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SC State University honors 104-year-old alumna who survived COVID-19

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SC State President James E. Clark visits 104-year-old alumna Catherine Miller Morgan Harris in Florence, South Carolina. (Photo from South Carolina State University)

A 104-year-old South Carolina State University alumna received a special surprise this week from her former college.

Catherine Miller Morgan Harris graduated in 1940, when the university was a college. She recently turned 104 after surviving a case of COVID-19 last year.

Over the weekend, SC State President James E. Clark presented the alumna with a framed certificate honoring her birthday, which was June 8. She was also gifted SC State merchandise, including a Bulldog sweater and a blanket with the university's seal.

Along with a few other university officials and family, Clarks visited Harris at her home at Carlyle Senior Care in Florence on Saturday to present her with the gifts.

After graduating with an education degree, Harris taught school in both North and South Carolina. She returned to Florence in the 1950s and opened an office, where she worked as an accountant and helped others obtain records to receive Society Security benefits, proof of marriage and more, the school said.

According to the university and The Morning News in Florence, her work helped many Black Americans leaving the rural South for economic and social reasons avoid a trip back to the South to obtain necessary documents. She also worked as a reporter for the Afro-American Newspaper Company of Baltimore.