CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Former South Carolina Representative Lucille Whipper passed away on Friday, her son, former S.C. Representative Seth Whipper, confirms.

Whipper died at a local hospital – she was 93 years old.

Whipper was known as a model for community activism, being the first African American woman to represent Charleston County at the South Carolina Statehouse in 1985, representing District 109.

Whipper was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement in Charleston and worked to achieve political achievement and involvement.

She was hired in the 1970s to direct the Head Start program at the College of Charleston in developing diversity programs at the institution.

College of Charleston President Andrew Hsu issued the following statement:

Representative Whipper was also instrumental in seeing her alma mater, the Avery Institute, join the College of Charleston. Because of her efforts and her influence, the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture was established at the College in 1985 and officially opened to the public in 1990.

Over the years, Representative Whipper has received numerous accolades, including two honorary doctorates from the College of Charleston – one in 1992 and another in 2008. In 2020, during the College’s 250th anniversary celebration, she received the Founders’ Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the College.

Lucille Simmons Whipper was not only a trailblazer at the College of Charleston, but she was also a history maker for the entire State of South Carolina. Representative Whipper will be greatly missed, but because of her many contributions to the community, her presence will always be felt.

Andrew Hsu, President, College of Charleston

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg also released a statement on Whipper’s passing:

Lucille Whipper was quite simply one of the finest people I’ve ever known. She loved generously and well, lived her life with fortitude and purpose, and left the world better and kinder than she found it. Known to all for her great intellect and indomitable spirit, Lucille will be much missed, but never forgotten.

John Tecklenburg, Mayor, City of Charleston

Services have not been announced.