Manuscript Collection



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Accession 1737

Inclusive Dates



Open under the rules and regulations of the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections

Collection Size

500 pieces, .25 linear feet



Historical Note

William Leonard “Bill” Culp (1920-2007) was born in 1920 on Winthrop’s campus in the house that once stood behind the Little Chapel and was the son of Leonard Parks Culp (1887-1978) who served as the director of Winthrop’s Physical Plant (later called Facilities Management) for 39 years. Bill Culp attended Macfeat and Winthrop Training School later succeeding his father. Bill Culp began working at Winthrop in 1951 continued through 2001 in the Physical Plant Department. He was well known as “a walking encyclopedia of Winthrop lore” and a gifted story teller. During his Winthrop tenure he received the first ever Winthrop Employee of the Month Award in 1984, a Presidential Citation in 1995, and Winthrop’s Chiller Plant was named in his honor in 1997.

Scope and Content Note

This collection is a series of transcriptions of interviews conducted of Bill Culp by one Lee Miller and students Whitney Carter and Leslee Elliott, dating from 8 Sept. 2003, through to the end of that Fall semester. The interviews themselves are primarily focused upon discussing the history of Winthrop, and in particular, the buildings at Winthrop, along with many of Mr. Culp’s own anecdotes. The interviews were conducted to “capture the history of Winthrop according to the 50+ years of Mr. Culp’s involvement with Winthrop.” These interviews offer a great glimpse of Winthrop’s history spanning from Winthrop Founder and first president, Dr. David Bancroft Johnson’s tenure through Winthrop’s ninth, Dr. Anthony Joseph DiGiorgios tenure.

Those working on the project included the donor of the collection, Lee Miller, additionally, Dr. Kathy Lyons as faculty supervisor in the honors program. Drs. Andy Doyle and Rory Cornish were the faculty working with their two students, Whitney Carter and Leslee Elliott. DeAnna Brooks with the Office of the President and Dr. Tom Moore, Academic VP at the time, also helped with the project. The information gathered by the interviews was used by the students to write an honors thesis and a major paper for independent coursework. The collection also includes correspondence between Miller and others integral to the project, primarily related to setting up the project. The original donation included copies and print-outs relating to Bill Culp, all of which can be found in the file that the Louise Pettus Archives has on Mr. Culp. The signed oral history project release forms can also be found in this collection.


The William Leonard Culp Collection was donated to the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections by Lee Miller September 18, 2020.


For information concerning copyright please contact the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University.

William Leonard Culp Collection - Accession 1737

LC Subject Headings

Culp, William Leonard, Sr., 1920-2007--Interviews; Winthrop University--Employees; Winthrop University--Buildings; Winthrop University--History; Facility management