Babcock Center, Inc. is recognized for its advocacy, vision and leadership in providing supports to people with lifelong disabilities. Throughout the agency’s history, Babcock Center has worked alongside the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), other state, federal and local agencies, and families to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Our Story

Our Story began in 1967 when Mary L. Duffie, was asked to provide daycare to three children with intellectual disabilities in the basement of a local church. As parents in the greater Columbia area learned of Mrs. Duffie’s efforts, the small daycare center grew rapidly and began to serve adults as well as children. Mary L. Duffie was now providing families with new hope for the future.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Retardation had just been formed, and this agency began working to resolve overcrowding and long waiting lists at the state’s institutions. It also began working to develop community services for people with mental retardation. In 1969, with assistance from Arthur St. Julian Simons II, grandson of Dr. James Woods Babcock, Mrs. Duffie’s “Wee Care Center” moved into the former Waverly Sanitarium.

In 1970, and with lots of support from families, educators, business and healthcare leaders, and local governement representatives, civic organizations and community volunters, Babcock Center was incorporated.

The new nonprofit organization was created to provide comprehensive services for people with intellectual disabilities in the greater Columbia area – offering an alternative to institutional care.

Click here to learn more about Mary L. Duffie and Dr. James Woods Babcock.