Governor’s Awards

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. Eighty-two individuals and organizations have received awards from 1991 to 2018.

2018 Governor's Award in the Humanities Recipients

Anne Cleveland

Anne Cleveland

Anne Walker Cleveland’s contributions to Charleston are numerous and significant.  As a history and English teacher at Charleston Day School for nearly two decades, she touched the lives of hundreds of children.  Her arrival at the Charleston Library Society in 2008 enhanced the face of the humanities in Charleston and throughout the state.  Cleveland resuscitated the Society, founded in 1748, bolstering membership and financial support.  As Executive Director, she opened the Main Reading Room to the public and invited authors, scholars, musicians, and artists to the Library, creating a series of events that has included Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners such as David McCollough, Jon Meacham, and Walter Isaacson. She also facilitated the creation of the Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival. Cleveland graduated Cum Laude from Smith College and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Bobby Donaldson

Bobby Donaldson

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Bobby Donaldson received his undergraduate degree in History and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and his Ph.D. in American History from Emory University where he served on the staff of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project. He is an Associate Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. Previously, he held the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship at Dartmouth College and the Susan Biddle Ford Fellowship at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. A scholar of southern history and African American life and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Dr. Donaldson’s research and writings explore African American intellectual thought, print culture, education and religion.  Additionally, he has served as a consultant for museum exhibitions, archival collections, oral history initiatives, documentary films, and historic preservation projects, including the renovation of the Booker T. Washington High School in downtown Columbia. Professor Donaldson received a Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award (2010); the John N. Gardner Inspirational Faculty Award (2015); and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award (2016).  After nine years of service, he was named a trustee emeritus of Wesleyan University in 2015.

Sara June Goldstein

Sara June Goldstein

Sara June Goldstein is Literary Arts Director and Senior Coordinator of Statewide Partnerships at the South Carolina Arts Commission. A graduate of Columbia College, in 1987, Goldstein joined the Arts Commission staff as a temporary project coordinator for Carolina Connections, a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating writers with ties to the Palmetto State.  That began a 30-year career advocating for the contemporary literature of South Carolina as well as building and supporting partnerships that highlight poets and writers—and other artists and communities—throughout the state.  Some of the most notable and innovative partnerships include The Art of Community: Rural SC, the SC Novel Prize with Hub City Press, the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) Project, the Leo Twiggs Arts Leadership Scholars Program with The Riley Institute at Furman, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission Partnership, the South Carolina Literary Arts Partnership, and the South Carolina Design Arts Partnership. Through these programs, Goldstein has developed a national network of writers, artists, scholars, and publishing professionals who are increasingly familiar with the work of South Carolina authors and have a deeper appreciation of the rich diverse expression and culture of the state. A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Goldstein and her family are long-time residents of Columbia.

Cecil Williams

Cecil Williams

Cecil Williams, a native of Orangeburg, is a professional photographer, videographer, publisher, inventor, author of 6 books, and architect of six residences that became his home and photography studio. In May 2006, he published a photo-documentary entitled Out of the Box in DixieUnforgettable, the sequel to that publication was released February 2018. Williams received a degree in Art from Claflin University. By the age of nine, he had already begun his career in photography, having fallen in love with the profession after acquiring a hand-me-down camera from his family. By 15, he was working professionally and as a freelancer for such publications as JET, the Afro-American and the Pittsburgh Courier and as a stringer for The Associated Press. In addition to owning Cecil Williams Photography, LLC, Claflin University recently appointed Williams as Historic Preservationist. In December 2017, Williams received the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest award to an individual, from Governor Henry McMaster.

2018 Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award Recipients

Adrienne Burris

Adrienne Burris

Adrienne Burris is a writer/teacher from Greenville, SC. She is the founding director of Greenville Wordsmiths, an award-winning nonprofit that empowers young Upstate authors by providing free workshops and publishing opportunities. She is also the first-ever instructor for A.R.M.E.S. Creative Writing at the Fine Arts Center, fiction editor of Emry’s Journal, and a two-time TEDx speaker. Adrienne holds degrees from Clemson University (BA English) and Goldsmiths, University of London (MA Writer/Teacher), but she has learned the most about impactful storytelling from her four-year-old son, Isaiah.

Anna Catherine "AC" Parham

Anna Catherine "AC" Parham

Anna Catherine “AC” Parhamis a force for good in the community. AC has shown a commitment to the preservation and appreciation of the humanities in South Carolina time and time again. As a member of the inaugural class of leaders in the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps, her personal community service project is deeply intertwined with the perpetuation of arts and humanities in South Carolina, as well as the importance humanities and humanities-based education in the community. She is advocating for victims of violence and providing an outlet for victims through art, expression, and humanities-based learning. AC graduated early from the University of South Carolina, Summa Cum Laude, in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology. She is now a 1L at the University of South Carolina School of Law. AC enjoys learning, cooking, and being outdoors.

Sponsors for 2018

$2500 Executive Level
Presenting Sponsors

Claflin University
USC College of Arts and Sciences

$1500 Cabinet Level

Write to Change

$1000 Director's Level

Margaret and Duff Bruce
in honor of Adrienne Burris
The William C. Cleveland Family

$500 Supporting Level

Burkett Burkett & Burkett
Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University
First Citizens Bank
The Jeffcoat Firm
Randy Lowell
Nelson Mullins
South State Bank
William C. Schmidt, Jr.
SC Academy of Authors
South Carolina Arts Commission
SCAAHC
Cecil J. Williams, Photography/Publishing LLC

Other Donors

Jack Bass

Sponsorship Opportunities

  • $2,500 Executive Level Presenting Sponsor(s) 2 tables if desired, opportunity to give a welcome from podium, other benefits as listed with most prominent recognition available; can post signage or a banner at the event
  • $1,500 Cabinet Level 1 or 2 tables (sponsor’s preference), benefits as listed below but bigger typeface and prominent placement, named and thanked as reception sponsor
  • $1,000 Director’s Level 1 table, benefits as listed below PLUS informational listing in program about your business/foundation, etc. if desired
  • $500 Supporting Level 1 table for eight, listing in program, on website, in annual report and mention from podium

The Governor’s Awards in the Humanities Annual luncheon will be held Thursday, October 25, 2018 at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center. All sponsors are highlighted in promotional materials—press releases, annual report, web invitation and announcements and the e-newsletter distributed to more than 4,500 readers. Each table seats eight people.

Now celebrating its 27th anniversary, 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 national or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs.

Past Recipients of the Governor's Awards in the Humanities