As a Presbyterian minister, the late Rev. Robert S. Link ’56 undoubtedly wrestled with the foes of goodness and decency. As a Presbyterian College student, however, he grappled for the Blue Hose.
A member of PC’s first college wrestling team in the late 1940s and early ‘50s, Link is remembered by his son, Robert S. Link Jr. ’77, through the Bobby Link ’56 Wrestling Scholarship.
It is the first endowed scholarship explicitly established for men’s wrestling and, said Link, a way to support his alma mater and remember his dad.
“It seemed like a fitting tribute to him, given his time at PC and all his stories about being on the wrestling team,” he said.
Link said his father never wrestled before coming to PC and did so because he wanted to earn a varsity letter in college. So, he joined the fledgling Blue Hose team coached by an English professor named J. Ashby Dick who wrestled at Davidson College. A lightweight wrestler, Bobby Link counted high school football coaching legend John McKissick and his brother, Bill Link ’50, as teammates.
After his sophomore year, the senior Link joined the U.S. Navy in 1950 to serve in the Korean War. On leave for a visit to Clinton, he met his future wife, Mary Ann Craig, who was the director of Christian education at First Presbyterian Church. They married in 1954 and, after Link left the Navy, he re-enrolled at PC and completed his studies. He went on to earn his master of divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia, was ordained, and enjoyed a long career serving as a minister to numerous churches in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Bobby Link lived an inspiring life, but his stories about PC and being a member of that first wrestling team were the primary inspiration for his son’s gift to their alma mater.
“He really wanted to be a letterman at PC, and wrestling was something he could do and was good at,” Link said.
And now he not only will be remembered for PC’s wrestling past – but also its wrestling future.
“Wrestling may not be as popular as other sports in our area, but there is interest in wrestling across the country,” Link said. “Wrestling attracts students who otherwise might not come, so supporting it is a good way to help PC attract even more students.”
Director of wrestling Mark Cody said the gift of a scholarship for men’s wrestling is professionally and personally appreciated.
“It means a lot to our program,” he said. “And it’s very personal to me as a coach after meeting Rev. Link and getting to know him. I really enjoyed our time together sharing wrestling stories. I learned that his experiences were similar to my own experiences, and it made me realize that the sport may not change – but it changes your life.”
Presbyterian College is a private, church-related liberal arts college founded in 1880.
Located in the historic city of Clinton in the Upstate region of South Carolina, PC has built a rich tradition of service honoring its motto, Dum Vivimus Servimus — While We Live, We Serve.
The College offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors and has established three graduate programs — an occupational therapy program, a physician assistant program, and the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.
PC student-athletes — the Blue Hose — participate in 19 sports at the Division I level.
For more information about Presbyterian College, go to www.presby.edu.