The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) honored U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham during the 23rd Annual Townes Award Dinner, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at the Columbia Marriott.
Due to last-minute obligations in Washington, D.C., Graham could not attend the event in person, although he was able to address the audience via video conference. Accepting the award on his behalf was his sister, Darline Graham.
GSSM presents the Townes Award, named for the late Dr. Charles H. Townes, South Carolina native and Furman graduate who won the Nobel Laureate in physics, annually to businesses, institutions and individuals who take aspirations of innovation and leadership to a higher level in areas of research, development, technology, public service and business in the Palmetto State.
“We congratulate Senator Graham on being named the 2015 Townes Award Honoree,” said Dr. Murray Brockman, GSSM president. “He is a visionary leader who continues to aspire to greatness in his tireless service to our state and nation. We deeply appreciate and applaud his dedication and leadership.”
Graham was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2008, garnering more than one million votes and becoming the top vote-getter in South Carolina history. In the U.S. Senate, Graham has earned a reputation as a leader who gets things done, a respected conservative and a creative problem-solver. Closer to home, Graham has led cuts in spending, reforming entitlements and job creation. In addition to his public service, Graham has achieved the rank of colonel through his committed service in the U.S. Air Force, National Guard and Air Force Reserves.
The event’s keynote address was given by David T. Seaton, chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation, one of the world's leading and largest engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance services companies. Since joining the company in 1984, Seaton has held numerous positions and led the company’s global business activities in the upstream, downstream, pipeline, offshore, gas processing, oil and gas production, chemicals, integrated petrochemical and petroleum refining industries.
During his keynote address, Seaton encouraged the audience to help drive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in our state to meet the growing needs for STEM-related jobs.
“The theme for this year’s Townes Dinner was ‘Aspire: The Next Horizon,’” said Kim Bowman, CEO, GSSM Foundation. “GSSM has come a long way during the past 27 years, but we continue to push boundaries, look toward the future and strive for more. This event was a celebration of where we’ve been and what’s to come.”
Pictured above: Ensign Andrew Musselwhite, GSSM class of 2009; Dr. Murray Brockman; Ms. Kim Bowman; and Ms. Darline Graham