The Honorable Lucille S. Whipper, retired educator and former member of the S.C. House of Representatives (1986-1996), is celebrating her 90th birthday on June 16, 2018 at the Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church Street from 5:00 to 8:00pm. In lieu of personal gifts, guests are invited to become charter members of IAAM (International African American Museum in Charleston).
Most recently, the illustrious community leader was the 2017 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charleston Branch of the NAACP, the Legacy Award from the Sophia Institute and the Lifetime Achievement Legacy Award by the Sister Summit Foundation. In 2015, she received the Commitment to Justice Award from the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation and in 2013, the Marjorie Amos-Frazier Pacesetter Award for lasting civic and humanitarian contributions by the West Ashley Democrats of the Charleston County Democratic Party. She is currently the secretary of the International African American Museum Board of Directors.
In 2004, Whipper cofounded the Low Country Aid to Africa project (LCAA), a collaboration of individuals, institutions, and organizations with concern for Africa. In recent years, LCAA has also served local communities impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters.
As a member of the Avery Normal School class of 1944, Whipper and her classmates sought to integrate the College of Charleston. Whipper helped to establish the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center, a nationally recognized repository of African-American history in 1990.
In 1985, Whipper became the first African-American woman to serve as an elected state official from the trident region. She served for years on the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission and sponsored two important pieces of legislation — one making marital rape a crime and the other requiring the monitoring of state agencies’ hiring goals for minorities and females.
Whipper was elected to Charleston’s District 20 Constituent School Board from 1978-82. She served as vice chairman of the Democratic Party Convention in 1972. As Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Human Relations at the College of Charleston in 1972, she became the first African-American administrator and developed the College’s first affirmative action plan. In the late sixties, Whipper and others organized Operation Catch-Up, a tutorial program for high school students that was the forerunner of the Upward Bound program found today on college campuses nationwide.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from Morris College (1989), the University of Charleston (1992) and the College of Charleston (2008); received the SC Legislator award (1991) and was recognized by Mental Health and Human Services agencies and the SC Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Whipper was inducted into the SC Black Hall of Fame in 1995 and awarded the Order of the Palmetto in 1996. She was recognized as one of “Charleston’s One Hundred Most Influential since 1670” in the November 2007 issue of Charleston Magazine. She formerly served on the Board of Trustees for Morris College and Benedict College.
For more information to join the IAAM, go online and visit www.iaamuseum.org/membership. To make a donation by mail – make check payable to IAAM and send with contact information to: PO Box 22761, Charleston, SC 29413-2761.
RSVP for the celebration by calling 843.872.5352 or emailing [email protected] If you are already a charter member, please consider making a donation to IAAM honoring Ms. Whipper. Your charter membership admits you to the party.