South Carolina Humanities annually presents the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities Luncheon & Award Ceremony to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the humanities in South Carolina. 

Established in 1991, the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities 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 defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs. 

As of 2018, SC Humanities is pleased to be offering a new award: the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award. The award will recognize 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. 

South Carolina Humanities hosted the 2020 Governor’s Awards in the Humanities Virtual Award Ceremony on Thursday, October 22 as a livestream on YouTube. Click here to view the ceremony on YouTube.

2020 Governor's Awards in the Humanities Recipients

Billy Keyserling

Billy Keyserling brings a wealth of experience in public affairs, public policy, business, marketing and public service to his position as Mayor of Beaufort. Keyserling’s record of public service began in Washington, D.C. where he held positions in the U.S. House and Senate, directed political campaigns, and led the Washington office of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry in an international effort to free Jews from the former USSR. After returning home to the Palmetto State, he served two terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives and one term on the Beaufort City Council. For the past 12 years, Keyserling has served as the Mayor of Beaufort. As Mayor, Keyserling partnered with Congressman Jim Clyburn and the former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit, among others, to lead the campaign to create the Reconstruction Era National Park. Keyserling also founded a non-profit organization, Reconstruction Beaufort: The Second Founding of America, that brings teachers, public officials, artists, and community leaders together to uncover and teach the untold stories of the Reconstruction Era. Outside of his duties as Mayor, he is known for organizing collaborative cultural and environmental initiatives designed to educate the public and mobilize the community for the common good. Keyserling was the visionary behind Pink Dolphin, a book written by an 8-year-old and illustrated by an 83-year-old that teaches folks of all ages that our communities are stronger when we harness diversity and work together for the benefit of all. Keyserling’s work has been recognized by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the League of Conservation Voters. Keyserling holds a Masters in Public Relations from Boston University and a B.S., Magna Cum Laude, from Brandeis University.

Jon Tuttle

Jon Tuttle is Distinguished Professor of English, Director of University Honors, and the Nellie Cooke Sparrow Writer-in-Residence at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC, where he has coordinated such events as the Beyond Mother Emanuel Symposium; a visit from the Moving Wall Vietnam War memorial; and many touring play productions, lectures, and readings. His most recent book, The Trustus Collection, includes six of his plays that premiered at Trustus Theatre since 1994.  At present, he is editing South Carolina Onstage, which will collect seven plays by Palmetto State playwrights from the post-colonial period to the present. Tuttle has won the South Carolina Theater Association’s Founders Award, a Porter-Fleming Award and Puschart Prize nomination for fiction, and fellowships from the South Carolina Academy of Authors and Florence Regional Arts Alliance, on whose boards he has served. He and his wife Cheryl Roberts Tuttle have three children, Staci, Jill and Josh, and three grandchildren, Noah, Sullivan and Charlotte. 

Robin Waites

Robin Waites is the Executive Director for Historic Columbia and has served in that capacity since 2004.  A life-long resident of Columbia, Waites is well equipped to work with the various constituents and issues that are key factors in the preservation of historic assets and education on local history in South Carolina’s capital city. A product of Columbia’s Richland School District One, Waites attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont where she received a bachelor of arts with a double major in Art History and Russian.  She received a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of SC in 1996 and subsequently began work at the South Carolina State Museum.  She served in a variety of capacities including the chief curator of art, which was her position when she left the State Museum to work with Historic Columbia. As Executive Director for Historic Columbia, Waites has overseen the transformation of the historic buildings and grounds; established an expansive community engagement program in Columbia and Richland County; and worked with local partners and grass roots advocates on a number of major historic preservation efforts including the rehabilitation of the Palmetto Compress Warehouse and the revitalization of the 1600 block of Main Street. In 2019 Waites received the Steve Morrison Visionary Award from One Columbia.

Barbara Williams Jenkins

Much of Barbara Williams Jenkins’ career was devoted to working at South Carolina State University. Williams Jenkins began as a librarian and served in many positions before retiring from the university as Dean and Professor of Library and Information Services. Williams Jenkins was instrumental in the establishment of the South Carolina State College Historical Collection, where she and her staff oversaw and augmented special collections important to the university’s history. Williams Jenkins also helped to establish the South Carolina State College Historic District, which is full of historic markers for important structures and historical sites. She worked with the South Carolina Archives & History Commission to identify historic buildings and sites in Orangeburg and hosted preservation workshops to encourage others to preserve Orangeburg’s significant African American history. She went on to serve as a charter member of the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission. She is deeply involved in her community, Trinity AME Church, and Williams Chapel AME Church. She is a member of the NAACP, The Links, Delta Theta Sigma Sorority, Inc. and several historical and library boards of directors. Williams Jenkins has been honored by the South Carolina Library Association, where she served as the first African American president; South Carolina State University; the American Library Association and the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame, among others. Williams Jenkins holds degrees from Bennett College and the University of Illinois. She earned her doctorate from Rutgers University. Williams Jenkins is the widow of Robert A. Jenkins. Their family includes two children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

2020 Fresh Voice in the Humanities Award Recipient

Caroline DeLongchamps

It started out simply as a tugging at her heart. Not long after her experience in the pediatric ICU with her son, Caroline DeLongchamps went back to the hospital where she would spend time with children whose parents were unable to be there. She had a family, a community, and plenty of resources to guide her through the most terrifying moments of her life. She recognized that not every family has those resources, so volunteering in the Children’s Hospital was one way she could pay it forward. Volunteering led to her service on the Family Advisory Council and then to numerous medical conferences around the country learning about Patient-and Family-Centered Care. Today, she is a speaker at many of those conferences she attended years ago. The South Carolina Hospital Association and Vizient have invited DeLongchamps to work with them to host workshops and webinars for other healthcare organizations, thus recognizing MUSC as a leader in this work. DeLongchamps is the Manager of Patient-and Family-Centered Care for The Medical University of South Carolina Health System, and she serves on the Humanities Program Leader Committee and the Hospital Ethics Committee. She is collaborating with others to help transform the organization to a system that honors and respects partnerships with patients and families, through such initiatives as the Patient Story Workshop and Patient Story Library. DeLongchamps was the 2019 Commencement speaker for The Medical University’s Graduation Ceremony, receiving an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters…a sign that they are well on their way to realizing that transformation.

Special Thanks To Our Sponsors

Diamond Level

The Harriet and Herbert Keyserling Endowment of the Coastal Carolina Foundation

Presenting Level

SC Academy of Authors

Randy &
Mary Alice Akers

Bill Schmidt

Governor's Awards

Director's Level

Charles (Bud) Ferillo

Bill Hine

Supporting Level

Dr. Jo Angela Edwins

Past Recipients

Ninety-three individuals and organizations have received awards from 1991 to 2018. 




  • 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.