By Chaunte’l Powell
Family and friends of the late Thomas R. “Tommy” Young III are ensuring his legacy of helping Upstate students continues with the Pamela Gray Heath Scholarship Endowment.
Before his death at age 69 on July 27, 2021, Young had committed to establishing a scholarship to honor a family friend and retired company employee, Pamela Heath.
Heath, an avid supporter of Upstate herself, was a longtime employee at Young Office. She was actively involved in design services during her tenure at Young Office, and was committed to the enhancement of leadership environments for students on the Upstate campus. After 25 years of service, she retired in 2019, and Young wanted to recognize her efforts and leadership by creating a scholarship for students, particularly marketing majors in the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics.
With the help of Tommy Young IV, Heath and her husband, Scott, decided to continue the endowment to honor Young’s memory and legacy.
Young III was no stranger to service to USC Upstate. He served as chair of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education from 2011 to 2020, and was a member of the USC Upstate Foundation Board from 1999 to 2009. He was a staunch advocate for the university, contributing his time and finances to support many initiatives throughout the years, including campus master planning, USC Upstate’s annual Founders Day celebrations and Commencement. He was also a season ticket holder for Spartans basketball.
Young IV says honoring his father’s philanthropic efforts on behalf of USC Upstate is important, and he’s pleased Heath will be recognized in the process.
“Pamela Heath was an extremely valuable part of our team at Young Office for many years. Pamela took on several roles with our company, but found design and helping clients fulfill their vision for new spaces was her passion,” he says. “Pamela supported many different industries, but education was her true passion and she thrived in helping schools create better environments for learning, as well as giving her time to improve education in Spartanburg. We are so glad to be a part of a scholarship in her name and the students it will support in the future.”
For Heath, her hope is the scholarship helps prepare the next generation of leaders with a quality education from USC Upstate.
“It is indeed an honor for me to be the recipient of the Pamela Gray Heath Scholarship Endowment Gift from Thomas R. Young, III,” she says. “Together, Scott and I will continue to make financial gifts to the USC Upstate Foundation to further the education of students who will be pursuing their dreams to empower and change the world. May these students be reminded that the gift of life and the opportunity of education can enable them to be the best person they can be every day. Tommy would be happy and proud.”