S.C. State University’s annual spring Honors and Awards Convocation will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, featuring U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina.
The event will be held at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. During the event, which carries the theme, “Pursuing Academic Excellence,” student scholars who have achieved academic excellence throughout the 2012-2013 academic term will be formally recognized.
The annual Honors and Awards Convocation was designed to honor S.C. State University students who have distinguished themselves in scholarship and service. These distinctions are recognized through the attainment of presidential pins, academic scholarships and awards.
The Presidential Scholar Awards, the highest academic awards presented during the Honors and Awards Convocation, were initiated in 1977 by Dr. M. Maceo Nance Jr., the fifth president of S.C. State University. The underlying objectives for establishing the awards were to encourage those who demonstrate academic excellence to maintain and achieve higher levels of academic pursuits, to provide symbolic recognition via the Presidential Pin and to provide an incentive to all students to achieve academic excellence.
The story of Scott, who will be the convocation speaker, is of one of hard work, education, success and the American Dream. Growing up poor in a single-parent household in North Charleston, Scott watched his single mom work 16 hour days as a nurse’s assistant to keep him and his brother afloat.
As a freshman in high school, Scott nearly failed out, flunking four classes. That year though, he met a mentor, John Moniz, who shared his conservative values and guidance. With the discipline his mother had already given him, Scott began the process of turning his life around.
The lessons gleaned from his mentor still guide the senator today: financial independence is a stepping stone for doing anything you want to do in life. Scott says having a job is a great thing, but creating jobs for others is an amazing thing. Having a strong set of values and faith are the cornerstone to all other success in life, he says. Scott adds that a person can think their way out of poverty, and whatever their situation, hard work and perseverance will always provide them a way up and out.
Scott’s goal is simple: to positively affect the lives of a billion people. That path has taken him from building a successful small business, to Charleston County Council, the South Carolina Statehouse and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gov. Nikki Haley named Scott to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint, who announced his resignation in December 2012. In January 2013, Scott was sworn in as the junior U.S. senator from South Carolina.