2011 Governor’s Awards in the Humanities Announced

SC Humanities is pleased to announce that two extraordinary South Carolina individuals and one public institution will be recipients of this year’s annual Governor’s Awards in the Humanities, presented at a luncheon to be held Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at the Medallion Center in Columbia.  The three recipients are: Dr. Jack Bass, journalist, author and professor; Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Reel, prominent historian and administrator at Clemson University; and the I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.

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 1991-2010 fifty-six awards have been presented. See the full list of award winners.  SC Humanities is completing its 38th year as the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Jack BassDr. Jack Bass is a highly acclaimed writer and researcher from Charleston. After an impressive career as a journalist during the Civil Rights Movement (1956-1973), Bass turned to writing and television production, creating the fourteen-part series, The American South Comes of Age, and writing or co-writing nine books.  His The Transformation of Southern Politics was touted by the American Library Association as one of fifty outstanding adult books for 1976, and Taming the Storm won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for 1994.  The Orangeburg Massacre (1970), Porgy Comes Home (1972), Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond (2003), and The Palmetto State: The Making of Modern South Carolina (2008) all make specific contributions to South Carolina by explaining the state, its politics and its culture to residents old and new. One of Bass' colleagues explained, “Jack’s work is distinguished not only for its literary grace but for the depth of research that underlies it, whether writing books or articles, or for magazines and op-ed pieces, or speaking to academic or general audiences, or appearing as a commentator on television.”

Dr. Jerry ReelDr. Jerome “Jerry” Reel has served the Clemson University faculty and community since 1963.  A Ph.D. in history from Emory University, Reel has touched the lives of hundreds of students and served Clemson as Dean of Undergraduate Studies (1979), Senior Vice Provost (1992), and in 2003 was named University Historian. His books include: Women and Clemson University: Excellence-Yesterday and Today and The High Seminary, Volume 1: A History of the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, 1889-1964. Not only did Reel chair the bicentennial celebration of the birth of Thomas G. Clemson, but he was the major contributing editor to the biography, Thomas Green Clemson.  His History 101-History of Clemson University course has been one of the most popular history classes for decades.  He is the second professor to be named by the Clemson Alumni Association as Alumni Master Teacher.  Dr. Reel is the past president of the National Opera Association and the national Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. An administrator of Clemson University said, “Dr. Reel has made his mark in his adopted state and community with friends, colleagues, students, and admirers both in South Carolina and beyond…. Dr. Reel is a willing volunteer of his time and expertise in a variety of historic subjects and has touched the lives of generations of South Carolinians.”

I.P. Stanback Museum & PlanetariumThe I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium at South Carolina State University (dedicated in 1980) is a cultural leader, not only as a major educational and teaching resource for the university but also for the creation of community-based programs that promote public understanding of issues and ideas related to the arts, humanities, sciences, and civil rights.  The museum’s excellent programs demonstrate a commitment to helping students and the community better understand our cultural heritage and to defining South Carolina’s rich cultural life to the nation and to the world.  Recent examples of exhibits, lectures, and programs include Remembering the Rosenwald Schools (African American schools during the Jim Crow era in the South); Honoring Heroes (Cecil Williams' photographs of the Civil Rights era); James Brown: Preserving the Legacy; Journey from Africa to Gullah; Harlem on My Mind; and “Partnership in Social Justice” featuring the exhibit, Beyond the Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges.  For over three decades the Stanback Museum and Planetarium has provided public humanities programs that provide students and the community with the opportunity to explore their own values in light of historic and cultural experiences.

The 2011 awardees will be honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at the Medallion Center, 7309 Garner's Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209. A reception will take place from 11:00 – 11:45 a.m., and the luncheon and awards program will start at 12:00 p.m.

To purchase a ticket to attend the 2011 Governor's Awards in the Humanities Luncheon program, please follow this link for secure online payment or contact the office at 803-771-2477.

To learn more about the Governor's Awards in the Humanities and to see a complete list of the previous fifty-six recipients, please follow the link to the Governor's Awards in the Humanities page of SC Humanities website.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.