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Spelman Remembers Dr. Claudette C. Cureton

September 2020

Spelman Remembers Alumna Claudette Hazel ChapmanThe Spelman community celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Claudette Hazel Chapman Cureton, C'51, a long-time educator, community leader, and religious leader who passed on August 16, 2020, in South Carolina.

After graduating as valedictorian from the Chapman Grove School in Pelzer, South Carolina, she attended Spelman and graduated in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree in biology. She received her master of science degree from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina. 

Dr. Cureton taught in schools in Abbeville, South Carolina and Warren County, North Carolina before moving back to Greenville to teach at Sterling High School and Wade Hampton High School. In the 1973, she joined the faculty of Greenville Technical College in the School of Arts and Sciences and retired from the institution in 1995. 

She served in numerous roles within the Reedy River Baptist Association and the Woman's Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, where she served as president from 2009 - 2013. She was an instructor at the annual National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, the training arm of the National Baptist Convention, USA Inc. 

A lifelong member of the NAACP, Dr. Cureton was also a fifty-year plus member of the Greenville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., and a member of the Piedmont Mental Health Board of Directors. She was appointed to the South Carolina State Heritage Trust Board of Directors by Governor Richard Riley; she was a member of the former NCNB National Bank Advisory Board, a member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, and a member of the Benedict College (Columbia, South Carolina) and Morris College (Sumter, South Carolina) Boards of Trustees. 

She is survived by four children -- Ruthye Cureton (Ben) Cooley; Stewart Cleveland (Carmen) Cureton; S. Charles Cureton; and, Samuel C. (Lisa) Cureton; eleven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, two sisters-in-law, and a host of other relatives and friends. 

A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Donations may be made in the name of Dr. Claudette Cureton to the S.C. Cureton Scholarship Fund c/o Reedy River Missionary Baptist Church, Post Office Box 676, Mauldin S.C. 29662.

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