CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Weeks after announcing his intention to step down as College of Charleston president and return teaching, Dr. P. George Benson announced Tuesday he has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
Benson released the following statement:
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
A week ago, I wrote to let you know that I had been hospitalized as a result of serious back pain. While I have had back problems in the past, I was not certain what was causing this pain. Addressing this problem has been more challenging than I initially expected.
For the past week the medical professionals at MUSC have worked diligently to look for the cause of my symptoms, and they have made very significant progress. I am still at the hospital, where I'm now being treated for Lyme Disease.
The symptoms for Lyme Disease vary significantly from one person to another, which explains why Lyme Disease can be difficult to diagnose. Many people respond quickly to the available treatments for Lyme Disease, and they fully recover in short order. My case may be a little more complicated, which could draw out my recovery time. In addition, for the next few days my current treatment has to be administered in a hospital setting.
In the meantime, I remain in regular contact with the College leadership. I am meeting daily with Chief of Staff Brian McGee, and I continue to address issues of concern to the campus.
It is probable that I will be in the hospital or have my physical activities restricted for the next week. I have been an active person for my entire life, and I am very anxious to return to my regular schedule. However, in order to fulfill my responsibilities to our campus community and my family, I understand that I need to follow the advice of my physicians.
I look forward to participating by conference call in today's regularly scheduled Executive Team meeting, and to seeing all of you on campus in the very near future.
I want to thank all those who have sent messages or cards. The College of Charleston faculty and staff are showing me what they show others throughout the year: Ours is a caring and compassionate community.
If you need to contact me, the best way to do so is by email at email@example.com, or by calling the President's Office at 953-5500. While I appreciate the generous impulse to send flowers, I would ask instead that you donate to the College of Charleston Annual Fund athttp://giving.cofc.edu/annualgiving/collegeofcharlestonfund.php.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the College of Charleston. I take comfort in knowing I am only two blocks away from our campus and the impressive work the College's faculty and staff are doing for our students, parents, and community. Thank you!
Benson's resignation as president is effective June 30, 2014.