“E” is for Elliott, Irene Dillard (1892-1978)
“E” is for Elliott, Irene Dillard (1892-1978). Educator, author, community leader. A native of Laurens County, Elliott was graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. For seven years she was the principal of a small grammar school in Columbia and also pursued an M.A. degree at the University of South Carolina. In 1923 she began studying for her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. In 1924 Elliott became the first woman to receive a doctoral degree at UNC. She became the first dean of women at the University of South Carolina and also served as a full professor until 1935 when ill health forced her retirement. Along with her work at USC, Irene Dillard Elliott became involved in many civic, educational, and cultural organizations—including Phi Beta Kappa and the American Association of University Women.