Tommy Young posthumously honored with lifetime achievement award during USC Upstate’s annual Founders Day celebration

April 12, 2022

From left: Thomas R. Young, IV, president of Young Office; Elizabeth Young, wife of the late Tommy Young; and Bennie L. Harris, chancellor of USC Upstate. Founders Day..Photo/ Les Duggins/ USC Upstate

Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education bestows its highest honor upon late community leader and education advocate, unveils portrait

Thomas R. “Tommy” Young III was posthumously honored Monday with the G.B. Hodge, M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award at USC Upstate’s 55th annual Founders Day Celebration. Distinguished Service Awards were also awarded to Tracy Bourgoin, Jerry Carroll and Donette Stewart, and the Founders Award was presented to Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s leadership team. Phil Feisal, president of Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, accepted the award on the team’s behalf.

The G.B. Hodge, M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Young, is the highest honor the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education bestows.

Young served both USC Upstate and the Spartanburg community for decades. He chaired the Commission from 2011 to 2020 and was a member of the USC Upstate Foundation Board from 1999 to 2009. In 2017, the university presented Young with an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree for his support of higher education throughout South Carolina, his contribution to local workforce and economic development and his leadership among numerous arts, education, healthcare and service organizations, thus improving the quality of life in Spartanburg.

In 2019, Gov. McMaster presented Young with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

Young advocated for the university, contributing time and financial support to many initiatives including campus master planning, USC Upstate’s annual Founders Day celebrations and Commencement. He was a season ticket holder for Spartans basketball.

After graduating from The Citadel in 1974, he joined his family’s business, Young Office Supply Co. and led the company’s growth to three locations in the Carolinas.

Following the Founders Day Awards Ceremony, the Commission unveiled a portrait of Young to his family, friends and all in attendance.

“Tommy Young was a devout supporter of the Spartanburg community, particularly higher education,” said Dr. David Church, chair of the Spartanburg County Commission for Higher Education. “We are privileged to honor his legacy and know that he would be proud of his fellow award recipients for the outstanding work they do to advance education for so many people.”