The Tommy Thomason Award
The Tommy Thomason Award was established by the Greenville County Bar Association in 1993 in memory of Greenville attorney Tommy Thomason. The award is given to honor a Greenville lawyer whom best exemplifies the wonderful qualities Tommy embodied:
- compassionate and sensitive to all people regardless of their station in life;
- friendly, unassuming, humble with a warm, genuine and abiding faith in all people;
- strong personal values, optimism and faith;
- positive diplomacy that works to minimize conflict and resolve disputes in the least hostile manner;
- unshakable integrity, coupled with an instinct for fairness;
- dedicated to community interest, public service and improvement of the community;
- loves the practice of law and pursues the practice as a service to people;
- dedicated to the improvement of the legal system and justice for all people;
- widely respected and admired by peers for personal and professional achievement.
B.O. “Tommy Thomason” (1926-1993) was a beloved attorney who practiced in Greenville for over 40 years. A graduate of Furman University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Mr. Thomason joined the Greenville firm of Love, Thornton, Arnold in 1952. “He served in the state legislature, was appointed a Special Circuit judge and was a longtime Thirteenth Circuit solicitor. As legal counselor to Furman University starting in 1976, he worked tirelessly for the university, especially during its struggle for independence from the South Carolina Baptist Convention in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Two governors—Dick Riley and Carroll Campbell—awarded him the Order of the Palmetto. It was also said that whenever anything good was done in Greenville, Tommy Thomason was involved. His friend and colleague Dick Riley referred to his character as almost saintly.” (p. 132).
The Selection Committee is chaired this year by our immediate past president of the Greenville County Bar. The Past President is joined on the committee by the three most recent recipients of the award and three attorneys appointed by the Greenville County Bar Association. There is no mandatory requirement that a recipient be selected each year.
The following attorneys have been recipients of the Tommy Thomason Award:
- Jo Watson Hackl - 2016
- Douglas F. Patrick - 2015
- Amos A. Workman - 2014
- Kenneth C. Porter - 2013
- Arthur L. Howson, Jr. - 2012
- James "Chip" Price III - 2011
- Anne S. Ellefson - 2010
- Thomas W. Traxler - 2009
- Jack Griffeth - 2008
- Dewey Oxner - 2007
- Tom Bruce - 2006
- Preston Reid - 2005
- Stephen J. Henry - 2004
- Knox L. Haynesworth, Jr. - 2003
- James C. Parham, Jr.
- David Quattlebaum III
- David Merline
- Merl Code
- John Johnston
- David Freeman
- Leo Hill
The Paul Wickensimer Award
Each year during Law Week, Bar Associations across the county recognize a non-attorney for outstanding community service with the Liberty Bell Award. In 2010, The Greenville County Bar Association renamed our Liberty Bell Award in honor of Paul B. Wickensimer, our Clerk of Court, for his outstanding contribution to our community.
In order to be considered for the award the Nominee must have:
- Promoted a better understanding of the rule of law,
- Encouraged greater respect for the law and Courts; or
- Contributed to good government in the community.
Since the award was renamed, the following citizens have received the award:
- 2016 David Gay
- 2015 Melinda Davidson
- 2014 Sheriff Steve Loftis
- 2013 Lyndall C. Coker
- 2012 Chief Terri Wilfong
- 2011 Sheryll Smith
- 2010 Paul B. Wickensimer
The Billy Wilkins Award
The Billy Wilkins Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement was established in 1984 in the name of former Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor, Billy Wilkins to honor law enforcement officers. Wilkins served as solicitor from 1974-1981. He has since retired as a United States District Judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and is in private practice in Greenville.
The award is given to a law enforcement officer from both Greenville and in Pickens Counties who has exhibited outstanding attributes in the performance of his or her duties both in the field and in the courtroom. Last year the Solicitor’s office began a partnership with the Greenville County Bar to make the presentation to the Greenville officer award during Law Week.
Requests for nominations are sent to all local state and federal law enforcement agencies each year. The award is made by the current solicitor in each county as part of a brief Circuit Court presentation