First Citizens Receives Elizabeth O’Neill Verner/Governor’s Award for The Arts

March 24, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – March 24, 2008 – First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc., announced that it has received the 2008 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner award, the official Governor’s Award for the Arts. Established in 1972, the annual awards are the highest honor the state gives in the arts and recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina.

Each year, the board of the S.C. Arts Commission selects South Carolina arts organizations, patrons, artists, members of the business community, and government entities that maximize their roles as innovators, supporters, and advocates of the arts. Through First Citizens’ corporate support of more than 30 visual and performing arts programs including ballet, music, and theater performances, residents throughout the state have been able to enjoy the talents of local artists performing in local venues.

“The range of arts activities supported by First Citizens Bank exemplifies the positive impact businesses can have on the arts community in South Carolina,” said S.C. Arts Commission Executive Director Suzette M. Surkamer. “We are pleased to present First Citizens with an Elizabeth O’Neill Verner/Governor’s Awards for the Arts, not only for donating space and financial resources, but also for encouraging its associates to become active and involved in work that supports the arts.”

“First Citizens demonstrates its strong sense of corporate responsibility by being actively involved in the communities we serve,” said Jim B. Apple, First Citizens’ chairman and CEO. “In large cities and rural towns, art plays a central role in the lives of citizens everywhere, which is why we proudly support the visual and performing arts in the state.”

“One way we demonstrate our allegiance to the arts is through volunteerism,” said James A. Bennett, First Citizens’ executive vice president and director of public affairs. “First Citizens associates are encouraged to donate their time and resources to philanthropic endeavors, many of which are directed to the arts, including serving on arts boards, fundraising committees, and volunteer projects supporting the arts community.”

The awards will be presented during a special ceremony in Columbia Wednesday, April 16, followed by an awards luncheon at the Columbia Marriott Hotel. The benefit luncheon is presented by the S.C. Arts Foundation.

About First Citizens
First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc. is the parent company of First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., and The Exchange Bank of South Carolina, Inc. First Citizens Bank offers commercial, wealth, and retail banking services through its nearly 170 offices in South Carolina and Georgia. As of Dec. 31, 2007, First Citizens Bancorporation, Inc., had total consolidated assets of $6.08 billion. For more information, visit the First Citizens web site at