There are no limits to where your Carolina degree can take you. We’re reminded of that each year when the university unveils its prestigious award recipients. These awards recognize commitment to their university, communities or professions.
My Carolina Alumni Association presents the Distinguished Alumni, Algernon Sydney Sullivan, Outstanding Black Alumni, Outstanding Young Alumni, and Honorary Life Membership awards during Homecoming.
Complete a nomination form online today!
: Awards were not given in 2011 due to the Capital Campaign kickoff.
2012 Award Recipients
The University of South Carolina presented its highest honors to several University alumni and supporters during Homecoming activities on Friday, November 9, 2012. The award recipients were honored at the Homecoming Gala at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Charles Way, '59, '62 JD
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to Charles Way, '59, '62. A faithful supporter for the university in multiple areas, including service as a trustee of the Moore School’s business partnership foundation as well as chair of the university’s bicentennial campaign, Way is also an invaluable supporter to the Charleston civic community and the state of South Carolina through his service on a multitude of boards including Spoleto Festival, South Carolina Aquarium (founding member), Palmetto Institute and the S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. Way is currently the secretary/treasurer of Gaillard Performance Hall Foundation. He was chair of the committee to reuse the Naval base when it closed in Charleston, and served a four-year term as secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. He received the Order of the Palmetto from both Governor Beasley and Governor Hodges, and the Elizabeth O’Neil Verner Award in 1990 for outstanding contribution to the Arts. Way is currently the chairman and CEO of the Beach Company, a leading real-estate development firm in the Lowcountry, and a past recipient of the Moore School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Important to both him and many family members are the 50-yardline seats at Williams-Brice Stadium that they have enjoyed since his graduation. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to an alumnus or alumna who has exemplified professional leadership, productive citizenship, and devotion to the university.
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
Andrew Card, '71
Andrew Card is a 1971 Carolina graduate with a degree in civil engineering. Since then, he has served as the secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the president and CEO of the American Auto Manufacturing Association and vice president for government relations for General Motors Corporation. In all, he was the second-longest tenured White House chief of staff, having served in senior government roles for three U.S. presidents. Card led a government-wide reorganization to best allocate resources to deal with the aftermath of 9-11 and the new terrorist environment. He is currently the acting dean of The Bush School of Government and Public Services at Texas A&M University. He also attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Card served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1967. Card has been the recipient of many honorary degrees and awards, including the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Carolina. Named for the great humanitarian and philanthropist, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is presented to an outstanding alumna or alumnus who has given service to his fellow man beyond that required by his job or profession.
Outstanding Black Alumni Award
Betty Anne Williams, '72
Betty Anne Williams, '72, a recipient of this year's Outstanding Black
Alumni Award, was the first black president of the Washington Press
Club, a 600-member, predominantly white female organization founded
before women were permitted to join the National Press Club. Still
residing in the nation’s capital, Williams has spent the last five years
as the director of communications at the Joint Center for Political and
Economic Studies, where she manages communications strategy and
outreach to media and constituent groups for the Washington, DC,
think-tank that produces research and policy analysis on issues
confronting African Americans. She was the first African American to
work for the Associated Press at its bureau in South Carolina, and later
was the first African American woman to work on the AP National staff.
Williams is the former president and board member of the Journalism and
Women Symposium (JAWS), a national organization devoted to improving the
representation of women in media, fostering more professional
development opportunities for women journalists and promoting journalism
principles that will lead to a more accurate portrayal of American
Outstanding Black Alumni Award
James Bennett, '83
James Bennett, '83, a recipient of this year's Outstanding Black Alumni Award, is the executive vice president and director of public affairs for First Citizens Bank in Columbia. In his work with First Citizens, Bennett oversees the company’s diversity and community reinvestment initiatives. He has been a recipient of numerous professional and community awards and has been honored as the Columbia Jaycees Business Leader of the Year. He has also received honors from the Boy Scouts of America and March of Dimes. James was the first African-American to receive the Outstanding Young Banker Award from the South Carolina Bankers Association in 1998. He currently serves on many boards including SCANA, Palmetto Health Alliance, University of South Carolina Educational Foundation, Claflin University Board of Trustees, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center Board of Commissioners, Midlands Housing Alliance and the Legislative Agenda Task Force for the South Carolina Chamber. In addition, he has been actively involved in the Columbia Urban League for more than 25 years, serving as league chairman for two terms, and was a Gubernatorial appointee for the Governor’s PASS Commission, Education Oversight Committee, S.C. State Ports Authority and the Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation. The University of South Carolina presents the Outstanding Black Alumni Awards to an alumnus or alumna distinguished in his or her chosen field.
