inspired her to establish, with family, the Dallas Hirst Lumpkin Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Mrs. Lumpkin’s willingness to stand up for her beliefs reflects a mindset well ahead of her time, fighting for social equality and against racism for many years. For example, after moving with her husband to South Carolina in 1936, she worked as a social caseworker in Charleston, assisting and advocating for the underserved. During World War II, she maintained home base and raised their four young children while Mr. Lumpkin took leave of absence as church rector to serve as a Naval Chaplain in the Pacific Theatre, 1942-1945. In the 1960s desegregation era, Mrs. Lumpkin welcomed and sat regularly with an African-American visitor during worship at the all-white Church of Our Savior in Rock Hill where Mr. Lumpkin now was rector. In the 1970’s, she became a Sociology Professor at Friendship Junior College (former) where she taught native African Americans and Nigerian immigrants. Coursework assignments included reading Black Elk Speaks and The Life of Mahatma Ghandi.
Dallas Lumpkin’s uncommon moral integrity deeply influenced those around her. The intent of those who endowed this scholarship is to continue her positive influence through its recipients and their contributions to society. Beginning in 1990, a graduating senior from a Rock Hill public high school has been selected to receive a DHLM Scholarship by its Board of Trustees, family members of Dallas Hirst Lumpkin. As stipulated by Dallas Lumpkin, these recipients are selected on the basis of scholarship, leadership, character, and concern for others. The one-time $2,500 award is presented during the school’s award day ceremonies.
The DHLM Scholarship Fund is a 501c3 organization, endowed through donations from the children and the grandchildren of Mrs. Lumpkin, to celebrate her life-long devotion to family, as well as her enduring commitment to education and community outreach.