Media gallery

The Twelfth Annual Wilkins Awards Dinner

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

January 10, 2017

Held on the first night of the legislative session each year and attended by political, community, and business leaders, the Wilkins Awards Dinner promotes citizenship, public service, and bipartisan governing. Each year we honor the leadership, courage, vision, and integrity of one South Carolina legislator and one South Carolina civic leader. View this year’s program | Read Furman’s news release

The Honorable Rita Allison (R-District 36)

2016 Wilkins Award for Excellence in Legislative Leadership

A strong, long-time advocate for education improvement in South Carolina, Representative Allison is chair of the House Education and Public Works Committee. In 2015, she was appointed by Speaker Lucas as chair of the House Education Policy Review and Reform Task Force, a seventeen member task force created to respond to the plaintiffs’ charges in Abbeville v. State of South Carolina. Nominated for the award by fellow legislators, she is described as open-minded, smart, and easy to work with.


Hayne Hipp, former CEO of The Liberty Corporation and founder of the Liberty Fellows

2016 Wilkins Award for Excellence in Civic Leadership

Hayne Hipp’s civic and community leadership is far-reaching, but no greater impact has been made in the community than through his vision and creation of the Liberty Fellowship, an incubator for exemplary leadership in South Carolina. After examining issues critically and with diverse perspectives, Liberty Fellows move from thought to action through community work. They have undertaken more than 200 community projects including Chucktown Squash, a year-round afterschool program in Charleston; SC DASH, an economic development data clearinghouse; and the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic.