South Carolina Awards in the Humanities

South Carolina Humanities annually presents the South Carolina Awards in the Humanities Luncheon & Ceremony to recognize outstanding humanists in the Palmetto State.


The 32nd annual event will take place on Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 11:30 a.m. at the Pastides Alumni Center (900 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29201)

*Ticket sales and table sponsorship opportunities close on Monday, October 2, 2023.

Established in 1991, the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities celebrate the Palmetto State’s humanities academics and advocates. The Akers Prize, formerly the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award, recognizes innovative individuals who use culture and history to bring people together, but whose efforts may have gone relatively unnoticed beyond their own community. SC Humanities has awarded 97 Governor’s Awards since 1991 and 12 Fresh Voices Awards since 2018. Learn more about the 2023 award recipients below.

The Governor’s Awards recognize outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching, and scholarship; institutional and individual participation in helping communities in South Carolina better understand our cultural heritage or ideas and issues related to the humanities; excellence in defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs.
Congratulations to our 2023 Governor's Awards in the Humanities recipients:

Lacy Ford served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, USC’s largest and oldest college, July 2016 to December 2020.   Prior to becoming Dean, Ford served as Senior Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Studies at the USC from 2010-2016. His responsibilities included: faculty development and evaluation, tenure and promotion, hiring and retention, the Graduate School, and Distributed (Distance) Learning, and the SEC’s Academic Leadership Development Program.  From 2007-2010, Ford served as Chair of the Department of History.

Twice a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellow and once an ACLS Fellow, Ford is the author of Deliver Us From Evil: The Slavery Question in the Old South, published by Oxford University press in 2009 and reviewed in the September 20, 2009 issue of the New York Times Book Review, as well as other works. Deliver Us From Evil also won the 2010 Mary Lawton Hodges prize for best book on the South published in 2009.  In 2008, Ford published “Reconfiguring the Old South: ‘Solving’ the Problem of Slavery, 1787-1838,” in the Journal of American History.  This article was also featured on the “Teaching the JAH” website.

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John Lane is Emeritus Professor of environmental studies at Wofford College and was founding director of the college’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose. Coyote Settles the South was one of four finalists for the John Burroughs Medal and was named by the Burroughs Society one of the year’s “Nature Books of Uncommon Merit.”

As an environmentalist in 2013 Lane was named Upstate Forever’s “Clean Water Champion,” and “Water Conservationist of the Year” by The South Carolina Wildlife Federation.  In 2014 he was inducted into the SC Academy of Authors. He, with his wife Betsy Teter, is one of the co-founders of Spartanburg’s Hub City Writers Project.

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After 25 years of serving as an adjunct instructor of Gender Studies and freelance writer for national magazines, in 2011, Cindi Boiter founded Jasper Magazine, a publication devoted strictly to arts in the South Carolina Midlands. As the magazine grew into a touchstone for a number of multidisciplinary arts projects commemorating events in SC’s cultural history, as well as projects like the journal Fall Lines – a literary convergence and the 2nd Act Film Project, the organization became a 501c3 in 2015. With a robust working board of directors, The Jasper Project has continued to create and facilitate innovative projects that meet the needs of state and local artists of all disciplines, such as Syzygy, the Supper Table, and Sheltered, while offering artists support, promotion, and the validation to say, “I am an artist!”

The Jasper Project is a true grassroots organization with no paid employees and little overhead. Both Boiter and the board of directors serve the extended community of SC artists as a labor of love.

Boiter is a six-time recipient of the SC Fiction Project, winner of the Piccolo Fiction Project, the Porter Fleming Award for fiction, the 2014 Recipient of the SC Governor’s Award for the Arts (formerly the Verner Award), and the 2018 recipient of Richland Library’s Lucy Hampton Bostick Award. She is the cofounder, with her husband Dr. Bob Jolley, of Muddy Ford Press, has written or edited more than ten books and is the editor of Jasper Magazine and co-editor of Fall Lines – a literary convergence.

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The Akers Prize recognizes individuals who are working in unique and innovative ways to use culture and history to bring people together, but whose efforts may have gone relatively unnoticed beyond their own community. From 2018 - 2022, this award was called the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award.
Congratulations to our 2023 Akers Prize recipients:

Araceli Hernández-Laroche (UC Berkeley PhD) speaks four languages and is USC Upstate Professor of Modern Languages, French program coordinator, and founding director of South Carolina Centro Latino, the state’s first university-based center for the study of Hispanic and Latino cultures. Its three pillars are Latinx Interdisciplinary Studies & Civic Leadership, the Multilingual Public Humanities, and Translation & Community Interpreting. She has several publications on world wars, existentialist writers, the public humanities, including France in the Times of COVID-19: The Public Humanities as a Vaccine for Coexistence,and immigration in the Americas. She recently served as the co-president of the Association of Department of Languages (ALD) Executive Committee and on the Modern Language Association (MLA) Ad Hoc Committee Valuing the Public Humanities. Araceli Hernández-Laroche is a former President of the SC Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) and 2021 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Emerging Leader. She was recognized as the 2020 Career Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Women of South Carolina and as the 2020 Inclusion Advocate of the Year by OneSpartanburg, Inc. Araceli Hernández-Laroche serves on several boards, such as the Chapman Cultural Center, the Spartanburg Academic Movement, and the ACLU of SC. Since moving to the beautiful state of South Carolina in 2012 and in an effort to expand the boundaries of her physical classroom, Araceli has joyfully co-organized with faculty, staff, students, and community partners numerous cultural events, globally-themed conferences, and multigenerational public humanities programming in more than one language.

