SC Humanities is Pleased to Welcome Four New Board Members

SC Humanities is pleased to announce the FY2023 Board of Directors who began their terms on November 1, 2022: J. W. Nelson Chandler of Mount Pleasant, Jay Dowd of Bradley, Otis Pickett of Clemson, and David Stone Jr. of Florence.

J. W. Nelson Chandler is an attorney representing clients in South Carolina state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. With a background in complex civil litigation, Nelson focuses on the active defense of claims on behalf of individuals, businesses, and insurers. His regular areas of practice include professional negligence, employment disputes, governmental liability, constitutional violations, and product liability. Outside of the practice, Nelson enjoys time working on his farm in Williamsburg County, South Carolina and exploring the mountains around Saluda, North Carolina, where he and his family have been restoring a century-old cottage. 


Jay Dowd, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, joined The Citadel Foundation (TCF) in February 2013. As President and CEO, Jay reports directly to the TCF Board of Directors and serves as an advisor and consultant to the President of The Citadel. Before joining TCF, Jay served as VP for Development and Executive Director of the Francis Marion University Education Foundation and as VP for Advancement at Columbia College. He holds approximately 30 years of leadership experience in higher education. A native of Bennettsville, SC, Jay currently resides in Bradley, SC, with his wife and two children. 


Otis W. Pickett, PhD, is currently serving as the third University Historian at Clemson and is the first alumni of Clemson University to serve in this capacity. He is an affiliated scholar in the Clemson Department of History and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning with the College of Education. Previously, Dr. Pickett served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Mississippi (Tupelo) and later accepted a position as Assistant Professor of History and Director of Social Studies Education Programming at Mississippi College. A Lowcountry native, Pickett is very happy to be back home in SC with his wife and three children.  


David Stone Jr., MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist in private practice at the Allergy, Asthma, & Sinus Center in Florence, and is a clinical assistant professor of Internal Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine—Florence. He has been a board member of the Florence County Historical Society and a member of the South Carolina Historical Society. His writings and research have been published in several peer-reviewed medical journals. His book, Vital Rails: the Charleston and Savannah Railroad and the Civil War in Coastal South Carolina, was published by the USC Press in 2008. 


Board Members continuing to serve are: David Hodges (Chair) of Columbia; Jennifer Thomas (Vice Chair) of Greenville; Richard Brown (Secretary) of Columbia; Leslie Walker Bickford of Rock Hill; Brenton Brown of Columbia; Alli Crandell of Conway; Eric Crawford of Orangeburg; Tom Crosby of Columbia; Jennifer Gunter of Columbia; Bonnie Hargrove of Beaufort; George D. Jebaily of Florence; Isaiah McGee of Orangeburg; S.C. (Cal) McMeekin, Jr. of Columbia; Lucas McMillan of Greenwood; Dollie Newhouse of Irmo; James E. Smith, Jr. of Columbia; and Ashlye V. Wilkerson of Columbia.

SC Humanities bids a sad farewell to three outstanding Board Members who retired from the Board in 2022: Duff Bruce of Greenville; Mary Ellen Fuller of Alcolu; and Tom Mack (Past Chair) of Aiken. Each served South Carolina Humanities with great diligence and passion and will be sincerely missed.

The Board of Directors of SC Humanities consists of volunteer academic and public members. Board members initiate and develop projects, seek to make the humanities accessible statewide, and take active roles in fundraising. Open nominations for Board Members occur annually. For more information about serving on the Board of SC Humanities, contact Executive Director Randy Akers at 803-771-2477.