Dean McCandless is featured in the Spring 2010 issue of the Carologue, a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society. She joined the Graduate School team in 2006, and has expanded the opportunities for our graduate students immensely. To learn more, read her responses to the Carologue’s questions below:
I became involved with the South Carolina Historical Society because
in the early 1980s, I was searching for materials on the first women who attended the College of Charleston. At the SCHS, I came across the (then) newly acquired papers of the Pollitzer sisters and was absolutely overwhelmed by the breadth of their involvement in the life of the city, state, and nation.
If I could invite any two historical figures to dinner, I would invite
Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, the mother of Jesus. It would be fascinating to learn more about these iconic women.
When I was eight years old, I dreamed of
operating a “farm” for little children, kittens, and puppies I loved babies of all sorts, but especially these three.
If I had to choose another era in which to live, I would choose
the early twentieth century. I love visiting the palaces, churches, and castles of medieval Europe, but I wouldn’t want to live without the creature comforts (not to mention medical advances) of contemporary society.
For my last meal, I would eat
chocolate mousse and shrimp and grits (in that order; it would be awful not to be able to finish the dessert).
The books currently on my end table are
South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, edited by Marjorie Spruill, Valinda Littlefield, and Joan Marie Johnson; Mrs. Lincoln, by Catherine Clinton; and God is Back, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. The editors/authors of the first two are very impressive women in their own right and as inspirational as the stories they relate.
If my best friend/college roommate had to describe me in one word, it would be
animated. I love to be surrounded by people and projects. .Relaxing is not one of my life skills.
If asked to name the three most influential women in South Carolina history, I would choose
Eliza Lucas Pinckney, Sarah and Angelina Grimké, and Septima Clark. (Yes, I know that’s four, but I hated to privilege one Grimké over the other.)
The bad habit I would most like to break is
shaking my leg when I’m impatient.
I love living in South Carolina because
it has everything – friendly people, historic places, incredible landscapes and wildlife, and of course, the beach.