104-Year-Old South Carolina Woman Overcomes Illness And Is Honored By Her Alma Mater


June 24, 2021

She’s beat the odds time and time again!

A 104-year-old South Carolina woman beat COVID-19 and received and is being honored by her alma mater, Good Morning America reports.

Catherine Miller Morgan Harris graduated from South Carolina State with a degree in education in 1940. She went on to work as a teacher in North and South Carolina, eventually returning home to Florence, South Carolina to open a public relations office where she served as an accountant. In addition to her PR work, she also was a contributing writer for the Afro-American newspaper in Baltimore.


Recently, Harris turned 104 on June 8th. But she didn’t always know if she was going to make it to her next birthday. On April 28, 2020, Harris tested positive for COVID-19. While her symptoms weren’t severe, the staff at the senior care center she lives at still monitored her dry cough, temperature and oxygen levels closely. In the end, she avoided hospitalization and made a full recovery. In January, she received her vaccine. 

Crystal Evans, activities director at the senior care center where Harris lives, spoke about her recovery saying, “She’s doing wonderful. She’s alert and oriented. 

During her birthday celebration at the center, Harris was joined by officials from her alma mater, including the University president of South Carolina State, James Clark. The group came to wish the centenarian a happy birthday and present Harris with some university paraphernalia and a framed certificate. 


“She’s a part of the family. I just congratulated her, told her that we all loved her. She’s a very resilient person,” said Clark.

Harris’ niece, Elizabeth Coleman, also joined the festivities, speaking to reporters about the joy it brought her aunt.

“She was very happy. You could see it on her face. She was smiling and laughing,” said Coleman.


Coleman added that Harris has a lot to be grateful for, given all she’s accomplished, knowing that Harris credits her long life to her faith in God.

“She loves the Lord…It was hard back then for people of color to obtain any position of status, so I thought it was really fantastic that she was able to accomplish all that. She enjoyed what she did. It was from her heart, and she enjoyed giving and doing,” Coleman said.

Happy Birthday Mother Harris! Because of you, we can!


Photo Courtesy of South Carolina State University

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