Outstanding Young Alumni AwardHonorary Life Member Award
The Honorable Anton J. Gunn, '94, '01
Anton Gunn, '94, '01, this year's recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, is the director of external affairs in the office of intergovernmental and external affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is the federal government’s lead agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Before joining the IEA external-affairs team, Gunn served as the regional director at the region IV office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve under the leadership of HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius on August 13, 2010. Formerly the president and CEO of Top Gunn Associates, LLC, a South Carolina-based public-affairs consulting firm, Anton helped develop program management, community organizing, public affairs and strategic collaborations with local, state and national organizations on public-policy issues. He served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing Richland and Kershaw counties in district 79, and was the first African-American to represent that district. Gunn served as the political director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in South Carolina in 2008, providing leadership and guidance to the then-senator during the state’s Democratic Primary election, which resulted in Mr. Obama winning 55 percent of the vote. Anton has also been active on all levels in the fight for healthcare reform. He served on a White House healthcare task force of state legislators for health reform and, since 1996, he has been an active partner with Families USA, a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Working at the national, state, and community level, Anton was recognized by Families USA for his outstanding and tireless work on behalf of the nation’s consumers and named as Families’ 2007 Consumer Health Advocate of the Year. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is presented to a graduate who has excelled in his or her chosen field and is under the age of 40.
Eric and Pauline Hyman
Former athletics director Eric Hyman is regarded as an architect of championship programs, an advocate for academic success and a skilled administrator. While at Carolina, he oversaw the development of a $200 million master plan of facilities, and the school’s first athletics capital campaign has taken Gamecock Athletics to new heights in order to provide the financial resources to put athletics facilities equal to and above the standards of Carolina's Southeastern Conference peers. Under Hyman’s tenure, Carolina Stadium, the state-of-the-art baseball facility, and the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, were built, followed by the Rice Athletics Center coaches’ support building and the conversion of the Farmers Market into a football parking lot and tailgate area. Off the field, South Carolina student-athletes have combined to surpass the 3.0 grade point average plateau for 11 consecutive semesters and are regularly among the leaders in the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Gamecock student-athletes concluded the 2011-12 academic year posting their highest departmental grade-point average to date. Pauline Hyman helped introduce three required seminars to the NCAA Life Skills program for student athletes: Etiquette, Dress for Success, and Networking and Interviewing. The recipients of this award are given a lifetime membership to My Carolina Alumni Association.
My Carolina Love and Devotion Award
Don Barton, '49
Don Barton, '49, is the first-ever recipient of My Carolina Love and Devotion Award, given to an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated a lifelong adoration for Carolina, qualified by his or her time and Gamecock spirit. As the author of Big Thursdays & Super Saturdays, Barton shares a wealth of knowledge on the Carolina-Clemson rivalry. Don has written five books on Carolina Athletics, and his connection to Carolina has been one of the driving forces in his life since enrolling in the university after World War II. Upon graduation in 1949, head football coach Rex Enright helped bring him on as sports information director, the second full-time sports information director at Carolina. Though Don eventually left his post at the university to become a principal in an advertising agency, he became a contributing writer for Spurs and Feathers magazine and an active member of My Carolina Alumni Association. Don was also the chairman of the commission that built and opened Riverbanks Zoo and was named Columbia’s Ambassador of the Year in 1977. As chair of Carolina's "100 years of football" celebration, he was among the "Gamecock Legends," as selected by a committee by The State newspaper. He has served on the board of My Carolina Club of Richland and Lexington Counties and is a member and former chairman of the Centurions program, which is a constituent group within My Carolina that focuses on alumni who have observed the 50th anniversary of their graduation. “I consider the Alumni Association my second family,” Don says.
Staff to contact for additional information:
||Lynn G. Bradley, '84 BA, Life Member
Assistant Executive Director of Alumni Engagement
"My Carolina is football games, tailgating with friends, ZTA sisters, and a great place to work!"
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