Historian honored by S.C. Higher Ed Hall of Fame
University of South Carolina historian Dr. Walter Edgar has been selected as the 2010 laureate for the South Carolina Higher Education Hall of Fame.
Given by the South Carolina Higher Education Foundation’s Lightsey Society, the award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to higher education in South Carolina and, by example, inspired others to excel in their efforts on behalf of higher education.
University President Harris Pastides said the award recognizes Edgar’s success in taking his scholarship beyond the classroom and sharing it with the people of South Carolina.
“Walter Edgar is a true South Carolina treasure,” Pastides said. “Through his painstaking research, he has contributed immensely to our understanding of South Carolina history. But his true achievement lies in his ability to connect with students and the people of our state by sharing stories about the many colorful and fascinating events and individuals who have shaped the Palmetto State. Anyone who thinks history is not exciting hasn’t met Walter Edgar.”
Craig Garner, president of the S.C. Higher Education Foundation, said Edgar was selected for his scholarship, classroom teaching, scholarly publications and community outreach through multiple avenues, including broadcast media, museums and historical societies.
“What better choice for the Lightsey Society’s third Hall of Fame laureate than a scholar of Dr. Edgar’s caliber whose influence and reach extend far beyond the classroom and South Carolina,” Garner said. “His passion for learning is contagious and inspires his students to succeed and countless others to seek out knowledge and learn more about topics that interest them. Walter Edgar combines the intellectual honesty, thoughtful scholarship, energy, warm personality, initiative and natural communication skills to increase every day the number of South Carolinians who are touched by higher education.”
Edgar is the author of “South Carolina: A History,” regarded as the definitive book on the Palmetto State’s history, and is editor of “The South Carolina Encyclopedia,” the first encyclopedia about the Palmetto State.
He holds four professorships -- Carolina Trustee Professor, George Washington Professor of History, Claude Henry Neuffer Chair in Southern Studies and Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts.
Edgar is the director of the Institute for Southern Studies and was the founder and first director of the university’s Public History Program. He hosts “Walter Edgar’s Journal,” a statewide program on South Carolina Educational Radio that looks at contemporary events in context.
The Lightsey Society was named after the late Dr. Harry M. Lightsey Jr., a long-time advocate for and contributor to higher education in the state. The society was created by the S.C. Higher Education Foundation to support its efforts to advance and enhance the quality of higher education in our state. Edgar, who will be inducted into the Higher Education Hall of Fame at a banquet on Oct. 7, joins Lightsey and former S.C. Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley Jr. as past laureates.
For information on the Oct. 7 Lightsey Society Higher Education Hall of Fame banquet or the work of the South Carolina Higher Education Foundation, call Gail Ginsberg at 803-788-7001 or 803 260 0221.
S.C. Higher Education Hall of Fame laureate
- What: Designation awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to higher education and, by example, inspired others
- Who: Dr. Walter Edgar selected as 2010 laureate