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Dr. Doyle Stevick is the founder and Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina.  His love for cultural exchange took root in Greece, where he studied abroad three separate semesters during the 1990s while attending The Pennsylvania State University, where he completed degrees in Classics, history, and mathematics. He participated in excavations in the Athenian agora under the Acropolis, Morgantina in Sicily, and Megiddo in Israel. 

Dr. Stevick was completing doctoral coursework and exams in Greek and Latin literature in the spring of 1999, when the Columbine High School atrocity shook the country’s conscience. Within weeks, one of Stevick’s former students who had fallen into violent extremism, terrorized communities across Illinois and Indiana with an antisemtic, racially-motivated shooting spree.

Grappling with this atrocity drove him to change fields, exploring the power of education to undermine prejudice and foster pro-social dispositions. How could schooling support positive institutional transformations, like Brown v. Board of Education or the collapse of the Soviet Union?  What systemic cultural and social changes were necessary to fulfill the promise of these profound changes, and how might schools foster them?

These questions led him into the field of Holocaust education–the focus of his last three books—and its contribution to citizenship education and preventing violent extremism.  Since 2013, he has worked extensively with the Anne Frank House and in 2020, through that partnership, Dr. Stevick was able to open the Anne Frank Center on USC’s campus. The Center is the official partner of the Anne Frank House in The Netherlands and one of only three partner sites globally.

As Executive Director, Dr. Stevick oversees all the Center’s educational activities as well as outreach to groups across South Carolina and the nation. The Center is also a working museum, hosting more than 10,000 visitors, mostly students, since it opened its doors in September 2021, including over 3,600 USC first year students last fall. With their 15 traveling exhibits, the Anne Frank Center reached more than 50,000 people in 2022 across 21 states.

In recent years, he has been invited to present at special events for UNESCO, the International Bureau of Education, and the OSCE’s ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) in Costa Rica, India, Serbia, Switzerland, Ottawa and Paris.

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Lacy Ford and Janet Hudson

Randy L. Akers

Lacy Ford and Janet Hudson

The Harriet & Herbert Keyserling Endowment of the Coastal Carolina Foundation

Dr. B. Brant and Judy Burke Bynum in honor of Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche and John Lane.

Bill and Nancy Comer

William C. Schmidt, Jr.

Eugene and Emily Stevick

Past Recipients

Over one hundred individuals and organizations have received awards from 1991 to 2022. 




  • Charles Joyner
  • Lawrence Rowland
  • WRJA – Sumter



  • Jerold J. Savory






  • Walter Edgar
  • Dori Sanders
  • William Starr




  • Luther (Fred) Carter
  • Ann Close
  • William Price Fox
  • Eugene (Nick) Ziegler


  • J. Douglas Donehue
  • Virginia Friedman
  • Joseph P. Riley, Jr.


2007 – Learn more about the 2007 recipients

  • Jeffrey R. Willis
  • Senator Ernest F. Hollings

2008 – Learn more about the 2008 recipients

  • Rachel Hodges
  • Wayne Q. Justesen, Jr.
  • William C. Moran

2009 – Learn more about the 2009 recipients

2010 – Learn more about the 2010 recipients

2011 – Learn more about the 2011 recipients

  • Jack Bass
  • Jerome “Jerry” Reel
  • I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, South Carolina State University

2012 – Learn more about the 2012 honorees

2013 – Learn more about the 2013 honorees

  • Dr. Mary Ann Kohli
  • Ron Rash
  • Dr. Stephen R. Wise

2014 – Learn more about the 2014 honorees

  • Dr. William E. Dufford
  • Dr. Tom Mack
  • Dr. Alexandra Rowe

2015 – Learn more about the 2015 honorees

  • Dr. Charles Israel
  • Dr. Valinda Littlefield
  • Dr. Rudy Mancke

2016 – Learn more about the 2016 honorees

2017 – Learn more about the 2017 honorees

2018 – Learn more about the 2018 honorees

  • Anne Walker Cleveland, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Bobby Donaldson, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Sara June Goldstein, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Cecil Williams, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Adrienne Burris, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award
  • Anna Catherine “AC” Parham, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award

2019 – Listen to a short interview about the 2019 ceremony on SC Public Radio.

2020 – Watch the 2020 ceremony on YouTube

  • Billy Keyserling, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Robin Waites, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Barbara Williams Jenkins, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Jon Tuttle, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Caroline DeLongchamps, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award

2021 – Watch the 2021 ceremony on YouTube or View the Event Program

  • Michael Allen, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Jannie Harriot, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Simon Lewis, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • The Rice Museum, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Lydia Brandt, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award
  • Tamara Herring,  Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award
  • The Rev. Christopher B. Thomas, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award
  • Kasie Whitener, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award

2022 – Learn more about the 2022 recipients

  • Jack Alterman, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Beryl Dakers, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Dr. Gail Wagner, Governor’s Award in the Humanities
  • Dr. Len Lawson, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award
  • Dr. Rhondda R. Thomas, Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award