The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics’ (GSSM) President Dr. Murray Brockman was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, bestowed upon him by Governor Nikki R. Haley, during a community retirement celebration on May 14, 2015, at the Black Creek Arts Center in Hartsville.
The award, presented to Dr. Brockman by Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington), is the state’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance. The Order of the Palmetto is a once in a lifetime achievement.
“Through your outstanding leadership as president of the Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics, you have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence,” said Governor Haley in her letter to Dr. Brockman read by Speaker Lucas during the presentation. “Your passion for education is contagious, filling your students with a thirst for knowledge and elevating the School’s reputation as one of the best in the nation.”
Dr. Brockman, a native of Greer, SC, took the helm at GSSM in May 2001, following a 20-plus year career with the DuPont Company. He began his career with DuPont as a research chemist in Waynesboro, VA, and held a variety of management positions in various locations around the US, retiring as plant manager and technical director prior to joining GSSM.
During Dr. Brockman’s tenure, the School and its offerings have grown exponentially. Originally serving 128 students on the campus of Coker College, GSSM now has its own campus in Hartsville with 288 juniors and seniors expected in the fall. The School’s outreach offerings began with one week of residential camp in 1990. Now, four weeks are offered on campus and 17 satellite camps are being delivered in schools across the state. A virtual engineering program, Accelerate, has also been developed. Students in statewide locations are working with GSSM and Clemson faculty to earn more than 40 college credits toward an engineering degree through online synchronous delivery, Saturday experiences and summer camps.
Dr. Brockman plans to retire after his replacement has been selected. A nationwide search is under way.
“I am deeply honored by this award,” said Dr. Brockman. “I did not do this alone. I am accepting this award on behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the school, as well as the community supporters and government leaders who have made this progress possible.”
The Governor of South Carolina may bestow upon an individual The Order of the Palmetto, The Order of the Silver Crescent, or The Certificate of Appreciation. These prestigious awards recognize those who have made significant contributions to the life and well-being of South Carolina and her people. Governor John C. West presented the first Order of the Palmetto in the summer of 1971.
Pictured above: Dr. Murray Brockman and Speaker Jay Lucas