USC honors top students at Awards Day
The University of South Carolina presented its top honors, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Steven N. Swanger awards, to three graduating seniors during the university’s annual Awards Day ceremony Thursday (April 21).
Katharine “Katie” Parham and James “Jim” Manning, both of Columbia, received the Sullivan awards, the university’s highest honor for undergraduates. Sullivan awards are given each year to one graduating woman and one graduating man for outstanding achievements, campus leadership, exemplary character and service to the community. The award, given at 15 colleges and universities across the country, is named for the 19th-century New York lawyer and philanthropist.
Madison Shepherd of Vienna, Va., received the Steven N. Swanger Leadership Award, the university’s second-highest undergraduate honor. The award is named for a former president of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), which sponsors the university’s Awards Day. It is given to a graduating senior for exemplary leadership and for making significant contributions to the Carolina community.
The university also presented more than 300 awards recognizing undergraduate academic, service, athletic and leadership achievements at the ceremony on the historic Horseshoe.
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
Katharine “Katie” Sara Parham
Katharine Parham, daughter of Diane and Terry Parham, is a graduate of Irmo High School. A member of the Carolina Service Council and director of Alternative Break Programs, Parham was a 2011 Rhodes Scholar nominee and a 2010 Truman Scholar finalist.
“Recognizing the great impact that community service can have on both the people it serves and those who choose to engage in it, I have worked to put in place a plan that will allow Alternative Break Programs at USC to continue to expand in the years to come,” said Parham. “I have been proud to be able to provide opportunities to fellow students that have the potential to alter their global perspectives and that will promote intelligent world citizenship among the next generation of Gamecocks.”
Parham will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in political science and French and will join Teach for America, teaching French in Memphis, Tenn.
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award
James “Jim” Chapman Manning
James Manning, son of Jim and Sandra C. Manning, is a graduate of A.C. Flora High School in Columbia. He was active in student government, was president of the Residence Hall Association and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist.
“It’s an absolute honor to follow those I’ve known who have won before,” he said. “It’s a validation of the past four years and the investment I’ve made in Carolina and the investment everyone at Carolina has made in me.”
Manning will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics, with plans to attend law school at the University of Virginia.
Steven N. Swanger Award
Madison Leslianna Shepherd
Madison Shepherd, daughter of Les Shepherd and Hilary Sproul, is a graduate of James Madison High School in Vienna, Va. She was president of the leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa at USC, a member of the National Advisory Council and a student-at-large member of the national board of directors.
“ODK has meant so much to me over the past few years,” Shepherd said. “Aside from academics, I feel that leadership and service are the two most important aspects of campus life.”
Shepherd will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in international business and accounting. She plans to attend graduate school to work on her master’s in business taxation at the University of Southern California.