The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, named for the great humanitarian and philanthropist, honors an outstanding graduate demonstrating professional excellence of character and service to humanity and is the highest honor awarded to South Carolina alumni.


This year’s recipient is Dr. Sinclair E. Lewis, ’58 Bachelor of Arts in History, College of Arts and Sciences

Graduating high school, our country at war in Korea and no means to attend college, Sinclair Lewis enlisted in the US Air Force and served two tours in the war zone.

Following his return to civilian life, he enrolled as a day student at The Citadel and the following year transferred to the University of South Carolina. While at the university, he became actively involved in student affairs and in Sigma Nu Fraternity.  It was at South Carolina that he found and made his commitment to God, Church and the American Legion program teaching young men the values of God and Country, Palmetto Boys State.  Feeling the call to active Christian ministry, Sinclair sought advice of South Carolina President, Dr. Donald Russell, whose wise and caring advice led him to enroll at Duke Divinity School.  It was at Duke University that he earned his Doctor of Divinity and met the woman he was to marry, Betty Ratliff.  In the fall of 1961, Sinclair was given his first appointment as a minister in the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, serving parishes across South Carolina, retiring in 1998 to Anderson, SC.

Sinclair’s commitment to Boys State has never diminished. In June of 1992, the Governor of South Carolina, the Honorable Carroll Campbell, awarded Sinclair the Order of the Palmetto.

South Carolina's Best Forum and Luncheon


Learn from Lewis and all the 2019 award winners as they share their most memorable experiences as South Carolina students, as well as advice about becoming a leader in career and life at the South Carolina's Best Forum and Luncheon on Friday, November 1 from noon-2 p.m.  Enjoy a plated lunch and the chance to hear from some of the university’s brightest stars during this forum-style discussion and awards presentation.