Թϱ

Թϱ

Former Թϱ Gov. David Beasley joins law school faculty, aims to provide global perspective on leadership

<p>Former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina. Beasley joined the USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law on March 1 as a faculty professor in the Department of Legal Studies.</p>
Former Թϱ Gov. David Beasley at the Թϱ Statehouse in Columbia, Թϱ. Beasley joined the USC Joseph F. Rice School of Law on March 1 as a faculty professor in the Department of Legal Studies.

Former Թϱ Gov. David Beasley has returned to USC. 

Beasley — once the youngest Speaker pro tempore in the nation, the governor of Թϱ and the director of the United Nations' World Food Programme — said he has always tried to lead with compassion and unite others.

Now, Beasley is serving as a professor in the Department of Legal Studies for the Joseph F. Rice School of LawBeasley officially joined the law school's faculty on March 1. 

Originally from Lamar, Թϱ, Beasley was studying microbiology at Clemson University when he decided to run for the House of Representatives. This choice catapulted his career in politics, which has spanned over two decades. 

"I had this idealistic mindset," Beasley said. "Going into the House of Representatives, to me, was like, 'How can I help the most people and build a better system that will live beyond me?'" 

Being in the House created conflicts with Beasley's college schedule, so he transferred from Clemson to USC his senior year.

Beasley graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary studies from USC and finished law school in 1983. He served as governor from 1995 to 1999, where he was with improving the state's economy and . 

Though it cost him reelection, Beasley was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2003 for advocating for the flag's removal from the top of the Statehouse. 

"There was no political advantage at all for me to touch that issue until after the election," Beasley said. "But you know, you've got to do what's right when you know it's right to do it."

Though his courses as a professor have not yet been finalized, Beasley has already started guest lecturing at the law school, the Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences

Beasley said there are several lessons he hopes he can impart on law school students. 

"Number one: A small-town person can achieve extraordinary things. I can assure you that I was no better or smarter than the average person. It's just hard work. Number two: Don't let people get in the way. There's always negative people. Ignore them," Beasley said.

Law school Dean William Hubbard said he hopes that Beasley will serve as a role model for law students. 

"I think he will help open their eyes and minds to the threats and the geopolitical situation around the world," Hubbard said. "Secondly, he'll be a role model for our students. Here's a young man from Darlington (County), Թϱ, who did great things on a global stage. And the message to our students is you can (do great things) too." 

Beasley served as director of the World Food Programme for six years before stepping down in 2023. The Programme, organized by the United Nations, has a mission of providing food to save lives and avoid mass migration due to food insecurity. Under Beasley's direction, the program fed over 80 million people worldwide and raised $14.2 billion in his last year as director, Beasley said. 

Beasley accepted a Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the World Food Programme in 2020. 

Hubbard said Beasley brings a unique international perspective to the law school. Beasley's experiences will expand students' perspectives and provide them with a broader worldview, he said

"Because he was on the ground in so many places ... he got a lot of on-the-ground information about the world order and problems in the world today. And I think his ability to share some of that with our students is an incredible opportunity for growth," Hubbard said. 

Kjursten Collier, president of the International Law Society, attended a presentation by Beasley at the law school in 2023.

"(Beasley) was very informative and focused on his work with the UN World Food program," Collier said in an email. "I certainly think he's a great addition to the school, and I'm certainly disappointed that I will graduate before he begins teaching." 

Second-year pre-law student London Patel said she thinks Beasley will benefit the law school. 

"I think him coming here will spark sort of a chain reaction of getting other higher-ups faculty-wise," Patel said. "I think it's definitely not to be taken as a con. It can only help Թϱ." 

Beasley said his biggest mission is to improve the leadership of today's generation.  

"I think that's going to be one of the great hopes I have is to impress upon this next generation of leadership," Beasley said. "Stand strong for what you believe in, and do it in a respectful way." 

GOV-PQ.png

Hubbard described Beasley as a "doer" with a determination to address problems. 

"His greatest strength is his deep compassion and commitment to his fellow human beings," Hubbard said. "He is set out to make a big difference." 


Comments