For Anne Flynn, ties to Spartanburg and USC Upstate run long and deep. She was appointed to the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education in 2019, following in the footsteps of her cousin, Louis P. Howell, who served on the commission for 10 years. But she credits her father, Spartanburg native Edward Patterson “Pat” Perrin, with developing her love of the community and her passion for public service.
“His love of USC Upstate and this region was instilled in me from an early age,” says Flynn. “He was truly committed to the mission of this university and believed in its ability to transform lives and families.”
Flynn says Perrin, like three generations before him and two who followed, graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law. It made perfect sense, then, that Flynn should marry an attorney. Her husband, Larry, is also a graduate of the USC School of Law and currently is of counsel to Pope Flynn, LLC, a firm focusing on public finance and governmental law. The Flynns’ son, Lawrence, is a member as well.
Flynn herself worked for a brief time in the legal field. “It’s a fun story,” she says with a laugh. “I had been working in the travel industry and had gone to a dinner party at my landlady’s house. One of her guests happened to be a local attorney. We started talking and by the end of the evening, he had hired me as a paralegal in his firm—doubling my salary!”
About a week after starting the new job, Flynn met Larry while working at the courthouse in Charleston, and the rest is history. The couple married and returned to Spartanburg in 1980 and raised three children, Lawrence, Tatum and Anne Porchér. “We have six grandchildren,” says Flynn with great pride, “all of whom carry forth our family names: Lucy, Tatum, Zeigler, Rupert, Anne Charlton and Betsy. I adore being ’Tay Tay,’ my grandmother's name!”
Outside of her time as a wife, mother and grandmother, Flynn is devoted to the community. She has a natural gift for fundraising, a skill that has served many local organizations well. In addition to her role as a commissioner, she currently serves as chair of the board of trustees of the Spartanburg Regional Foundation and is treasurer of the Noble Tree Foundation, an organization established by Milliken founder Roger Milliken, with a mission to beautify Spartanburg. She is active with the United Way of the Piedmont and the Vera Davis Parson Garden Club, which, as a master gardener herself, she joined in 1983. Additionally, Flynn has worked with Spartanburg Community College on a horticultural series called “Arboretum Adventures.”
“I love Spartanburg and the people who live here,” says Flynn. “For nine years I served on the foundation of the Charles Lea Center, and over time, whether it’s been through the foundations for the center, our church or the hospital, I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working with incredibly talented people who help make this community thrive. I am thrilled to be part of it.”
Like her father and cousin, Louis Howell, Flynn believes that USC Upstate plays a critical role in the growth of Spartanburg and the Upstate region. “This community is special and our public university plays an important role in providing the skilled graduates our employers need. Being able to provide an educated workforce is key to continuing to attract companies to our area, and in turn, provide career paths for our students, so many of whom will settle right here.”
“I’m so excited by the potential growth of USC Upstate,” Flynn adds. “I’m incredibly impressed by the caliber of our new chancellor and faculty, and their commitment to our students. The combination of a dedicated faculty and staff, a stunning campus, and an affordable, quality education is the key to our continued success. I love to watch first-time visitors to campus step back and say, ‘Whoa, this is amazing.’”
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far
Anne Flynn gives generously, of both her time and money. Her father, the late Edward “Pat” Perrin was a highly regarded leader in the community, and like him, Flynn values collaboration and the weight of new thoughts and ideas in strengthening organizations or initiatives.“When you can give to things you care about, whether time or financial support, it’s significant,” says Flynn. “If you are fortunate enough to be able to contribute both, that’s a powerful combination. You never know how one person can impact another.”
Flynn says she inherited a philanthropic spirit from both her father and her mother. In 2014, her father established the Anne Porchér Z. Perrin Endowed Scholarship at USC Upstate in honor of his wife and her love of Spartanburg and education. This honorary scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.0 GPA, who are within the top 30% of their high school class and are residents of Spartanburg County.
Three scholarships are awarded every year to students selected from each of the public high schools in Spartanburg County Districts 3, 6, and 7, and are renewable for three additional years if the student maintains a GPA of 2.5 to the sophomore year, 2.75 to the junior year and a 3.0 senior year.
Anne Porchér Perrin passed away earlier this year at the age of 93. “My mother was an inspiration to many,” says Flynn. “She believed in the power of education and wanted access to it to be easy and affordable. Both of my parents are missed dearly by all who knew them.”
For more information about the Anne Porchér Z. Perrin Scholarship, please contact Erin Callicott in University Advancement, firstname.lastname@example.org.