A True CofC Trailblazer

On the bookshelf behind his desk in his third-floor office in TD Arena, Otto German ’73 has two framed photos. Perhaps a man’s life can’t be summed up in a couple of photos, but these two come pretty close.

The first is a portrait of German and his late wife and partner of 51 years, Albertha, who passed away in December 2017. He still remembers the exact day they met: June 20, 1966.

“We had a pretty unique relationship,” he says, looking at her image. “It was never all about her, it was never all about me. It was about a union and a promise that we made to each other.”

The other photo is a group shot from 2008 of the 40th anniversary celebration of the integration of the College of Charleston. German is pictured with other trailblazers like Eddie Ganaway ’71, the College’s first black graduate; Carrie Nesbitt Gibbs ’72, the first black female graduate; Fred Daniels, the former men’s basketball coach and admissions director; Lucille Simmons Whipper, the first black administrator; Marvin Dulaney, a former history professor and Avery Research Center executive director; Remus Harper ’72, the first black scholarship athlete; and former presidents Ted Stern and 
P. George Benson.

“I was honored to be a part of something new to the College,” he says. “But here we are years later, and there’s still work to do when we look at diversity across the board in all areas of the College.”

German, who became the second black scholarship athlete at the College, knows the importance scholarships can play in a young athlete’s life, so it makes sense that two athletic scholarships were named in his honor by the Alumni Association.

“I’m humbled and honored that my fellow alums think that much of me,” says the recent retiree. “That is better than being in the Athletics Hall of Fame.”

With the Otto B. German ’73 Endowed Alumni Scholarships in Athletics, German’s 50-year legacy at the College will continue.  – Tom Cunneff