The University of South Carolina DAR Chapter was founded by Dr. Irene Dillard Elliott, a native of Laurens, South Carolina. Dr. Elliott earned a BA from Randolph-Macon Women's College. After earning an MA from the University of South Carolina in 1921, she went to the University of North Carolina where she earned one of the first PhDs given to a woman at that university. She then came back to the University of South Carolina in 1924, where she served as professor of English and the first dean of women in the university's history. She served in that capacity until 1935, when ill health forced her retirement. However, in the wake of World War II, a shortage of English professors brought her back to the University in 1946, and she taught another 18 years until her retirement in 1964.
As organizing chairman of the South Carolina State Society, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), she inspired faculty wives, deans, mothers of deans, administrative staff, and students who qualified to form our University of South Carolina Chapter in 1956.
In the 1960s, Dr. Elliott gave funds to start a scholarship fund for students at the Tamassee DAR School and Children's Home located in upstate South Carolina. Through the Elliott Scholarship Fund, the chapter currently gives funds each year to the Tamassee DAR School for scholarship purposes.