News Releases

Join the chorus -- Educator endows music scholarships at Lander University

March 19, 2009
Nationally recognized educator and psychotherapist Dr. Fay Maria Mitchell Hart of Greenville has endowed a second scholarship for music majors at her alma mater, Lander University.

The Fay Maria Mitchell Hart Public School Choral Music Scholarships will be awarded to music education majors at the state university.

"Music is important in the development of our youth," said Hart. "By establishing these scholarships at Lander, I hope that my alma mater will continue to prepare students for careers teaching choral music in the public schools."

Reflecting on her background as a music teacher and a psychotherapist, Hart said, "We want our children to use both spheres of their brains. Through music they learn how to do just that. They develop higher level thinking skills, and they just might develop a lifelong passion for music. That passion can enrich their lives."

"These scholarships are a testament to Fay Hart's commitment to the young people of this state," said Lander President Dr. Daniel Ball. "We are deeply grateful that she has chosen to support her alma mater in such a meaningful way. Students will be the beneficiaries of her generosity for years to come."

Hart, a licensed professional counselor and nationally certified psychotherapist, graduated from Lander in 1957 with a degree in music. Lander recognized her contributions to the music and counseling professions by conferring a doctorate of humane letters on her in 2008.

Most recently Hart was selected to join the People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs' Counseling Delegation to China and Tibet in May 2009. The delegation of professionals specializing in counseling will participate in an educational exchange with their counterparts in China and from around the world.

Hart is the recipient of a master's degree from Furman University and a counselor specialist certificate from the University of South Carolina and the state department of education. An author and lecturer, she has been a pioneer in the fields of counseling and education. She began her career as a middle school choral director and eventually moved into school administration. She secured a research project with Instructional Television (ITV), and in conjunction with ITV, wrote Old World History Guides for teachers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

With more than 30 years of experience in the Greenville school district, Hart served as assistant principal and dean of counseling at Sevier Middle School. With the assistance of then-South Carolina Governor Richard Riley and in conjunction with the Appalachian Counsel of Governments, Hart designed and operated the state's elementary guidance program and assisted surrounding colleges with training in elementary counseling. She was instrumental in developing a middle school program at Blue Ridge Middle School in Greenville County, where she launched the school's first counseling program. She has also worked with the legislature for licensure for counselors in South Carolina. She serves as an Advocate for the Aged to the state legislature and has been appointed as a counselor to legislators under the auspices of the AARP.

A member and board associate with the American Counselors Association and the Palmetto School Counselors Association, Hart has counseled individuals, children and families in private practice for 20 years. Her professional affiliations include: South Carolina School Counselors Association; Phi Delta Kappa International; board member for South Carolina Foster Care; Mental Health Association of South Carolina; Guardian Ad Litem; state president and national position holder with Career Development; board member and past president for South Carolina Counselors; and grant consultant for the U.S. Department of Education in conjunction with former Governor Riley. A master therapist and certified master chaplain with the American Psychotherapy Association (APA), she has been granted Diplomate and Fellow status by the APA and holds a position on the academy board.

Hart, who wrote the first mediation program for the Upstate, has served as president of Ethical and Religious Practices for South Carolina and has received commendation from the U.S. Department of Education. She was named to Who's Who in American Professional Women and received national recognition for her work to devise a test for post-traumatic stress in veterans.

Hart currently serves as an Advocate for the Aged in the state legislature and has been appointed as a counselor to legislators under the auspices of the AARP. The legislature has honored her as a "Living Legend of South Carolina."

She is a member of and holds offices with: Daughters of the American Revolution, in which she serves as state chairman of American History; Daughters of the American Colonists 1607-1776, for which she is chaplain; United Daughters of The Confederacy, in which she holds state chairmanship; and The Bench and Bar of 1565-1861. An organist, choir director and soloist for churches in the Upstate, she is a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Greenville.