The donor of our 109th collection is a fascinating individual who has several connections to our Library’s namesake. Like Fritz Hollings, Sarah Leverette is in her early nineties. Like Fritz Hollings, Leverette is an inspirational lifelong learner. Like Fritz Hollings, Leverette doesn’t believe in retirement and goes to work every day. Like Fritz Hollings, Leverette believes government should work to help all its citizens.
And Leverette shares some history with Senator Hollings. She was the librarian at the USC School of Law when Sen. Hollings was in school and he holds her in great esteem. Leverette routinely opened the Library over the Christmas holiday so students like Hollings could study. Hollings was just one of a number of World War II veterans trying to get through school as quickly as possible to catch up for the years missed in service. Leverette’s devotion to the students is legendary.
Leverette was born in 1919 and graduated from Anderson Junior College in 1938. She graduated from the USC School of Law and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1943. Her first job was with the state Department of Labor, where she worked chiefly as a statistician. Encouraged by Law School Dean Samuel Prince, she attended Columbia University for post-graduate studies in legal research and law library administration. In 1947, she returned to USC as Law Librarian. In addition to her work at the Library, Leverette taught legal writing for twenty-five years. During her career, she served with distinction in the American Association of Law Librarians. Upon her retirement from the University in 1972, Governor John West appointed her to the Workman’s Compensation Commission, which she eventually chaired.
She served as Law Librarian from 1947 to 1972. Her papers will mainly document her leadership in the League of Women Voters. Leverette joined the League in 1957 and almost immediately became one of its most active leaders promoting good government at the local and state levels. She presided as President of the Columbia League in 1958, and has long been active on the League’s board. She is still, today, a staunch voice for good government.
The Sarah Leverette Papers will add greatly to our rich holdings documenting the League of Women Voters in their work to encourage informed and active participation in government, to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. It has been a great privilege and joy to get to know Sarah as we have worked together to build her collection.
By Herb Hartsook