The Order of the Palmetto is considered the highest civilian honor in the State of South Carolina. It was first awarded in 1971 by Governor John C. West. It recognizes a person’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the State of South Carolina.
Dr. Griffin has been the President of Limestone College in Gaffney since 1992. Along with its traditional Day Program in Gaffney, Limestone has evening classroom sites in Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, Gaffney, Greenville, and Florence. Limestone also offers online degree programs.
Tommy Windsor, the Director of Boards and Commissions for Governor Henry McMaster, was on hand to present the award, along with Cherokee County’s legislative delegation members Sen. Harvey Peeler, Rep. Dennis Moss, and Rep. Steve Moss.
The framed award read, in part, “In grateful recognition of your contributions and friendship to the State of South Carolina and her people. I do hereby confer unto you the Order of the Palmetto with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto.”
The presentation was made as part of Dr. Griffin’s “Presidential Farewell Dinner.” After 25 years of service, he will retire was Limestone’s President at the conclusion of the fall semester.
“The job he has done at Limestone is nothing short of remarkable. However, what he has done for the state of South Carolina might be even more extraordinary,” said Limestone Board of Trustees Vice-Chairman David Riggins in one of many letters of recommendation for Dr. Griffin that were sent to the Governor’s Office. “Limestone’s Extended Campus, first known as the Block Program, has flourished under Dr. Griffin’s leadership. In addition, Limestone was one of the first in the United States, at Dr. Griffin’s direction, to add a Virtual Campus via the Internet in 1996.
“An online degree from any college was something that was virtually unheard of before Dr. Griffin arrived at Limestone,” he continued. “Under his leadership, Limestone was the driving force behind the online degree program and was the first to offer it in the state of South Carolina.”
Board chairman Randy Hines echoed those sentiments in his letter of recommendation.
“The Extended Campus program has given many South Carolinians the opportunity for advancement or placement in the profession of their choice. Limestone has over 10,000 alumni from the Extended Campus, with most residing within the borders of South Carolina. The renaissance of Limestone College has been impactful to not only Cherokee County, but for the entire state of South Carolina.”