William D. Melton
After earning his law degree from then South Carolina College in 1892, Melton became a highly successful and respected businessman and community leader, as well as a strong supporter of education. In 1922 he was tapped to serve as president of the now renamed University of South Carolina. His vigorous personality and executive ability greatly benefited his alma mater, including tremendous increases in funding and enrollment. But the greatest tribute to Melton and the importance he placed on higher education came after his sudden death in 1926, when numerous students revealed that Melton had enabled them to stay in college by quietly granting them personal loans.