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College of Arts and Sciences


Recognition of Excellence Banquet

The annual Recognition of Excellence Dinner recognizes distinguished alumni and friends of the College of Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding achievement or service to the College of Arts and Sciences, to their profession or to society. The dinner is held each spring in one of Columbia’s premier venues, Riverbanks Zoo Ndoki Lodge. Recipients join an esteemed group of honorees who are leaders in industry, the arts, nonprofits, and government.


Awards Presented

The Distinguished Alumnus Award and Distinguished Young Alumnus Award are presented to alumni of the College of Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in one or more areas: science, academia, government, nonprofit organizations, outstanding contributions to society, or outstanding service to the College or University. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to either an alumnus or non-alumnus for outstanding service to the College of Arts and Sciences or outstanding contributions to society. The Dean’s Award is a special recognition by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service to the College of Arts and Sciences. Finally, the Institutional Support Award is presented to an organization that has demonstrated outstanding service or support to the College of Arts and Sciences.

2017 Award Recipients

  • 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

Nominate Someone

We invite you to nominate an individual who has inspired you with their outstanding achievements and services. In addition to completing the form, we encourage you to include a written statement describing your nominee’s contributions, achievements, and why you feel they are deserving of the award. Please highlight the nominee’s professional, personal, and civic activities, and indicate which award you are nominating for. Deadline for nominations is September 1.

Please complete a nomination form [pdf] and either email it to or send it to:

Ann Cameron
Director of External Relations
College of Arts and Sciences
Petigru, Suite 210
Columbia, SC  29208

Previous Winners 

  • 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