“Everything’s good. It’s busy, just busy.” Minor Shaw finally sits down to catch her breath after another day of meetings and dealings. “I don’t know how I’m still just as busy. I’m not sure why. Maybe life’s not as efficient as it used to be?” Ever humble, she quietly admits business and community leaders continue to call upon her expertise and vision. And why wouldn’t they?
Shaw comes from a family that helped build Heritage Green, The Peace Center, and Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The 76-year-old spearheaded fundraising to build the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and was a founder of Roper Mountain Science Center. She’s held seats with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, The Palmetto Institute, and BlueCross BlueShield Foundation.
Today, she continues to chair the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission, and serves as a trustee for Hollingsworth Funds and Duke Endowment, while also leading The Daniel-Mickel Foundation with relatives. Half a dozen additional commitments round out her to-do list, including work with the United Way of Greenville County. “I’ll scale back somewhat,” she predicts. “It’s difficult. I feel like you look back and see more wisdom that you can use. Why not share that when people want you to, and you have the opportunity?”
Her personal opportunities with family have been increasing significantly in recent years, which is pleasing. “It’s really great, the way it should be,” she reflects. “We have ten grandkids who range from 6 to 18. The oldest two are at Duke, and my son’s family lives in London.”
Her husband, ophthalmologist Dr. Harold Shaw, retired not too long ago from Jervey Eye Group. Since then, they’ve been trying to travel more to see grandchildren and knock off stops on their bucket list. “We took the family to the Galapagos and went to Brazil after COVID. We’ve been to Scotland and London. We’re getting ready to go down the Amazon and to Machu Picchu,” she reveals.
Views of new horizons have also delivered clarity to her current journey. Although almost all of her life has revolved around giving back to the community, she thinks she hit her stride in middle age. “I would say the most major things I’ve been involved with started evolving when I was between 50 and 55,” she shares. “I was able to focus a little more. I had more knowledge to bring to the table and be more productive.”
She’s finding increased joy and fulfillment in mentoring young leaders and philanthropists. “More and more, I find myself the oldest around the table. Maybe the person with the most history with that organization and they’re looking for a historical standpoint. I’m always hopeful that I’ve been able to learn and then transmit some of that learning to others. Everyone brings something to the table. It’s really important to have a wide base of leaders, and of all different ages and viewpoints, working together.”
One nugget of wisdom she passes along: Don’t stereotype age with activity, for the young nor the golden. “Whether I’m 60 or 76, what am I supposed to be doing right now? Theoretically, slowing down? I’m not sure what that means,” she admits with a chuckle. “As we’ve all gotten older and healthier longer, I think those assumptions you made through the years don’t necessarily carry water now. I still feel like I need to be involved. Right now, I feel good and a responsibility. This community has given me so much, I’d feel bad if I didn’t. You need to do what you enjoy doing and what makes you tick.”
Minor Shaw Fact File
President of: Micco LLC, a private investment and real estate development company
Served as: Chair of the Duke Endowment’s Board of Trustees, 2012–2022. The Endowment has awarded $4.5 billion in grants since its inception.
Boards: Too many to list, including Hollingsworth Funds, International African American Museum, Piedmont Natural Gas, YMCA of Greenville, SC ETV Endowment
Newer projects: South Carolina Historical Association and REEM (Greenville Racial Equity Economic Mobility Commission)
Upcoming adventure: The Amazon and Machu Picchu in Peru