South Carolina Govenor Henry McMaster will take the podium at Limestone’s upcoming commencements on Friday, May 10.
The Governor’s appearance comes on the heels of United States Congressman Ralph Norman serving as the College’s graduation speaker in December of last year.
McMaster is scheduled to speak at both Limestone graduation ceremonies inside Fullerton Auditorium, one starting at 10:45 a.m. and the other beginning at 2:45 p.m.
He became the 117th Governor of South Carolina in January of 2017 and was elected to his first full term in November of 2018.
The Governor’s late mother-in-law, Mary Rogers McAbee (nee Anderson), was a Limestone College graduate, along with her three sisters. She went on to teach school in Cherokee and Spartanburg Counties. Her daughter, South Carolina’s First Lady Peggy McMaster, and the Governor have been married for over 38 years.
Governor McMaster’s sister-in-law, Mary Claire McAbee, is also a Limestone graduate.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have South Carolina’s head of state speak to our graduates in May,” said Limestone College President Dr. Darrell Parker. “Not only is it an honor to have the Governor on our campus, but it’s that much more special knowing that he is well-aware of our institution because of the number of Limestone graduates in his family. We have made a deliberate attempt to bring in top-notch commecement speakers, and that is certainly the case once again with the Governor’s upcoming visit.”
It was Governor McMaster, after the College made a request to Senator Harvey Peeler, who approved the Limestone flag to fly atop the State House for a day following the Saints’ 2017 National Championship victory in Men’s Lacrosse.
The son of former state representative John Gregg McMaster and Ida Dargan McMaster, Governor McMaster is a lifelong servant of the State of South Carolina. He previously served two years as Lieutenant Governor, eight years as Attorney General, and four years as a United States attorney.
McMaster was the first U.S. attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.
As Lieutenant Governor, McMaster served as president of the South Carolina State Senate and headed the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, which aids older adults with social, economic, and health needs.
McMaster has served on the South Carolina Ports Authority Board of Directors, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Palmetto Health Foundation Board, and the South Carolina Policy Council (as chairman). He is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in the state, and was named “Public Servant of the Year” by the Sierra Club and “National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” by The Humane Society of the United States.
He received his Bachelor’s degree in History in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor degree in 1973 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served on the South Carolina Law Review. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1969 to 1975.
McMaster and his wife have two children, Henry D. McMaster, Jr. and Mary Rogers McMaster. They are members of First Presbyterian Church of Columbia.
“Limestone is one of our state’s oldest colleges and serves as a pillar of South Carolina’s educational community,” Governor McMaster said in a written statement at the time of Dr. Parker’s Presidential Inauguration in 2018. “Its students enjoy the inheritance of a rich and storied history. Limestone College has touched the lives of many South Carolinians.”
On May 10, Limestone will first hold a graduation ceremony for its Arts & Humanities Division and Education & Behavioral Sciences Division. That will be followed by a commencement for its Natural/Health Sciences Division and Business & Professional Studies Division.