SUMTER, S.C. (courtesy morris.edu) — Friends and family of alumnus and Morris College Trustee Dr. James V. “Ted” Wilson, Sr., along with other Morris trustees and Administrative Council staff, gathered upstairs on the second floor of the Solomon B. Jackson, Jr. Administration Building on Friday, October 1, 2021 for Morris College’s Board Room Naming Ceremony. The ceremony was held for Dr. James V. “Ted” Wilson, Sr., founder and CEO of Universal Benefits Marketing Firm, Inc.
“I went on and made millions of dollars, but my foundation was here at Morris College,” said Wilson, a native of Chester County, S.C. Efforts to increase enrollment at Morris College received a surprise when Wilson did something remarkable and announced “I am going to pay for 30 students to attend Morris College 100% free of charge for the 2022-2023 academic year.” Wilson pledged that he is going to give the college $700,000 and challenged the board members and others in attendance by saying, “Give us the liberty to grow and build this institution.”
Morris College President Dr. Leroy Staggers would like to see Dr. Wilson’s generosity continue by inspiring others to follow his example. “He has raised the bar,” Staggers said. “We want to use his generosity to challenge all constituents of the college – alumni, board members, churches, and others. Donors may not be able to fund 30 students, but it would be great if they would sponsor one, two, or three students fully, 100%.”
Dr. Wilson has served on the Morris College Board of Trustees since May 2019. Prior to becoming a trustee, Wilson’s unselfish charitable giving, strong work ethic, and commitment to help bring quality and dignity to the lives of others resulted in Morris College proudly conferring upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on May 5, 2018. Wilson majored in Elementary Education at Morris College and later worked as a teacher in the Orangeburg County School District until he opened his own agency, Wilson and Associates, during a time in which African Americans were few and far between in financial services. Today, his multi-billion-dollar corporation is the third largest, independently-owned final expense marketing firm in the country and employs 25 in-office staff members, as well as 1,500 active independent field agents along the east coast and throughout the country.