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Von Lehe Establishes Endowed Fund in Honor of Mother

September 18, 2015
John C. von Lehe, Jr.

Charleston partner John von Lehe recently participated in the USC College of Social Work dedication of its new home in Hamilton College. A member of the Board of Trustees, Mr. von Lehe spoke of his mother, Agenora Adams von Lehe, a school superintendent and social worker who dedicated her life to child welfare. He recently established the Agenora Adams von Lehe Endowed Fellowship Fund, and he thanked attendees for allowing him the opportunity to honor and remember her.

From the University of South Carolina College of Social Work

Click here to visit the USC website to read more about the dedication ceremony.

There is much to be said about leaving a legacy, living a life that serves and empowers others. There is a want and a need to preserve those legacies - some do it in song or poetry, some build monuments or plant trees as reminders and some create scholarships or foundations to help others build and nurture their own legacies.

John C. von Lehe, Jr., BS ’65, Law ’68, is one such person. John recently endowed a fund, the Agenora Adams von Lehe Endowed Fellowship Fund, in memory of his mother, Agenora Adams von Lehe. Born Agenora Peterkin Adams in 1902, Mrs. von Lehe was reared on her maternal grandfather Peterkin’s plantation, Lang Syne, located near Fort Motte, S.C. in Calhoun County. She graduated from Chicora College, a Presbyterian women’s school in Columbia and became a teacher in the Calhoun County schools where she was elected and served as county superintendent of education. She married John C. von Lehe in 1942. When his job as a Southern Railroad telegrapher caused his transfer to St. George in Dorchester County, she became the director of the Dorchester County Welfare Department, a forerunner of the S.C. Department of Social Services, a position she served in for 25 years. She died in 1995 and is buried in St. Mathews Parish Church graveyard at Fort Motte. She was a devoted champion of the underprivileged and disenfranchised in both her chosen career as a social worker and in her personal life. The fellowship in her honor will support upper division BSW and MSW students who have a goal of pursuing a career in child welfare.

John C. von Lehe, Jr. taught as an adjunct in the business school for eight years, during which time he took accounting courses; was elected to Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary accounting fraternity; and became a CPA. He was elected to the USC board in 1998 and is currently serving as vice chair. John is a partner with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where he practices in taxation, estate planning, and appellate law.

For more information on supporting the College of Social Work, contact Anna Scheyett, Dean, at or 803.777.4886