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Skinner Receives Francis Asbury Award from Methodists

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

SPARTANBURG, SC – Dr. Talmage Skinner, who just retired from Wofford College as the Perkins-Prothro Chaplain and professor of religion, was presented in May with the Francis Asbury Award given by the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. It was presented during the five-day SC United Methodist Conference that drew 2,200 delegates to the Wofford campus.

The Asbury Award goes to an individual active in supporting, strengthening, and promoting the church’s work in higher education ministries. Recipients offer outstanding leadership, above and beyond basis responsibilities, that helps heighten awareness of the significance of the church’s higher education ministries. The Rev. Cathy Jamieson-Ogg made the presentation.

Skinner, a 1956 graduate of Wofford, recently retired after more than 47 years in ministry in South Carolina, 17 of those as Wofford's chaplain.

His nomination for the award cited his religious leadership, academic involvement, and personal relationships with students, faculty and staff.

It noted that in a typical week, he led and preached at Sunday morning campus workshop, joined area Methodist ministers in continuing education studies on Monday mornings, led communion service on Tuesday evenings, led the Wesley Society dinner meetings on Wednesdays, conducted Bible study luncheons on Thursdays, and joined retired faculty for lunch on Fridays.

He taught one or two three-hour credit courses in New or Old Testament or Christian sessions, and presided at meetings of assorted interdenominational religious center directors. Additionally, he periodically led campus-wide convocations on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

The chaplain supported students by attending athletic events in all Wofford sports and by attending all drama and music events, guest lectures and art exhibits. He hosted visiting seminary recruiters and performed weddings and funerals.

Skinner also supported the Twin Towers program he created a decade ago; the program includes volunteer services undertaken by 80 percent of Wofford's students, who anonymously perform community services.

As Wofford’s point person in coordinating and maintaining relationships with the SC Annual Conference, Skinner assisted in the area of logistics when the Annual Conference was held at Wofford College every other year.

“He has left his mark on a grateful institution of higher education,” the nomination stated.
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The SC United Methodist Advocate contributed to this article.