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Late Sen. Clementa Pinckney Honored With Wilkins Award From Riley Institute At Furman
12/9/2015 4:35:26 PM

Clementa Pinckney
Furman University’s Riley Institute has announced that the late South Carolina Senator Clementa Pinckney is this year’s recipient of the David H. Wilkins Award for Excellence in Legislative Leadership.

Sen. Pinckney, who also served as pastor of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, was among the nine people killed in the shootings that took place at the church in June. He served in the South Carolina legislature from the age of 23, and represented the 45th District in the state Senate at the time of his death.

Sen. Pinckney’s widow, Jennifer, will accept the award.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley will also be honored the Riley Institute event when they receive the Wilkins Award for Excellence in Civic Leadership. Haley and Riley will serve as speakers during the program, discussing their collaboration as they worked together during the Emanuel 9 crisis.

The 11th annual awards dinner will take place at the Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 on the first night of the legislative session.

A reception for all registered attendees will begin at 6 p.m., and the dinner and awards presentation will follow at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $125 each and can be purchased by calling 864-235-8330 or visiting the Riley Institute website.

“The Riley Institute strongly believes these that these choices by the Selection Committee are particularly fitting during a year that has been so challenging for our state,” said Don Gordon, executive director of the Riley Institute. “Senator Pinckney’s life was characterized by humility, intelligence and a commitment to those citizens left out of the economic mainstream in South Carolina. He worked with colleagues in the Senate and elsewhere for the common good in our state. To honor Governor Haley and Mayor Riley, each of whom demonstrated critical leadership during a time of enormous grief and angst in South Carolina, is also an important decision by the Committee. Their responses to the Emanuel 9 tragedy helped bring healing to our state.”

For more information, contact the Riley Institute at 864-294-3546 or e-mail

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