Claude after his graduation from USC.

It doesn’t take long after speaking with Wayne Scott James to feel the love and respect that he had for his younger brother Claude.

“Claude was a very good man, an exemplary citizen who always voted, was never in any trouble of any kind, very dependable, and lived a good life, thanks in part to Connie Maxwell Children’s Home,” Scott wrote about his brother. “He was loved by all who knew him.”

Claude Blakely James passed away unexpectedly from pancreatic cancer on March 17, 2017. When Scott James found out that he would receive more than $120,000 from his brother’s estate, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with the money.

Scott reached out to Vice President for Advancement Eric Taylor to establish the Claude B. James Student Assistance Fund that will provide support each year for children transitioning out of care at Connie Maxwell.

“My main goal is to encourage kids to finish their education after they leave Connie Maxwell, which will certainly make them better prepared for a rewarding future,” Scott said.

Claude was the only sibling out of three James children to graduate from college. Claude went on to have a successful career in the Information Technology Department of the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

His journey, however, didn’t come easily. Claude never had enough money to attend college full-time and it took him many years to complete his degree.

“I did okay in life and am satisfied with the career path I took, but if I had stayed in college and obtained my degree I could have been President of the organization I worked for,” Scott said.

“Education is very important in all career fields—now more than ever.”

Scott was grateful for his time at Connie Maxwell and believes that it gave him and his brothers a chance for success in life.

“I deeply love Connie Maxwell Children’s Home—there’s a glow, a warmth, a fuzzy feeling that I get each time I come to campus,” said Scott. “Unless you lived here, after the hardships some families have had imposed on them, you really don’t have an appreciation for that feeling.”

Now Scott looks forward to helping enhance the growth of current and future students that are entering the next chapter of their lives through this new student assistance fund. He also can’t wait for the opportunity to tell future recipients more about his brother Claude.

“I’m glad this gift will be used in a way that will assist these children—my brothers and sisters—by helping to put them on an even more meaningful path in their future.”

For more information about this fund and other giving opportunities, contact Eric Taylor at (864)942-1446