COLUMBIA, SC – January 12, 2011 – Richard W. Riley, who hasserved notable terms as South Carolina governor and U.S. Secretary ofEducation, will receive the South Carolina Bar Foundation’s 2010 DuRantDistinguished Public Service Award for meritorious service to the lawand the community. The annual recognition is the most prestigiousstatewide award members of the Bar can bestow on a fellow attorney. Theaward will be presented during the S.C. Bar’s Annual Convention plenaryluncheon on Friday, January 21, at the Hilton Head Marriott in HiltonHead.
Mr. Riley is a senior partner of Nelson Mullins Riley & ScarboroughLLP and its affiliate, EducationCounsel LLC. As a former U.S. Secretaryof Education (1993-2001) and a former Governor of South Carolina(1979-1987), he remains an ambassador for improving education in thestate, nation and abroad.
As Governor, he focused on much-needed improvements in public educationand SC economic development policy, as well as limiting nuclear wastestorage in the state and modernizing state government. At the nationallevel, he fought for higher academic standards for all children,additional reading, after-school and other programs to help improvelearning; professional development to help educators improve teaching;and greater access and affordability for college for all students.
His selection by TIME Magazine as one of the top ten Federal cabinetofficers in our nation’s history, as well as his induction into theSouth Carolina Hall of Fame, demonstrate the high regard in which Mr.Riley is held at the national and state levels. During the 1990s, theChristian Science Monitor wrote that many Americans regard Dick Riley as“one of the great statesmen of education in this century.” DavidBroder, the highly acclaimed national columnist, called him one of the“most decent and honorable people in public life.”
“Throughout his life and wherever he goes, Mr. Riley wins respect forhis integrity, principled leadership, commitment to children, passionfor high-quality education and respect for the law. Mr. Riley getsthings done by reaching out to all citizens. He prefers partnership topartisanship,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney for South Carolina MarvinJennings Caughman, who nominated Mr. Riley for the award.
As a young, progressive reformer in the SC Legislature, he pushed forgreater autonomy for local governments, judicial reform, legislativeopenness, revision of the SC Constitution and general modernization ofthe SC government.
Mr. Riley continues to participate in activities to improve the qualityof life in his local community, as well as at the state and nationallevels. The public offerings of his Riley Institute have broughtnational recognition to Furman, to the Greenville area and to the state.He also serves on the board of the University Center in Greenville; hehas been instrumental in development for A Child’s Haven to serve abusedand neglected children; he speaks at local public school events,college application and attendance promotions; and he participates inlocal community development efforts. Indications of Mr. Riley’scontinuing public leadership are recent top awards extended by theGreenville Literacy Association, the S.C. Arts Commission and LeadershipSouth Carolina.
About the DuRant Award
Selection criteria include meritorious service to the law and thecommunity. Established in 1980 to honor living members of the SouthCarolina Bar, the DuRant Award recipient is nominated and selected byhis or her professional peers. The Foundation established the award inmemory of Charlton DuRant, a well-known Manning attorney who served asstate senator and special associate justice of the SC Supreme Court.