USC Upstate Pool Will Be Renamed After $250,000 Gift From Spartanburg’s Poole Family

August 13, 2020 at 8:48 am
Poole Family Photo

The University of South Carolina Upstate’s pool facility will soon be named for the sons of two community leaders.

John and Lynne Poole, of Spartanburg, have gifted $250,000 to the USC Upstate Foundation for the naming of the Lee and Brad Poole Aquatics Center.

“We could not be more excited and grateful for the Poole family,” said Benita Hopkins, the university’s Associate Vice-Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs. “Their investment in USC Upstate will create a hallmark of memories for our student body for years to come.”

Swimming has been a significant part of the Poole family’s lifestyle for many years. It goes back to John’s collegiate career at the University of South Carolina, where he was a swimming letterman attending on a full scholarship. 

After the couple left UofSC, they carried on the tradition with their new family. Their son, Brad, swam on club teams throughout his childhood and later earned a scholarship and a captain’s rank at Davidson College. No one cheered louder for him than Lynne, who surely whipped out a few chants from her years as a varsity cheerleader for the Gamecocks.

Brad coached high school swim teams after college and then became Regional Sales Director for a major cardiac device manufacturer. These days, Brad and his wife, Jenna, reside in Charlotte, N.C., teaching their daughter the same valuable lessons learned from her grandfather and a shared passion for swimming.

After many years of supporting USC Upstate students through their endowed scholarship, John and Lynne wanted to dive deeper to show their appreciation for their alma mater. Anyone who knows the Pooles is aware of their love for community, family and aquatics. 

“This is our chance to honor our two children, Lee and Brad, who are so special to us and have been an inspiration to us and many others in such different, yet meaningful ways,” the Pooles said, in a statement. “It’s an opportunity to further the mission of USC Upstate; to primarily educate young people who are, not only from the Upstate of South Carolina, our home for over 35 years, but who will most likely continue to reside in the Upstate upon graduation and help our local economy grow and prosper for years to come.” 

As longtime members of the Upstate community with an outstanding track record for serving across several regional boards and organizations, including John’s 20-plus years on the USC Upstate Foundation Board, John and Lynne believe in “advancing the university as a major asset to the entire region that ultimately plays a vital role in the community’s growth and quality of life, and serves as a major economic engine.” According to them, “the best is still to come! Go Spartans!”