2008 Governor’s Awards in the Humanities Announced

SC Humanities is pleased to announce that three extraordinary South Carolina individuals will be recipients of this year's annual Governor's Awards in the Humanities, presented at a luncheon to be held on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 in the Hilton Columbia Center in downtown Columbia. The three recipients include—Rachel Hodges, former First Lady of South Carolina, Dr. William C. Moran, longstanding university professor, administrator and President of Lander University, and Wayne Q. Justesen, Jr., attorney and leading proponent for the humanities in South Carolina and across the nation.

Established in 1991, the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities recognize outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching, and scholarship; institutional and individual participation in community-based programs that promote public understanding of ideas and issues related to the humanities; excellence defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs. From 1991-2007 forty-six awards have been presented. SC Humanities is completing its 35th year as the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Rachel HodgesRachel Hodges is well-known to South Carolina and beyond, not only as former First Lady of the state, but as creator of a highly successful literacy program known as “Reading with Rachel.” Launched in 1999, “Reading with Rachel” instilled a love of reading in thousands of South Carolina’s children. During her tenure as First Lady, Mrs. Hodges visited over 250 classrooms in the state and distributed more than 300,000 books to students and school libraries. Mrs. Hodges persuaded 18 publishers to donate books to her initiative. It was not uncommon for the First Lady to invite school children to the Governor’s Mansion where she would read to the children and send books home with them. For her efforts, Mrs. Hodges received the 2001 Women of Distinction Award given by the Girl Scouts of the Congaree, the 2002 Richard W. Riley Award given by the SC Council of Teachers of English, and the 2007 Literacy Leader Award given by the USC School of Library and Information Science. During her tenure, she also directed the renovation of the historical Governor’s Mansion.

Dr. William C. Moran has devoted his professional life to education,Bill Moran particularly humanities-based education. Moran has served as a Professor and Chair of the Department of English and Speech at Berry College in Georgia, Academic Dean of Berry College, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Francis Marion University in Florence, and served eight years as President of Lander University in Greenwood. Most recently Dr. Moran was the Special Assistant to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Moran is a long-time champion for public humanities programs, energizing his faculty to become involved as scholars and originators of community-based programs. He personally was an active board member and officer of SC Humanities and led the effort to secure funding from the Duke Endowment to craft a major, two-state, multi-year program on medical ethics. In various communities Moran has been active in United Way and Hospice, and he performed stellar service on various committees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. His involvement in the humanities is testimony to his commitment and dedication to all of humankind.

Wayne JustesenWayne Q. Justesen, Jr. is Secretary/General Counsel of Greenwood Mills, Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of GMI Holdings, Inc. Justesen served as a member of the Board of Directors of SC Humanities from 1993-2000. While he was chair, the Council undertook the largest initiative in its history—The South Carolina Encyclopedia. He helped develop a strategy for raising almost one million dollars for this project. Justesen is also the second South Carolinian ever to serve on the national board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, rising to the position of Treasurer of that board. He is a staunch and loyal advocate for the public humanities within the state and nationally. His community service includes Past President of the Lander University Foundation, Past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Abbeville-Greenwood Regional Library, Past Chairman of the Board of the Upper Savannah Council of Governments, and membership in Rotary International.

The Governor's Awards in the Humanities Luncheon, scheduled for Wednesday, October 15, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Hilton Columbia Center in Columbia, will recognize these three impressive South Carolinians for their contributions to the public humanities in South Carolina. To buy tickets to the luncheon, please click here. To learn more about the Governor's Awards in the Humanities and to see a full list of past recipients, please follow the link.