AT&T’s Martha Scott Smith named United Way of the Midlands Humanitarian of the Year

February 4, 2009

Smith is the first African-American woman to receive the award in its 25-year history

COLUMBIA, SC – February 4, 2009  – At the 25th Anniversary of the United Way of the Midlands Humanitarian of the Year award, the Palmetto Society will recognize Martha Scott Smith for her outstanding servant leadership to the Midlands community.

The black tie event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 pm at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, and all are invited. Registration is required and available at

The Humanitarian of the Year Award honors those who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in philanthropy and human services and who exert a major impact on changing and improving conditions for Midlands residents.  

“Martha has been at the forefront of advancing the common good in the Midlands for many years,” said Mac Bennett, President & CEO of United Way of the Midlands. “Her record of selfless service has been an example to us all.”  

Smith is a founding member of Women in Philanthropy, president of the Columbia Urban League Guild, Vice-Chair of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism, and a member of the SC State University Board of Trustees. She has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, Midlands Technical College Foundation, the South Carolina State Museum, and South Carolina Voices for Children.   

Martha Scott Smith is driven by a calling and passion to help others,” said James T. McLawhorn, Jr., President & CEO of Columbia Urban League, Inc. “She is truly a servant-leader.

As a volunteer, she developed the operational manual for the Columbia Urban League’s Summer Work Experience Program, which has provided work experience for more than 10,000 youth. As chair of the College Summit committee, she helped raise more than $400,000 to assist low income students with college access.

“Martha Scott Smith is passionate about people. She has often been a trailblazer, serving as the first black female chair of the American Red Cross board, the SC State Museum Board, and the Midlands Technical College Foundation. Despite her personal accomplishments, her focus has always been on others and what she can do to help each person reach their full potential,” said Pamela Lackey, President of AT&T in South Carolina. “A dynamic and dedicated activist for improving education in South Carolina, she has impacted thousands of lives over many years. Our community and our neighbors are better today because of Martha Scott Smith.”

Tickets to the event are still available. To register, go to or contact Rion Skinner at 803.733.5419 or [email protected].