Paula Harper Bethea was instrumental in the launch and success of the Riley Institute’s annual Wilkins Legislative and Civic Leadership Awards dinner. With her support, over the past 15 years the event, now known as the OneSouthCarolina Awards, has become a signature event for Furman University.

She is a civic leader known across the state. She has been a strong advocate for education, instrumental in enhancing economic development efforts in the state, and has held numerous leadership positions, including as the first female chair of the United Way of America’s Board of Governors. The Paula Harper Bethea Civic Engagement Award is in honor of her dedication and commitment to championing bipartisanship and service to the community.