Today John Gramling II signed papers donating the final parcel of land from his family to the University of South Carolina Upstate. This transfer of land, which comprises the University’s opening gateway and the International Rotary Peace Park along East Campus Boulevard, was committed by the Gramling family in 2000 in order to fulfill the University Campus Master Plan. The documents now signed complete that process.
According to Roger Sullivan, executive director of the USC Upstate Foundation, the Gramling family and the University share a rich history. In 1968, Henry Gramling, John’s father, helped to create the campus with a gift of 27 acres and sale of 22 acres that were part of the family’s peach orchards and soybean farm.
“I remember when my dad and Dr. G. B. Hodge made the land deal,” recalled Gramling, referring to one of the University’s founders. “My father sent me out to the property with a tractor to pull up the peach trees to make way for the Administration Building to be built in 1969.”
Gramling said he spent five days atop that tractor removing peach trees from his family’s former peach farm. “I just wish that my dad could see this place now. The University has grown more than we could have imagined and has become such an important place to Spartanburg County. This is truly a gift from Gramling Brothers.”
Will Gramling is the third-generation of his family to be involved with the development of the USC Upstate campus. As a member of the USC Upstate Capital Development Foundation Board, he is excited to see how his family’s donation of this parcel of land completes a legacy started by his grandfather.
“We are excited by what the University has done with the land my family has donated and we are equally excited about the potential of the land we have adjacent to the campus.”