University to honor distinguished alumni at gala
The Carolina Alumni Association of the University of South Carolina will recognize some of the university’s most outstanding alumni during its annual Homecoming Gala Friday, Nov. 5, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Darius Rucker, Grammy-winning lead singer of the popular rock band, Hootie & the Blowfish, and, more recently a solo country artist, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Dr. Jim Chow, brigadier general and a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, as an Air National Guardsman will receive the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, named for the great humanitarian and philanthropist; Fox Chicago news anchor Jan Jeffcoat will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and Frances Elizabeth Ashe-Goins, Office of Women’s Health acting director, will be presented the Outstanding Black Alumni Award.
Dr. Susie VanHuss and Michael W. Bailie will receive the Honorary Life Member Award for their support and contributions to the university.
As a student in the late 1980s, Rucker helped form Hootie & the Blowfish. Rucker continues to give back to the community and stays devoted to his alma mater. The Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, established in 2000, is a private non-profit organization created in conjunction with the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Golf Tournament. It benefits children of South Carolina through education and school music programs nationwide. In addition, he participates in the Musicians on Call Initiative, in which he entertains hospitalized war veterans to raise money.
Chow, a 1980 graduate and USC School of Medicine alumnus, established an endowment at the School of Medicine to fund a scholarship in his parents’ names for students going into primary and preventative medicine. He also established the Chow Bicentennial Scholarship Fund, for medical students. In addition to his military duties, he is the associate director of dermatology/dermatologic surgery, clinical associate professor of surgery at the USC School of Medicine, partner at the Columbia Skin Clinic and a board member for the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners.
Jeffcoat co-anchors Fox Chicago “News at Noon,” for which she recently earned an Emmy Award nomination for a 30-minute special from Haiti after the earthquakes. Prior to joining the Fox station in Chicago in 2007, she was a reporter and anchor in Charleston, Charlotte and Houston, winning multiple awards. The Texas AP nominated her for Best Anchor Award and Star Award.
Ashe-Goins, a registered nurse, earned her master’s degree in public health in 1980. She is acting director for the Office of Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing the functions of OWH and participating in the formulation of policies, goals and activities. She has implemented several programs over her years of service in the areas of HIV/AIDS, violence against women and the Lupus Educational Awareness Project.
VanHuss is a distinguished professor emeritus of management in the Darla Moore School of Business and was the executive director of University Foundations from 1997-2006. She has served the university in multiple capacities since 1974.
Bailie joined the U.S. Department of Justice as a Lawyer in 1979. Since 1988, he has worked for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, which provides support and assistance to federal prosecutors. In 1997, he was named director of the Office of Legal Education and, in early 1998, opened the National Advocacy Center in Columbia.
For more information on Carolina Alumni Homecoming events, visit the alumni website: http://www.mycarolina.org/s/842/homepage.aspx.