45 Years of History

The ETV Endowment has a rich history of providing funding for programming broadcast on South Carolina ETV, South Carolina Public Radio, and other public media stations. 

Through members’ generous contributions during the last 45 years, we have remained committed to preserving public media for current and future generations.

Launch Timeline
  • 1970s

    September 16, 1977

    First Organizational Meeting of the ETV Endowment

    Henry Cauthen, President of SCETV, alongside Nella Gray Barkley, the first manager of the Spoleto Festival USA, set out to found an organization to 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 at the home of Elaine Freeman in Spartanburg. Nella Gray Barkley, Richard E. Tukey and Hugh M. Chapman are named as the original Trustees. Elaine T. Freeman is appointed as the first Executive Director, and Gilman Hooper of the Milliken Corporation volunteers to act as the organization’s financial officer. There, its mission is established – "to support and promote South Carolina educational public broadcasting activities." The Endowment would not fund the ongoing operations of SCETV, which were part of the formal state budget, but would offer "ancillary assistance and generate understanding for the objectives of the ETV network." 

  • 1970s

    October 12, 1977

    ETV Endowment of South Carolina, Inc. receives its Certificate of Incorporation

    The ETV Endowment of South Carolina, Inc. receives its Certificate of Incorporation from the State of South Carolina. John S. Rainey provides the pro bono legal work to found the Endowment. 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. The ETV Endowment operates from its headquarters in the home of Executive Director Elaine Freeman on Woodburn Road in Spartanburg. 

  • 1970s

    November 2, 1977

    ETV Endowment becomes 501(c)(3) nonprofit

    The ETV Endowment is awarded tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3), ten years after President Lyndon Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. The Endowment begins what will become an integral part of a unique, sustained broadcasting partnership between the public and non-profit sectors. Nella Gray Barkley, James P. Covington, Hugh M. Chapman, Richard E. Tukey and Robert E. McNair serve as the Endowment’s first Trustees. Annual ETV Endowment memberships are available in two categories: Associate at $10 and Patron at $25. 

  • 1970s


    "NatureScene" begins production

    NatureScene, hosted by Rudy Mancke, begins production and will be syndicated nationally for the next 25 years.

    The Endowment finishes its first year with a membership of $10,342.

  • 1970s


    ETV Endowment begins underwriting "Piano Jazz"

    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 series. Bill Buckley, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall join as Friends, and enough money is raised to protect the entirety of McPartland's work, which is still played on NPR and becomes NPR's longest running cultural program. 

  • 1970s

    December 1, 1979

    On-air pledge drive

    The first on-air pledge drive takes place in December.

  • 1980s


    ETV Endowment Internship program begins

    The highly competitive ETV Endowment Internship program for college students begins in 1980. At least seven internships, all funded by the ETV Endowment of South Carolina, are available with SCETV and SC Public Radio each summer. 

  • 1980s

    May 1, 1982

    South Carolina Educational Communications, Inc. is founded

    As the ETV Endowment grows, the need for a second organization to handle the influx of grants becomes clear. South Carolina Educational Communications, Inc. ("SCEC") is founded in May as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is the production affiliate of the ETV Endowment. SCEC is responsible for administering production grants as directed by the grantors, to eventually include the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Arts, the National Science Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, The Lilly Endowment, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and The John Templeton Foundation. Nella Gray Barkley, Hugh M. Chapman and Robert E. McNair become the first board members with Michael G. Kazeef as Chairman.

  • 1980s


    ETV Endowment supports the production of "Roanoke"

    The ETV Endowment solicited and received 33 grants totaling $4,220,555 for the production of Roanoke, a three-part historical mini-series for PBS' American Playhouse. 

  • 1980s


    ETV Endowment supports a transmitter in Aiken

    The Board of Trustees of the ETV Endowment makes a $40,000 grant to match federal funds for the building of the Aiken transmitter, allowing for reception in that area. 

  • 1980s

    September 1, 1989

    Rudy Mancke leads first "NatureScene" trip

    In September, Rudy Mancke leads the first ETV Endowment NatureScene trip, exploring Colorado. Rudy will ultimately lead 35 Endowment trips across the United States, Canada and Europe. 

  • 1990s


    Bill Moyers comes to Columbia

    An ETV Endowment fundraiser brings Bill Moyers to Columbia to screen Amazing Grace at the Jefferson Square Theatre in Columbia. 

  • 1990s


    10th season of "Spoleto Chamber Music Series"

    The ETV Endowment raises the production funds, solicits underwriters and contracts with Spoleto Festival USA to make the 10th season of the Spoleto Chamber Music Series possible. 

  • 1990s


    "Making It Grow" airs for the first time

    A longtime favorite program, Making It Grow, airs for the first time in October. The series was hosted by Rowland Alston until 2012. Upon his retirement, Amanda McNulty begins hosting the popular gardening and horticulture series. 

  • 1990s

    April 30, 1997

    ETV Endowment purchases property for headquarters

    The ETV Endowment raises more than $4 million from donors to purchase the property on the corner of George Rogers Blvd. and Key Rd. in Columbia from PYA. The campaign is led by Hugh Chapman and Elaine Freeman. Donors to the campaign include Sara Lee Corporation and Foundation, The Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust, Sonoco Products – Mr. & Mrs. Charles W. Coker and the Charles W. and Elizabeth H. Coker Foundation, NationsBank, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mrs. R.M. Jefferies, SCE&G, Duke Power, Rotary Club of Five Points, Wachovia Bank of SC, Carolina Power & Light, Policy Management Systems Corporation, Springs Industries, G. Richard Shafto, BB&T, Alice Manufacturing Company, Milliken Foundation and Lipscomb Family Foundation, Inc. At the grand opening on April 30th, the William E. Murray Studio is the largest soundstage on the East Coast. The ETV Endowment later sells the property to the State of South Carolina for $1. 

