Ed Royall ’53 Found Much More Than a Family at SAE

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Everyone loves a good old fashioned love story, right? Especially one that is still going strong for more than six decades, and brother Ed Royall is happy to be the storyteller.

“I met my wife, Helen, through SAE events,” he explains. “In fact, she was an SAE Sweetheart in 1950!”

Helen often attended SAE functions, as her brother, David T. Johnson '52, was a member of the fraternity.

Throughout their college years, Ed managed to win Helen’s heart and in 1953, this SAE Sweetheart officially became Ed’s sweetheart for life.

“We were married at Trinity Cathedral on June 9, 1953 and have been blessed with four daughters, 12 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren,” Ed says proudly.

Prior to their life of wedded bliss, however, Ed and Helen—who was a member of Tri Delta—created many memories together at the University of South Carolina.

“We attended many functions hosted by both SAE and Tri Delta,” Ed recalls.

Ed knows that without the fraternity, he may never have met his soulmate. That’s why he’s proud to report to his brothers that his marriage “is still going strong after 64 years!”

Reflecting on when he was just a young man entering college, Ed remembers being intrigued by Greek Life. He found SAE to be a particularly attractive fraternity and pledged his freshman year.

“I enjoyed being associated with the members of SAE,” he recalls.

The good people and great reputation of the fraternity was certainly a draw for Ed, and he enthusiastically immersed himself in the SAE lifestyle.

Living in the SAE house during his college years was different than it is today but nevertheless, very much an important part of Ed’s experience.

“The SAE House was on the Horseshoe when I attended, which was part of a campus building,” he explains. “For me, living in the house was an important part of fraternity life. It gave me a chance to get to know the brothers as you would a family.”

As a student, Ed stayed busy with his studies, focusing on English, Political Science, and eventually Law as his majors. SAE offered him important lessons that textbooks alone are not capable of doing, and they’ve stayed with him throughout his career.

“SAE taught me how to participate with others and become a leader,” Ed explains. “In fact, I was Eminent Archon in 1950-1951.”

In addition to that role, Ed attended regional meetings and trainings at the National Headquarters at Northwestern University.

After graduation, Ed began practicing law, which he continues today.

“I am still practicing law in Camden at Savage, Royall & Sheheen after 64 years,” he says. “I enjoy meeting and talking with clients and specialize in wills, trusts, and estate work.”

In addition to his work and family, Ed also finds time to enjoy his farm, outdoor sports, and coastal activities. He remains active in civic and church affairs, something he attributes to the values he learned in college.

“The University of South Carolina and SAE provided me with a strong commitment to serve others,” he comments.

Ed served as President of the USC Alumni Association in 1982, Chairman of Kershaw County Council, and as President of the South Carolina Historical Society, among other leadership and volunteer positions. He is an Eagle Scout, and has continued to be active in Scouting functions while practicing law. He has also served on the Carolina Cup Board for 34 years, Grace Church Vestry for 24 years, and is a 60-year Rotarian and past President. 

He certainly has upheld the values of SAE and exemplified the spirit of a True Gentleman!