Senator Nikki Setzler and Public Education Advocate Harris DeLoach to Receive Riley Institute’s Statewide Leadership Awards

Claudia Winkler
Director, Marketing and Communications
The Riley Institute at Furman University



Honorees will be recognized at the Riley Institute at Furman’s seventeenth annual Riley-Wilkins OneSouthCarolina Legislative and Civic Leadership Awards Dinner.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Riley Institute at Furman University has announced that South Carolina Senator Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington Dist. 26) and public education advocate Harris DeLoach will receive the 2024 Riley-Wilkins OneSouthCarolina Legislative and Civic Leadership Awards, respectively.

The awards recognize outstanding, principled leadership in South Carolina and honor the statesmanship of Dick Riley, former U.S. secretary of education and former two-term governor of South Carolina, and David Wilkins, former U.S. ambassador to Canada and former speaker of the South Carolina House. Riley and Wilkins will present the awards at the Riley-Wilkins OneSouthCarolina Legislative and Civic Leadership Awards Dinner on January 10 in Columbia; the presenting sponsor of the event is BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

“These awards celebrate leaders who exhibit the cooperative spirit that has defined the careers of Dick Riley, a Democrat, and David Wilkins, a Republican,” said Dr. Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “It is imperative, especially in our current climate, that public servants and civic leaders focus on doing what’s best for South Carolina and the communities and people they have been charged with serving.”

Senator Nikki Setzler has represented the 26th District since 1976 and served as minority leader from 1992-2000. Now in his 47th year of service, Setzler is not only the longest-serving incumbent member of the South Carolina Senate, but also of any state senate in the country. Throughout his tenure, Setzler has built a high level of trust with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and he has been a strong supporter of public schools and higher education.

Harris DeLoach, retired CEO and executive chairman of Sonoco Products Company, has worked for decades to bring people together to collaborate on initiatives with the goal of ensuring that every child leaves the public school system with the skills needed to succeed in the workplace and the world. He has served on numerous boards across South Carolina and is currently a trustee for The Duke Endowment.

The January 10 event at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center begins with a cocktail reception for all registered attendees at 6 p.m. The dinner and awards presentation will take place at 7:15 p.m. with a dessert reception to follow. Tickets are $150 each and may be purchased by visiting or calling 864.235.8330.


About the Riley Institute at Furman University

Furman University’s Richard W. Riley Institute advances social and economic progress in South Carolina and beyond by building leadership for a diverse society, hosting expert speakers to broaden perspectives on critical issues, supporting public education, and creating knowledge through community solutions-focused research. It is committed to nonpartisanship in all it does and to a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. Learn more at