NGU Benefactor, Long-Time Trustee Melvin Younts Dies
Tigerville, SC (August 28, 2022) Dr. Melvin K. Younts, a long-time benefactor and five-term trustee of North Greenville University, died Saturday, August 27. He was 93. The noted philanthropist maintained a law practice in Fountain Inn and Greenville for several decades.
Born in Durham, NC, Younts spent all but one year of his life in the Greenville area. After graduating from Fountain Inn High School at the age of 16, he completed a bachelor of arts degree from Furman University in 1949, and a juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
“Melvin Younts’s relationship with North Greenville goes back decades and included multiple terms of board service and leadership, along with major philanthropy,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr.
Younts was first elected to the North Greenville board of trustees in 1989. During the second year of his term, the board was faced with potentially closing the institution.
“He was among the board members who guided the institution through its darkest times, when the university nearly closed,” Dr. Fant said. “His heart for prayer led him to plead to God that that the university would survive; the last conversation I had with him was about how those prayers turned out to be short-sighted as the university did more than survive: it thrived.”
Active with civic organizations in Greenville County, Younts supported many Upstate educational institutions. His support of North Greenville spanned nearly six decades. He and his late wife, Dollie Isgett Younts, began investing in the university’s students during the institution’s 1970s “Decade for New Dimensions” capital campaign.
The Younts provided North Greenville major support for a new athletics center in 1989. The institution named the Younts Athletics Building in their honor when the facility opened a year later. The couple provided leadership support for remodeling of the center in 2007, making it a fitness center for the entire campus community. The building was renamed the Forrest and Marie Younts Wellness Center in memory of Melvin’s parents.
To invest in the lives of student-athletes and students preparing for career missions service, the Younts established the Melvin K. and Dollie I. Younts Endowment Fund at North Greenville in 1992.
The couple provided a $1 million leadership gift for construction of NGU’s new football stadium. Melvin and Dollie Younts Stadium opened in 2005 as home for NGU Football. The stadium, with a capacity of 5,000, also serves as the venue for NGU Spring Commencement and other special events.
“Younts Stadium is routinely recognized nationally as one of the most beautiful Division II football stadiums in the entire United States, a testament to his vision for what collegiate athletics can do for a university’s reputation,” said Fant.
NGU honored Younts with an honorary Doctorate of Humanities during Spring Commencement in 2003.
“From Younts Stadium to Younts Fitness Center to innumerable scholarships, Melvin and his late wife Dollie were foundational to our work,” President Fant said. “I miss his wit and wisdom, even as I rejoice in the knowledge of his deep faith in Christ.”
Younts was a member of the First Baptist Church of Fountain Inn. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dollie, who died in 2018, and their daughter, Kerry Ann Y. Culp, who died in 1996. He is survived by four sons, Kemp, Joe, David, and Laney.
NGU has placed a memorial wreath at Younts Fitness Center, and will lower flags to half-staff in memory of Dr. Younts.