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Bulldog News

SC State mourns passing of Dean of Students Mary M. White

Author: Sam Watson, Director of University Relations|Published: May 14, 2024|All News, Faculty & Staff News

Mary M. White
ORANGEBURG, S.C. – South Carolina State University joins the family of Mary M. White, dean of students, in mourning her recent passing following a battle with progressive stage IV breast cancer and leptomeningeal disease.

A beloved member of the SC State campus community, White was known for putting students first. She and her three daughters all earned degrees from the university.

Affectionately known as "Mama White" by many students, she rejoined SC State in 2007 as the secretary in the Honors Program and was promoted as Student Service Program coordinator II in the newly named Dr. Emily E. Clyburn Honors College for a total of 14 years. She was named dean of students in July 2022.

She was the 2019 Staff Employee of the Year for the Division of Academic Affairs as well as the 2019 University Staff Employee of the Year. 

White worked in Brooks Health Center from 2001-2005, and she was a work-study student for Housing in Student Affairs from 1985-1988.

A native of Orangeburg, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and criminal justice administration from Claflin University in 2003 and her Master of Science in transportation and civil engineering from SC State in 2017.

White is survived by her children, Valerie E. Nwadeyi (SC State Class of 2016), Deloris U. Nwadeyi (Class of 2022), Maryah A. Smith (Class of 2017), and Jeremiah R. Brown; brother, Willie C. White; nephew, Jamerial B. White; grandchildren, Zuri P. Smith and Kevin J. Smith III, son-in-law: Kevin J. Smith II; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, loving students, and dear friends.

A celebration of life service is planned for a later date. More information is available at  .