Richard Riley

Richard W. Riley

Former U.S. Secretary of Education and former SC governor

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Richard W. Riley, for whom the Riley Institute at Furman is named, is the former U.S. Secretary of Education (1993–2001) and former Governor of South Carolina (1979–1987). He serves as the Institute’s Chief Inspiration Officer and is a senior partner in the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and its affiliate, EducationCounsel, with offices in South and North Carolina, Georgia, Boston, Chicago, Tallahassee, and Washington, D.C.

He has been named Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina, and the College of Education at Winthrop University bears his name, as does the College of Education and Leadership at Walden University.

Sec. Riley earned his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in political science from Furman in 1954 and received a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1959. In 2008, Riley was named one of the Top 10 Cabinet Members of the 20th Century by TIME magazine.