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Alumna or Alumnus of the Year Award

Celebrating our Alumni leaders

This award recognizes the alumna or alumnus who has contributed significantly to his or her profession, to his or her community, or to the College during the past year.

2019 Alumna of the Year

Debra J. Gammons ’87 

Debra Gammons is a trailblazer. She has been breaking down barriers and building bridges since her days as an English major at the College of Charleston. Elected the first female black president of the Student Government Association, she received the highest student award given by the College, the Bishop Robert Smith Award, at her commencement in 1987, along with several other awards recognizing her leadership. This outstanding leadership continued at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she was president of the Student Bar and associate justice of the Moot Court Bar.

Gammons served as Greenville, South Carolina’s assistant city attorney for 11 years, and was elected President of the Greenville County Bar Association. She joined Charleston School of Law in 2009, as director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives, and a distinguished visiting professor. Her goal has always been to work for equality, education, and engagement.

These themes are also reflected in her volunteer work at the College of Charleston. She has served on the Board of Trustees, and is the chairperson for the Friends of the Library Board. She also serves on the College of Charleston Graduate School Advisory Board

In February of 2019, Gammons became the first black president of the Charleston County Bar Association. Her life reflects exemplary service as an advocate and a leader.

Alumna or Alumnus of the Year Award Past Recipients

1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2016
2017
2018

George C. Rogers, Jr. '43 *
Julius Burges '35 *
Patricia Carter '37 *
Richard H. Gadsden '50 *
Louise Mosimann Smith '41 *
Robert C. Heffron, Jr. '67 *
H. Biemann Othersen, Jr. '50
Glenn F. McConnell '69
Troy Cook '57 *
Bette Smith Griffith '56 *
Linda Schwartz Lombard '64
Charles V. Boykin '37 *
Benjamin H. Cheek '46 *
Jeanne Campbell Sink '75
Helen Bradham Furnans '63
Lu Parker '90
Edgar V. McKnight '53
Cheryll Novak Woods-Flowers '81
Jody L. Stallings '92
Dave J. Schlachter '72
Margaret E. Bridges '69
Laura Jenkins Thompson '77
Mary Eileen Leonard '45 *
Paul A. Sandifer '68
Stephanie Schwabe '90
John C. Lovell, III '90
Chandra Fripp Vick '74
Jeffery E. Kinard '77
Ron J. Menchaca '98
Callie Shell '83
Lucy Garrett Beckham '70 *
Kellie N. Bentz ‘04
John E. Alessi '98
Padgett Powell '74
Cary Ann Hearst '01
Nafees Bin Zafar '98
Joni Harvey McLeod '82
Evan Linder '04
Quentin E. Baxter '98
Heidi VanDerveer ’86

 * Deceased