Sanders Scholarship

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The Kiawa­­h Photography Club (KIPC) has honored club founder John Sanders through a scholarship with Charleston’s Trident Technical College. To celebrate John’s leadership, vision and commitment to generously share knowledge, this scholarship extends his spirit and KIPC’s charitable outreach goals to support students pursuing a career in photography. This is Trident’s only scholarship dedicated to the Photography program.

     On March 20, 2020, a small group from the Photo Club presented John a plaque and the documents establishing this honor. We each expressed our appreciation for his work over the years, and Sue Corcoran sent a message saying “…. we have new members who have not had the good luck to have worked with you, but everything we do bears your influence. We experience you indirectly at every meeting.” John was deeply touched by the attention and the scholarship. He shared that education has always been a priority of his and Aileen’s.


In 2005, John Sanders interest in photography led to creating KIPC. A few others helped pave that path, and are still doing so today, among them are Sylvia Bacon, Sue Corcoran and Howard Snelling. Since then, the club transformed from meeting once a month to every Monday in October through May and now has over 100 members. John was President of the club and managed programing, has been an instructor, and created the much loved Our World sideshows. The first slideshow, in 2010, was “Around the World in 60 Minutes.” He used his own photos in that project, but a much larger project, Johns Island —A Moment in Time, used photos by 20 KIPC members. Forty one members contributed to another memorable show, “See the USA.” Along the way, KIPC has gained respect and has drawn internationally known photographers such as Alan Ross (Ansel Adam’s assistant), Ralph Lee Hopkins (Lindblad and National Geographic), and Denise Ippolito, to name a few.  With KIPC’s now 15-year history, some members have been inspired to excel in their abilities. For example, Pam Cohen’s work is represented by several galleries in Charleston and in Ohio, and others have won contests and share and sell images on their websites. And many have thoroughly enjoyed taking dramatically better pictures and making books and slideshows. John had no idea how far his idea of starting a photography club would come.

 Scholarship News:

Trident just announced (March 2020) that the first scholarship recipient is an employee on our island, Kiawah Island. In expressing his appreciation for this gift, he said, “I want to let you know I have had doubts lately about school and seeing that you have enough faith in me to award me with this scholarship drives me to finish school and get my degree to pursue my photography business.” (See the letter from Mr. Scott.)

 Trident Technical College:

Trident is a public community college in North Charleston with about 12,000 students. The school offers an Associate Degree and Certificate Programs in Photography. Last fall, they had 44 students in the program with an average class costing about $560. This scholarship, the only one dedicated to the Trident photography program, has the following eligibility criteria: the student must be pursuing a photography path, demonstrate financial need, take at least six credit hours per semester with a GPA of 2.0 or better, and be a current or returning student. Preference is given to a Johns Island resident. Trident’s program prepares students for careers in professional photography focusing on the following: events, portraits, product and food, studio work, and production of images for magazines, ad agencies or stock photo houses.

How to Donate:

KIPC will make a $500 annual donation to the scholarship for 5 years. Additional contributions are welcomed and can be made directly through Trident’s Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, at their website:

Please use the Designation (not the Tribute Gift) section, click the dropdown box for ‘Other’ and note the KIPC/John Sanders Scholarship to direct your gift appropriately.

Donate Camera Equipment:

Trident is in need of cameras and equipment. To make a donation, contact Tamala Leighfield:

Donations are especially appreciated during this unprecedented time. Let’s follow John’s leadership in sharing and help support students’ visions for a career in photography.


If you have any questions, please contact Kimberly Wissel or call at 513-289-3830.

Information on this outreach venture will be updated with news about the recipient(s) and donation amounts.