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Past Wilkins Civic Award Winners on the Next Generation of Leaders

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As we prepare for the January 10 Riley-Wilkins OneSouthCarolina Legislative and Civic Leadership Awards, we’re reminded of the examples set by past winners. Here’s a look back at what a few of these outstanding leaders had to say about how we shape the next generation of leaders.

How can we best shape the next generation of leaders?

“I think we need to make room for the younger people coming along, earlier in their lives. Of course, if we can inspire families with community service models early on, then that is a marvelous way to do it. When the 20- and 30-year-olds [can establish] a pattern of volunteering where it’s easily accessible and they’re wanted, I think it will make a great contribution to the state.”

Nella Barkley, President of Crystal-Barkley and Community Leader
2019 Award Winner for Excellence in Civic Leadership

“South Carolina is a small state. Connectivity is a big part of our culture. What Liberty Fellowship and other programs do is bring together a diversity of perspectives and a wide range of thought for discussions [about what makes a] just society, what’s right and what’s wrong, what are the principles of leadership, and what are the issues South Carolina faces. Through that collaboration and in breaking down those silos, those silos of arrogance, they address the issues that challenge this state, and they focus on what makes South Carolina a better place for all South Carolinians.”

Hayne Hipp (b. 1940 – d. 2020), Former CEO of the Liberty Corporation and Founder of the Liberty Fellows
2016 Award Winner for Excellence in Civic Leadership


Riley-Wilkins OneSouthCarolina Legislative and Civic Leadership Awards

January 10, 2023

Join us in shining a light on two exceptional individuals, people who inspire rising leaders by exemplifying what can be achieved through empathy, collaboration, perseverance, and an overriding commitment to the wellbeing of the people of our state.

Reserve Your Seat

The Riley Institute would like to thank Duke Energy for supporting the 2023 Riley-Wilkins OneSouthCarolina Leadership Awards as a partner-level sponsor. Learn more about Duke Energy at

Winner quotes excerpted from 2020 video, “Fifteen Years of Wilkins Award Winners on Leadership, Service and Bipartisanship.”