The annual Recognition of Excellence Celebration celebrates distinguished alumni and
friends of the College of Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding achievement,
and service to their profession or to society. Recipients join an esteemed group of
honorees who are leaders in industry, the arts, nonprofits, and government. Pictured
above are the 2020 and 2021 winners. The 2023 Honorees will be celebrated on November
9, 2023, at a reception with President Amiridis at the Boyd Horticulture Center at
the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens.
2023 Award Recipients
Distinguished Service Award:
Brian Gaines advised the Alpha Phi Alpha Theta Nu Chapter and advised them to chapter
of the year in 2022. He also became the highest-ranking black man in the state since
reconstruction by being sworn in by Governor Henry McMaster as Comptroller General
in May 2023. Prior to his position of State Comptroler, he was appointed State Budget
Director in 2017.
He encourages the current chapter members of Alpha Phi Alphi Theta Nu to take steps
towards greatness, teaching them to expand their mind to the different opportunities.
Leron Chapman, Jr.
Leroy Chapman, Jr., currently serves as the Editor in Chief for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(AJC). He previously was the managing editor for AJC, where he has worked since 2011.
He is the first Black editor-in-chief in the newspaper’s 155-year history. Prior
to working for AJC, he received accolades as managing a newspaper's award-winning
political and state government coverage The State. He also was an award-winning columnist and editotial writer for The Greenville News.
Distinguished Faculty Award:
Frank Avignone, Ph.D.
Frank Avignone, Ph.D., is the Carolina Endowed Professor of Physics and Astronomy.
He has served as the department chair for 20 years here at USC, and there was a srecent
ymposium in honor of his 90th birthday. He leads the Particle Astrophysics Group, and he received his Ph.D. from
the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been cited in many journal articles, and
though many of his colleagues -- and even some students -- have already retired, he
shows no signs of slowing down as he has been experimenting with neutrinos in exploration
of dark matter.
Distinguished Alumni Award:
Justin Tupper serves as a Senior Vice President of Revolution Golf at the Golf Channel,
and he is the CEO and founder of Revolution Golf that has been acquired by NBC Sports
Group. Since the acquisition, he has also been made Senior Vice President of NBC Sports
Next. Before starting Revolution Golf, he was involved in real estate around Beaufort
County, SC. He previously served as the Registered Agent for Maven Marketing LLC before
it merged out of existence. He was nominated for an Industry Honors Award presented
by the International Network of Golf, being recognized for “building golf’s largest
direct-to-consumer digital platform.”
Distinguished Young Alumni Award:
Jennifer Bartell Boykin
Jennifer Bartell Boykin is the Poet Laureate of Columbia, SC. She is an English teacher
at Spring Valley High School. She sponsored the Poetry Out Loud Competition and W.O.R.D.
(Write.Organize.Read.Dream.), Spring Valley’s poetry club. She’s a former board member
for the Deckle Edge Literary Festival and contributed to the work of the Jasper Project.
Institutional Support Award:
The Ethel S Brody Charitable Foundation
The Brody Foundation was established in honor of Ethel S. Brody (1923-2014). Brody
was a philanthropist of Columbia, SC, and she, along with her sister, were heavily
involved with the Columbia Museum of Art for five decades. She was even given the
Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts in 2013 by the South Carolina
Arts Commission Board, which is the highest honor for the arts in the state.
The Brody Foundation established an Estel S. Brody Program Endowment Fund that supports
promising undergraduate syudents pursuing Art Education at the University of South
Distinguished Service Award: Kassy Alia Ray, Ph.D.
Dean's Award: Kelly Adams
Distinguished Faculty Award: Loren Knapp, Ph.D.
Distinguished Alumni Award: Richard J. Youle, Ph.D.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award: Kari Croft
Institutional Support Award: Jim and Elaine Johnson
Distinguished Service Award: Major General Cornell A. Wilson, Jr.
Dean's Award: Karen Painter Randall
Distinguished Faculty Award: Susan Ellenbast Anderson
Distinguished Young Alumna: Chanda Jefferson, M.T./Ed.M.
Distinguished Young Alumnus: State Representative Marvin R. Pendarvis, Esq.
Institutional Support Award: Zeus
Distinguished Service Award: Ann Cameron
Distinguished Young Alumna: Lindsay Richardson
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Allen Klump
Distinguished Alumnus Award: Neil Jacobs
Dean's Award: Henrie Treadwell
Institutional Support Award: The Knight Foundation Donor Fund at the Central Carolina
Distinguished Alumna Award: Marva A. Smalls
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Ryan C. Holt
Distinguished Service Award: Vasa W. Cate, M.D.
Dean's Award: Tommy Hickman
Institutional Support Award: The Duke Endowment
Distinguished Alumnus: Major General James M. Richardson, Jr.
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Jotaka L. Eaddy
Distinguished Service: Gregory Thomas Alia (posthumously)
Dean's Award: John C. Parry
Institutional Support Award: DEA Survivors Benefit Fund
Distinguished Alumna: Ms. Anne Hale Miglarese
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Mr. Tommy D. Preston, Jr.
Distinguished Service: Ms. Laura Bauld Turner
Dean's Award: Ms. Carolyn T. Polston
Institutional Support Award: Michelin North America
Distinguished Alumna: Ms. Marcia Lee Hale
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Mr. Mike Randal Colter
Distinguished Service: Ms. Shirley D. Mills
Dean's Award: Mr. John Kevin Hoey
Institutional Support: Mr. Jeffrey Leving, Father's Rights
Institutional Support Award: Bilinski Educational Foundation
Distinguished Alumna: The Honorable Kathryn S. Smith
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Mr. Robert Temple Samuels
Distinguished Service: Dr. Jason C. Hu
Dean's Award: Mr. Michael Tongour
Distinguished Alumna: The Honorable Lindsey O. Graham
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Mr. Nicholas Ray Morris
Distinguished Service: Dr. Walter B. Edgar
Dean's Award: Mr. Scott Howell
Distinguished Alumna: Dr. Gail M. Morrison
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Mr. Daniel D'Alberto
Distinguished Service: Ms. Lynn Robertson
Dean's Award: Dr. Lois Duke Whitaker
Institutional Support Award: Watson-Brown Foundation
Distinguished Alumnus: Dr. Janine Anne Davidson, Mr. Mike Randal Colter
Distinguished Young Alumnus: Mr. Francis John Person
Distinguished Service: The Honorable James E. Smith, Jr.
Institutional Support Award: IAVO Research and Scientific
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