Students studying outside the library

Four receive Sullivan Awards at Wofford Commencement

May 14, 2006

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The director of the Second Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen and a Columbia, S.C., businessman and philanthropist, along with two Wofford graduating seniors, received the Mary Mildred Sullivan and Algernon Sydney Sullivan awards during the college’s 152nd Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 14.

Wofford College is one of about 50 colleges and universities, most of them in the South, authorized to present the Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards. The recipients, a graduating senior and a non-student of each gender, are named and the awards presented annually during spring commencement ceremonies.

Receiving the non-student awards were Lou Landrum, director of the Second Presbyterian Church Soup Kitchen, and J. Clifton (Clif) Judy Jr., a Columbia, S.C., businessman and philanthropist. Students Sarah Burgess Gowan of Lexington, S.C., and Sheldon Anthony Bates of Lugoff, S.C., were the recipients of the student awards.

Lou Landrum has been director of the Soup Kitchen for five years, coming off a 31-year career with the Spartanburg County Department of Social Services. She worked with three governors – the late Carroll Campbell, David Beasley and Jim Hodges – in their various programs emphasizing family services. Hodges recognized her with an award for her work in mobilizing community volunteers for the Spartanburg program. She also has received awards from the state Department of Social Services and the Spartanburg County DSS for her work with adults and children in the community. A graduate of the former Lincoln High School in Spartanburg District 6 and Spartanburg Technical College, Landrum is president of Food Rescue of Spartanburg County, a collaboration of six local non-profit organizations. She is a board member of Arch Ministries, an after school program for underprivileged children, and is president of the Westside Sympathy Club. She is a member of Fairview C.M.E. Church in Chesnee. She and her husband, Coy Landrum, live in Spartanburg.

Clif Judy is a 1961 graduate of Wofford College. After serving in the U.S. Army Infantry, he established a successful real estate company in Columbia. In 1975, he started an innovative “Yard of the Week” contest that now involves some 12,000 people in neighborhoods in Columbia, Spartanburg and Florence, S.C.; Winston Salem, N.C.; and Baltimore, Md. The aim is to encourage pride in the neighborhoods by rewarding beautifying homes and yards.

Sarah Gowan, a biology major, is a Wofford Ambassador and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Blue Key National Honor Society, Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority, Wofford STARTS, Wofford Singers, Goldtone and Wesley Fellowship. She is the daughter of Andrew and Pamela Gowan of Lexington, S.C. She plans to attend medical school.

Sheldon Bates, a biology major, is a Charles E. Daniel Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Blue Key National Honor Society, Alpha Psi Omega and Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity. He is the son of Robert and Alexa Bates of Lugoff, S.C. He plans to attend dental school at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Algernon Sydney Sullivan, born in Indiana in 1826, rose to success in New York City as a respected lawyer and a man who “reached out both hands in constant helpfulness” to others. The award bearing his name was established in 1925 by a Sullivan Memorial Committee and the New York Southern Society, which Sullivan had served as its first president. The award seeks to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service of Sullivan by recognizing and honoring such qualities in others.

The Mary Mildred Sullivan Award was created in 1940 by the New York chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy to honor those who demonstrate the “spirit of helpfulness and an awareness of the beauty and value of the intangible elements of life.”