A member of the South Carolina General Assembly for 43 years, Senator Matthews is distinguished for his work to improve education at all levels as a way to advance the economic welfare of every citizen.
A former public school administrator and small business owner, Senator Matthews served in the House of Representatives from 1975 through 1984 and in the Senate from 1985 to the present. Among his many Senate committee assignments, Senator Matthews holds key appointments to the Finance Committee and the Education Committee where he advocates tirelessly for programs and funding that will strengthen the state’s primary and secondary schools and private and public colleges and universities.
Senator Matthews has been a champion for South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants and the state’s merit scholarships throughout his long legislative career. He believes that providing financial aid to students trying to improve their lives through education is an investment in the future of South Carolina. He also has championed college access and success for low-income and educationally-disadvantaged students through his unflinching support of the Higher Education Excellence Enhancement program.
Education has been an important part of Senator Matthews’ personal and professional life. He is a graduate of South Carolina State College, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, and Lincoln Electrical Institute. The Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, and the College of Charleston have presented him honorary doctorate degrees. In addition, he has served as a member of the Clemson University Board of Visitors, Winthrop University Board of Visitors, Voorhees College Board of Trustees, and Claflin University Capital Campaign Steering Committee.
The 2018 SCICU Legislative Champion will be honored on April 11 as part of Independent College and University Day. During this annual event, students from South Carolina’s private, non-profit colleges and universities meet at the State House to thank legislators for providing opportunities for excellence through student aid programs, including need-based Tuition Grants, and LIFE, HOPE, Palmetto Fellows, and Lottery Assistance scholarships.