GSSM names the Honorable Jay Lucas as 2023 Townes Award recipient

October 19, 2022

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) has named the Honorable Jay Lucas as the 2023 recipient of the school’s prestigious Townes Award. Rep. Lucas, who recently retired from the South Carolina House of Representatives while serving as Speaker of the House from 2014-2022 and Speaker Pro Tempore from 2010-2014, will be honored during the 29th annual Townes Award Celebration on March 15, 2023 in Columbia, S.C.

The Townes Award is named after South Carolina’s Dr. Charles H. Townes, whose pioneering research in quantum electronics led to the invention of the laser. Since 1993, GSSM has presented the prestigious Townes Award to honor individuals, businesses and institutions that have transformed South Carolina and the world. Rep. Lucas is a Hartsville native and currently the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Prisma Health in Greenville, S.C.

“It is an honor to have Rep. Lucas as a friend of GSSM and our 2023 Townes Award recipient,” said GSSM President Danny Dorsel. “Our mission to seek out the most motivated and talented students across the state and transform their lives could not be accomplished without his support throughout the years. He is also an amazing example to our students of a true servant leader. He has always been one who thinks about his community, no matter how small or large it is, before himself.”

Rep. Lucas served the state of South Carolina on the state and local levels. He is also an attorney, and throughout his career, Rep. Lucas has served as the County Administrator for Fairfield County, Financial Director for Bennettsville, a county attorney for Darlington County and a municipal judge in Hartsville.

Rep. Lucas earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of South Carolina.

For more information on GSSM, visit or call 843-383-3900.


About GSSM

One of the few specialized public residential high schools of its kind, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science + Mathematics (GSSM) exists to push motivated young learners beyond their perceived levels of academic ability. Founded in 1988 under the leadership of the late Governor Carroll Campbell, GSSM has consistently raised the bar for STEM education in the Palmetto State. GSSM’s two-year residential high school program—as well as its virtual high school program, summer camps, and outreach programs—all invite young people to explore the subjects they love in a diverse, inclusive, and uncommonly supportive academic environment. Here, challenge is viewed as a gateway to opportunity. GSSM students embrace the school’s rigorous approach to education and in so doing begin to realize their full potential. Learn more by visiting