Actress Millie Ballinger ’48 honored at reception Friday

Posted on March 10, 2014

Millie Ballinger, right, with Sen. Lindsey Graham

Actress Millie Ballinger, a member of the Erskine College Class of 1948, was honored March 7 with an exhibit, reception, and ceremony in the Bowie Arts Center.

Ballinger, a native of Troy, S.C., who resides in Clemson, has performed in nearly every playhouse and theater in the state, and has also appeared in television and film productions. Costumes, photo albums, posters, scrapbooks and other memorabilia from her acting career were displayed during the reception and will remain in the Bowie Arts Center through April 24.

Ballinger’s portrayal of the poet Emily Dickinson in William Luce’s play “The Belle of Amherst” can now be seen online.

Christie and Graham crop

Dr. Brad Christie, left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said Ballinger’s sons have been friends of his since childhood, made a trip to Due West for the event. In brief remarks, Graham praised Ballinger as an example of a gracious South Carolina lady.

Acting President Dr. Brad Christie presented a plaque to Ballinger, the first recipient of the Award of Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts. Commenting on attendance at the event, Christie said he had met “more members of the Class of 1948 in one afternoon than in my previous 22 years at Erskine” and noted the  presence of many of Ballinger’s friends and relations. Among them were her daughter, Due West resident Kitty Storey, the mother of John and Mac Storey, both 2003 Erskine graduates.

Dr. Brad Christie, left, presents plaque to Millie Ballinger.

Dr. Brad Christie, left, presents plaque to Millie Ballinger.

 

Ballinger recalled that her father once asked her what she planned to do with her life, and she told him she was “going to Hollywood.” Her father corrected her, saying, “No, you’re going to Erskine College.”

Vice President for Communications Cliff Smith spoke about Erskine’s upcoming 175th anniversary celebration at Homecoming 2014 and invited those in attendance to come back to Erskine for Alumni Day April 26 as well as for Homecoming Oct. 7.

Bowie Arts Center hours: 1-4 p.m. Mon. through Thurs., 2-4 p.m. Sun., or by appointment.  Contact Ruth Burton, director, at burton@erskine.edu or 864-379-8867.

Millie Ballinger, second from right, with son David Ballinger, right, daughter-in-law Susan Ballinger, and Sen. Graham

Millie Ballinger, second from right, with son David Ballinger, right, daughter-in-law Susan Ballinger, and Sen. Graham