The Rudolph Canzater Memorial Classic was inaugurated over 25 years ago as the PIC (Palmetto Issues Conference) Classic. PIC was an effort started by the volunteers of Jim Clyburn’s 1978 campaign for South Carolina’s Secretary of State to remain engaged in South Carolina’s political activities. “Candy”, as Rudolph Canzater was affectionately called, was one of those volunteers and an original PIC participant. His efforts helped lay the groundwork for Jim Clyburn’s eventual election to Congress.
In 1988, a ruptured aorta took Rudolph Canzater from us at the tender age of 49. The tournament was renamed and played in his memory the following year, as it has every year since.
Each year, hundreds of elected officials, business and community leaders from around the country gather on the shores of South Carolina’s 110,000 acre Lake Marion at Santee to participate in the annual Rudolph Canzater Memorial Classic.
As in years past, proceeds from the Classic will fund need-based scholarships for high school graduates and college students who live or attend school in South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. Over the history of this Tournament, we have funded over 1,789 scholarships and contributed over $4.2 million dollars to endow South Carolina colleges and universities.
Rudolph Canzater was born on May 13, 1939 to James and Nellie Canzater. His early education was obtained from the Columbia Public School System. He graduated from CA Johnson High School and attended South Carolina State College. He later completed his studies at Allen University where he made many notable contributions to the Alumni and Public Relations Programs. Upon completing his tour with the United States Air Force, he went to work for the Columbia Urban League as a part-time community organizer. During his twelve-year service with the Urban League, he worked as Director of the Project Assist Action Program and Field Representative of the On the Job Training Program. While serving dual roles as Director of the Manpower Development Sector of the League and as Leap Director, he was honored for his unsurpassed service by the United States Department of Labor in placing applicants on apprenticeship jobs. In addition, he held the position of Investigator and EEOC Counselor with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission.
Rudolph Canzater held memberships to various organizations and received countless awards such as The Columbia Service Urban League Award for dedicated service and loyalty to the citizens of Columbia. He served as Vice President of the LEAP Program and National Urban League just to mention a few.
Because of his loyalty to community and affection for people, he served twenty-one years as coach for the Greenview Eagles Football Team Midget Division and served on various boards at the Zion Baptist Church where he had been a member for many years.
Rudolph Canzater favorite pastime was golfing, and because of his passion for the game, it would later be the inspiration for The Rudolph Canzater Golf Tournament.