Myron G. Sandifer, Jr., Class of 1943, holds the distinction of being the only student to be class valedictorian and student body president.
Myron grew up in the small hamlet of Lowrys, South Carolina (population of about 100). He came to Davidson in the fall of 1939, after graduating from Chester High School. A chemistry major, he won the Alumni Scholarship Medal and the Hay Bible Medal in his freshman year. while also participating on the wrestling team. He was elected to the honorary societies Sigma Upsilon, Scabbard and Blade and Omicron Delta Kappa. The 1943 Quips and Cranks captioned a photo “Myron Sandifer . . . Served as capable Student Body President as well as being popular and influential in all campus activities.”
Sandifer loved Davidson College and had several friends and colleagues there: Sam Spencer (who graduated in 1940 as student body president and salutatorian and was later president of Davidson College), C. Shaw Smith (who was in charge of the union and student activities), and Chalmers Davidson (who was from Chester and was an author, historian, professor, and library director at Davidson).
During World War II, Sandifer was deferred by achieving a research fellowship for his medical education and residency. He later served in the US Navy in the Korean War from 1950 to 1952, especially working on “post-traumatic stress disorder.” He was a good teacher and was an expert on schizophrenia, respected by all his colleagues and patients. His career included teaching appointments at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia University and the University of Kentucky. His book Practical Manual of Psychiatric Consultation was published in 1980.
This entry was adapted from Lathan, S. Robert, “Myron G. Sandifer Jr: 1943 Valedictorian and student body president at Davidson College.” Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2014; 27(3):285-286.