History of The ETV Endowment
The ETV Endowment has a rich 40-year history of providing funding to support the programming schedules of South Carolina ETV and South Carolina Public Radio, South Carolina's unique media voices in education and public broadcasting. We know our members value the rich programming legacy of SCETV and SC Public Radio and recognize SCETV’s unique leadership role in archiving our state’s history and culture.
Through members' generous contributions over the last 40 years, we have stayed committed to preserving public media for current and future generations.
- Henry Cauthen, president of SCETV, alongside Nella Barkley, the first manager of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, set out to found an organization that can manage the production costs of SCETV that the state budget doesn’t cover. On September 16th, the first organizational meeting of the ETV Endowment takes place in Spartanburg, SC. There, its mission is established – "to support and promote the educational broadcasting activities of the state network."
- In November, the ETV Endowment is awarded non-profit status. It was originally established as the “ETV Foundation”, but was renamed by South Carolina’s Secretary of State, Frank Thornton, presumably because he liked alliteration.
- Ten years after President Lyndon Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the ETV Endowment is officially chartered. It becomes an integral part of a unique, sustained broadcasting partnership between the public and non-profit sectors. Elaine Freeman sits as the Endowment’s first Executive Director with Nella Gray Barkley, James P. Covington, Hugh M. Chapman, Richard E. Tukey, and Robert E. McNair serve as trustees. Gilman Hooper of the Milliken Corporation volunteers to act as the organization’s lawyer pro bono.
- The hugely successful program, Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, is produced by the SC Educational Radio Network for national broadcast. Later, the ETV Endowment begins the underwriting program Friends of Piano Jazz to support the program. Bill Buckley, Elvis Costello, and Diana Krall sign on, and enough money is raised to protect the entirety of McPartland’s work, which is still played on NPR.
- The highly competitive ETV Endowment Internship program for college students began in 1980. At least seven internships, all funded by the ETV Endowment of South Carolina, are available with SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio each summer.
Elaine Freeman and Henry J. Cauthen with the first membership check.
- As the Endowment grows, the need for a second organization to handle the influx of grants becomes clear. The South Carolina Educational Communications Inc. is founded in May, responsible for administering grants as directed by the grantee.
- The ETV Endowment solicited and received 33 grants totaling $4,220,555 for the production of ETV’s presentation, Roanoak.
- The board of the ETV Endowment made a $40,000 grant to match federal funds for the building of the Aiken transmitter, allowing reception in that area.
- An ETV Endowment fundraiser brings Billy Moyers to Columbus to screen Amazing Grace at the Jefferson Square Theatre.
- The ETV Endowment successfully solicits CSX Railway to give up property for use as ETV’s satellite dish farm.
- The ETV Endowment raises funds, solicits underwriters, and contracts with Spoleto to make the 10th season of the Spoleto Chamber Music Festival possible.
ETV's Grand Opening
- SCETV begins construction of a new studio building at George Rogers Boulevard, next to the SCETV office building. The ETV Endowment raises over four million dollars to purchase the property, which it later sells to the state for one dollar.
- The ETV Endowment receives the first of many four-out-of-four stars rating by Charity Navigator.
- ETV Endowment raises all funds for the ETV Roadshow, which comes to many towns in and around the Lowcountry and Spartanburg. Roger Milliken of Milliken & Company welcomes visitors at the Spartanburg event.
- SC Humanities awards the ETV Endowment with a grant to fund the documentary Shared History, a film by Felicia Furman that documents the legacy of slavery and African American labor that once existed in Midway, SC. This is just one of many grants SC Humanities has awarded the ETV Endowment from 2007 to the present day.
- Elaine Freeman, the founding Executive Director of the ETV Endowment, retires after more than three decades of serving the organization.
- Coby Hennecy, the ETV Endowment’s Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Director since 1999, is named Executive Director.
- Following a successful capital campaign, the ETV Endowment provides ETV Radio a new, 1.5 million dollar facility funded by corporate underwriters and over 1,000 ETV Endowment donors.
- The ETV Endowment receives the Award for Nonprofit Excellence by the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO).
- On October 12th, the ETV Endowment celebrates 40 years of supporting public broadcasting in South Carolina.