  • 1990s


    Rotary Club of Five Points partnership begins

    The ETV Endowment begins its decades-long partnership with the Rotary Club of Five Points to manage the parking at University of South Carolina home football games.

  • 1990s


    Sally Foster retires

    Sally Foster retires as the Financial Officer after serving 16 years with the ETV Endowment. In May, Coby Cartrette Hennecy, CPA is hired as the Financial Officer/Assistant Director of the ETV Endowment. 

  • 2000s


    ETV Endowment receives Charity Navigator accolades

    The ETV Endowment receives the first of many 4 out of a possible 4-stars rating for financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator is the leading charity evaluator in America, highlighting the work of efficient, ethical and transparent charities. 

  • 2000s


    ETV Endowment raises funding for "ETV Roadshow"

    The ETV Endowment raises funding for the ETV Roadshow, which includes visits to towns across the state including: Hartsville, Laurens, Clinton, Abbeville, Greenwood, Newberry, Bennettsville, Cheraw, Dillon, Myrtle Beach, Berkeley, Dorchester, Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, Mt. Pleasant, Spartanburg, Charleston and Pickens. 

  • 2000s


    Grant to fund "Shared History"

    SC Humanities awards the ETV Endowment with 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. 

  • 2000s


    Elaine Freeman retires

    Elaine Freeman, the founding Executive Director of the ETV Endowment, retires after 31 years of leading the organization. 

  • 2000s


    Coby Hennecy becomes Executive Director

    Coby Cartrette Hennecy, the ETV Endowment's Financial Officer/Assistant Director since 1999, is named Executive Director. 

  • 2010s


    Funds raised for new public radio studios

    Through a successful capital campaign, led by Co-Chairs Suzan Boyd and Ed Sellers, the ETV Endowment raises $1.5 million from almost 1,100 donors to provide new state-of-the-art public radio studios. Bill Barnet, Anne Ellefson, Bill Finn, Minor Shaw, Debi Timmerman, Judy Bynum and Coby Hennecy serve as campaign members. The Grand Opening of the new studios is held on October 25, 2011. Jazz artists Jon Weber and Tammy McCann perform at the Grand Opening. 

  • 2010s


    "Song Travels with Michael Feinstein" released

    Song Travels with Michael Feinstein, a popular one-hour series that features a mix of conversation and musical performances and explores the Great American Songbook, releases in April. 

  • 2010s


    "A Chef's Life" debuts

    A Chef's Life makes its debut on SCETV and PBS stations nationwide.

  • 2010s


    ETV Endowment receives accolades from SCANPO

    The ETV Endowment receives the Award for Nonprofit Excellence by the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations, now known as Together SC. 

  • 2010s


    Patrick McMillan and the ETV Endowment travel to Costa Rica

    Patrick McMillan leads his first of many ETV Endowment expeditions, exploring Costa Rica with ETV Endowment members.

  • 2010s


    ETV Endowment travels to Europe

    Alasdair Clayre leads ETV Endowment members on the Endowment's Downton Abbey trip, the first of many European adventures with him as guide. 

  • 2010s


    Rudy Mancke leads trip to Minnesota

    Rudy Mancke leads his 35th and final trip for ETV Endowment donors to Minnesota.

  • 2010s

    October 12, 2017

    ETV Endowment turns 40

    On October 12th, the ETV Endowment celebrates 40 years of supporting public broadcasting in South Carolina. Rudy Mancke and Beryl Dakers help celebrate the occasion by reminiscing about the early days of NatureScene and pledge and the power of public media in our lives.

  • 2010s


    SCETV turns 60

    SCETV celebrates 60 years of storytelling in South Carolina.

  • 2010s


    "Making It Grow" turns 25

    Making it Grow commemorates 25 years with a live taping at the Sumter Opera House with Clemson Extension Agent and Host Amanda McNulty and host of guests, including former Making It Grow host Rowland Alston.

  • 2010s


    "A Chef's Life" wins Daytime Emmy®

    A Chef's Life, presented nationally by SCETV, wins a Daytime Emmy® for Outstanding Culinary Program and airs its final episode after five seasons. The ETV Endowment’s Friends of A Chef's Life, made of 135 donors, helped support this popular program during its five seasons. 

  • 2010s


    ETV Endowment doubles capacity to support South Carolina’s stories

    Because of many generous donors across the state, the ETV Endowment met its $1.6 million goal for the One State, Many Voices: Sharing South Carolina’s Stories campaign and doubled its capacity to support the production of local, original content. The campaign was led by Mary Rainey Belser, and committee members included Bubba Self, Rachel Chapman, Jo Hackl, Carl Falk, Vicki Killen, Bill Finn, David Parker, Sara Fisher, McLeod Williamson, Coby C. Hennecy and Julie Lonon. The ETV Endowment will continue to celebrate South Carolina’s history, culture, people and places here and across the nation through SCETV’s and SC Public Radio’s programming. 

  • 2010s


    Endowment sets membership record at $6 million

    The ETV Endowment breaks the $6 million mark in annual membership gifts thanks to our loyal, generous donors.

  • 2020s


    ETV Endowment receives accolades from Charity Navigator

    The ETV Endowment receives a coveted 4-star rating for financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency by Charity Navigator for the ninth year in a row, placing the Endowment in the top 4% of all charities nationwide.