Host of leaders in South Carolina show appreciation for Bob Mcnair
An outpouring of praise came for Bob Mcnair, the 1958 University of South Carolina graduate and Houston Texans owner, after the announcement of his death at age 81 on Friday.
Prominent South Carolinians and state leaders offered up their appreciation for Mcnair.
Former governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said she was sorry to hear of the Mcnair’s passing and remembered him for being one of the first donors to assist South Carolina following the historic 2015 flood.
Mcnair was “a kind and generous man,” Haley said.
Leaders at USC also offered up words of praise for the school alumnus turned NFL owner.
In a statement, USC President Harris Pastides said Mcnair “was a giant, even among very great persons.”
Pastides remembered students being influenced by Mcnair, one young scholar saying the business man and philanthropist made the student want to “‘stand taller, work harder, and serve more people.’ ”
The USC president remembered Mcnair, who grew up in North Carolina,
for the scholarship program that bore his name, which helped to bring out-of-state students to USC.
“Here at Carolina, his alma mater stands in salute to a man who gave back more than he took away, and to a man that led a full and large life,” Pastides said. “He benefited from life’s bounties and shared his resources with others. But the greatest gift he gave was the example of a life lived with integrity, compassion and love of family and country.”
In 2017, Mcnair gave USC $5 million to help fund the school’s football operations building. The Mcnair family gave $25 million in total to USC, WACH reported.
USC Athletic Director Ray Tanner also mourned Mcnair’s passing, saying “Today we lost our friend and a great Alumnus . ... Our Gamecock Family sends condolences to Mrs. Mcnair and their entire family.”
Bob and Janice Mcnair, his wife, also contributed to Columbia College, giving $5 million in 2015 to pay for the creation of the Mcnair Center for Entrepreneurism. The Mcnairs also contributed to other programs and buildings at Columbia College, the school said in a social media post. A building on the college’s campus was named after the Mcnair family. Janice Mcnair graduated Columbia College in 1959. The school called the Mcnairs “generous supporters.”
“Hundreds of students at Columbia College have had their educational experience enhanced thanks to the Mcnairs,” Columbia College said over social media. “We are forever grateful.”
It wasn’t all praise for Mcnair. Many people remembered and condemned him for saying “we can’t have the inmates running the prison” when speaking about NFL owners letting players kneel during the national anthem.
DJ Reader, a former Clemson football player now with the Texans, gave a personal testimony to Mcnair on social media.
“May my prayers be with the Mcnair family,” Reader said. “I will forever be grateful to Mr. Bob Mcnair for giving me a chance to live my life long dream. A true legend.”
Houston Texans owner Bob Mcnair died at age 81 on Friday. He graduated from South Carolina in 1958.