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Dr William Mellen McCord

Dr William Mellen McCord

Durban, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Death Jan 1996 (aged 88–89)
Lodge, Colleton County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Lodge, Colleton County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 95075429 · View Source
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Dr. William Mellen McCord, whose 10 years as Medical University of South Carolina president included the turbulent hospital strike of 1969, died Monday at his home in Lodge. He was 89 years old.

Of all his accomplishments, McCord was especially pleased with recent honorary degrees, said his daughter, Marilyn McCord Sloane of Lodge. MUSC presented him a doctor of letters degree a decade ago. In 1994, he received the Distinguished Service Medal from St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, where he had served as professor and dean for 10 years.

He was born in 1907 in Durban, Natal, as the son of a doctor and missionary. His father opened the McCord Zulu Hospital, which became the first accredited hospital in Africa and which still operates.

McCord came to this country in 1924 to study pre-med at Oberlin College in Ohio. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Yale University and completed his medical degree at Louisiana State University, where he taught for 11 years.

In 1942, he went into the Army Medical Corps as a transport surgeon on the high seas.

In late 1945, he was appointed professor of chemistry at the Medical College of South Carolina, a position he held until he was named interim president in 1964 and appointed president the next year. He served until 1975.

His term brought explosive growth as three departments grew into six schools and then a university. In 1969, the firing of 12 black employees triggered a 99-day strike that eventually involved several hundred workers trying to organize a union for better pay and respect. The strike, a milestone in Charleston's Civil Rights history, brought nationwide attention to MUSC and almost led to the hospital's closing.

Twenty years later, McCord told The News and Courier that he had painful memories of that time. He said the most frustrating thing was that the strike came as he was trying to raise the wages of black workers.

"When I became president Dec. 15, 1964, I made it my objective to raise the pay of blacks to equal whites. That was not easy at the time. ... I was doing it. But it couldn't be done overnight," he said.

After McCord left MUSC, he went into private practice in Montgomery., Ala., then to Granada to help develop a medical school. He and his wife retired in 1980 to Lodge, where their daughter and her husband have an antique auction business.

There he immersed himself in computers, which he used to organize their auction business and to play chess. He remained busy with computer work until he fell last April, broke his hip and became bedridden, Sloane said.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Chapel of the Fred Parker Funeral Home in Walterboro. Interment will be in Lodge United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Surviving are his wife, Evangeline Andrews McCord of Lodge; a son, Dr. James Andrews McCord of Lansdale, Pa.; a daughter, Marilyn McCord Sloane of Lodge; a sister, Margaret McCord of Los Angeles; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The Dr. William McCord Medical Scholarship is being established in his memory, to be given to an MUSC medical student. In lieu of flowers, memorials for the scholarship may be sent to the MUSC Allied Health Sciences Foundation.
The Charleston Post & Courier January 30, 1996

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  • Created by: Juanda Owens B.
  • Added: 9 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95075429
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Dr William Mellen McCord (1907–Jan 1996), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95075429, citing Lodge United Methodist Church Cemetery, Lodge, Colleton County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Juanda Owens B. (contributor 46581824) .