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A. C. Moore


Andrew Charles Moore was born December 27, 1866, in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. He entered South Carolina College in 1883 and was the institution's first ever honors graduate, in 1887. From 1887 until 1898 he served as Superintendent of public schools in Spartanburg County, Camden School, and as the Principal of City High School in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore began graduate studies at the University of Chicago in 1898, and obtained his doctoral degree in 1900. In the same year he began his career at South Carolina College as an Associate Professor, within the department of Biology, Geology, and Mineralogy. In 1904 he was promoted to full professor, and the following year appointed as Chairman of the Department of Biology, the institution now formally known as the University of South Carolina. Dr. Moore remained in the Department of Biology for the rest of his stay at USC, except for the terms of 1908-9 and 1913-4, when he served as Acting President of the University.

As a biologist, Moore was particularly interested in botany. Among his research interests was the formulation of concepts on reduction division, as observed in liverworts. Considerable evidence exists for Moore's usage of the word "meiosis" in its modern context, as the first ever in biology.

Dr. Moore initiated the current herbarium with his own collections, begun in 1907.


Dr. Moore was a forward thinking servant of the University. In an except of a letter to his wife, written on July 25, 1925, while in Chicago, he stated:

"I fear the fundamentalists agitation has gone too far and harm will be done. Mr. Bryan has set going forces that he knew not of and that I fear will do incalculable harm. Unless the leaders of the church awake to the gravity of the situation and stop this effort to legislate men into the straight and narrow path, I fear the pendulum is going to swing in the opposite direction and that Mr. Bryan's prediction that this is going to be a battle between Evolution and the Bible will come true to the hurt of the Bible at least for a time 'til religious leaders come to their senses. What the churches should be doing is to encourage in every way the study of science to find out what is true and what is false and when truth is discovered to make it fit in with religious conceptions. It is no less criminal for a man to denounce the findings of science when he knows nothing about it and glories in his ignorance..."

In addition, he was a model for dedication of self and willingness to sacrifice (in the same letter):


Koeleria cristata collected by A. C. Moore, June 27, 1925, USCH# 000001.

"...I have had a somewhat depressed feeling this afternoon. The thought has been haunting me, 'what are you going to do with all this you have been learning? Are you going home and be satisfied to enjoy it yourself -- merely have the satisfaction that you know more than you did -- that you are fairly well up with certain branches of biology?' I know myself well enough to know that many of my good impulses end without fruition. Is that going to be the case this time? I hope not. I ought to be able to teach better, but I can't help feeling a heavy sense of responsibility to the youth who may come under my influence, especially at this critical time of religious unrest..."

Dr. Moore was the only USC President ever to confer upon his father an academic degree. His father, Thomas Moore, had left South Carolina College, joining the Confederate Army in 1861, thus missing his originally appointed graduation.

Dr. Moore died on campus, where he lived, at #4 University Campus (now Lieber College, on the Horseshoe) on September 17, 1928.

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