Parris Island Museum director to be honored by SC Humanities Council

From staff and wire reportsAugust 22, 2013 

CHARLESTON -- The Humanities Council of South Carolina has named three recipients of the annual Governor's Awards in the Humanities, including the director of the Parris Island Museum.

Stephen Wise will be honored at a celebration planned for Oct. 17 at the Palmetto Club in Columbia. He will be joined by award-winning author Ron Rash and Mary Ann Kohli, an English instructor at Trident Technical College in Charleston.

Established in 1991, the Governor's Award in the Humanities recognizes outstanding achievement in humanities research, education and scholarship. It also goes to those who have promoted public understanding of the humanities and have demonstrated excellence in defining South Carolina's cultural life to the nation or world.

Wise, a historian, is the cultural resource manager and director of the museum at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, according to his online profile at

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Wise earned a bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University, a master's degree from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina, where he studied under the late Thomas L. Connelly, a noted Civil War historian.

Wise has written and edited several works, including "Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War," an account of the Confederate effort to deliver supplies through the Northern blockade. He also wrote "Gate of Hell: The Campaign for Charleston Harbor, 1863," deemed by the S.C. Historical Society to be the best book on state history written in 1994.

Wise has appeared on the Arts & Entertainment Channel, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel and public television, according to his profile. He has received the Daughters of the American Revolution History Medal Award and is a three-time winner of USC Beaufort's adjunct faculty member of the year award.

Kohli is founder and director of the Charleston Clemente Course, hosted by Trident Technical College and the founder of the Southern Artists Celebratory Series, an annual Piccolo Spoleto event that celebrates a different Southern artist each year.

Rash is a poet, short-story writer and novelist, and the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University.

Did you know?

Another Beaufortonian with expertise in history also has received a Governor's Award in the Humanities. Lawrence Rowland, now professor emeritus at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, was honored in 1993. Author Pat Conroy (1996) and former state legislator Harriet Keyserling (1994) are among the others with local ties who have received the distinction.

The Humanities Council is in its 40th year as the state-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. To learn more about the Governor's Awards in the Humanities and to see a complete list of the previous 62 recipients, go to

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