South Carolina Governor To Receive Honorary Doctorate Degree From Limestone On May 10
Hundreds of Limestone students will not be the only ones picking up degrees during the College’s upcoming commencement exercies on Friday, May 10.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, who will be the guest speaker at both graduations, will be recognized with an Honorary Doctoral degree. Limestone’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday, April 26, to bestow the honor on the state’s top elected official. The Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree will be bestowed upon McMaster during the first of two ceremonies planned inside Fullerton Auditorium.
“To have the Governor speaking at our upcoming graduations is a huge honor for this College,” said Randy Hines, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “The Governor has several connections to Limestone and we feel he is very deserving of this honorary degree.”
The Governor’s late mother-in-law, Mary Rogers McAbee (nee Anderson), was a Limestone College graduate, along with her three sisters. She went on to teach school in Cherokee and Spartanburg Counties. Her daughter, South Carolina’s First Lady Peggy McMaster, and the Governor have been married for over 38 years.
Governor McMaster’s sister-in-law, Mary Claire McAbee, is also a Limestone graduate.
It was announced in February that McMaster will speak at both Limestone graduation ceremonies, one starting at 10:45 a.m. and the other beginning at 2:45 p.m.
McMaster became the 117th Governor of South Carolina in January of 2017 and was elected to his first full term in November of 2018.
It was Governor McMaster, after the College made a request to Senator Harvey Peeler, who approved the Limestone flag to fly atop the State House for a day following the Saints’ 2017 National Championship victory in Men’s Lacrosse.
The son of former state representative John Gregg McMaster and Ida Dargan McMaster, Governor McMaster is a lifelong servant of the State of South Carolina. He previously served two years as Lieutenant Governor, eight years as Attorney General, and four years as a United States attorney.
McMaster was the first U.S. attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
As Lieutenant Governor, McMaster served as president of the South Carolina State Senate and headed the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, which aids older adults with social, economic, and health needs.
McMaster has served on the South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Palmetto Health Foundation Board, and the South Carolina Policy Council (as chairman). He is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state, and was named “Public Servant of the Year” by the Sierra Club and “National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by The Humane Society of the United States.
He received his Bachelor’s degree in History in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor degree in 1973 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served on the South Carolina Law Review. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1969 to 1975.
“Limestone is one of our state’s oldest colleges and serves as a pillar of South Carolina’s educational community,” Governor McMaster said in a written statement at the time of Dr. Parker’s Presidential Inauguration in 2018. “Its students enjoy the inheritance of a rich and storied history. Limestone College has touched the lives of many South Carolinians.”
On May 10, Limestone will first hold a graduation ceremony for its Arts & Humanities Division and Education & Behavioral Sciences Division. That will be followed by a commencement for its Natural/Health Sciences Division and Business & Professional Studies Division.