The South Carolina Bar Foundation is proud to announce that Senator Ernest Frederick “Fritz” Hollings has been selected as the 2015 DuRant Distinguished Public Service Award recipient for meritorious service to the law and community. This annual recognition is the most prestigious statewide award that members of the South Carolina Bar can bestow on a fellow attorney. The award will be presented during the SC Bar Convention on January 22 in Charleston.
Senator Hollings has worked tirelessly for the people of South Carolina throughout his lengthy career. After graduating from USC School of Law in 1947, Hollings opened a law practice in Charleston, where he served the Charleston area for many years. Hollings was elected to the SC House of Representatives in 1949, where he served until 1954. He was then elected Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in 1954 and Governor in 1958 at age 36. In 1966, Hollings was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served until 2005.
Senator Hollings was an influential leader for South Carolina during his years of political service. During his time as governor, Hollings rallied South Carolinians to support peaceful integration and helped orchestrate integration at Clemson University in 1963. As a U.S. Senator, he opposed all amendments seeking to weaken the 1982 Voting Rights Act, and he authored legislation to strengthen federal authority to prosecute church-burning crimes. Early in his career, Senator Hollings also focused on the poverty and hunger that gripped the rural South and urban areas of the country. In 1968, he embarked on his now famous “Hunger Tours” to foster a new government commitment to improving programs for the poor. Senator Hollings co-authored national legislation that created the Special Supplement Food Program for Women, Infants and Children, now known as WIC, which was modeled after a pilot program in Beaufort County. Hollings authored “The Case Against Hunger: A Demand for a National Policy” in 1970.
In the community, Senator Hollings created the Hollings Scholarship, which gives over 100 undergraduates from around the country a 10-week internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a monetary scholarship for the school year. Hollings also helped to establish the Hollings Center for International Dialogue. This organization promotes dialogue between the United States and other countries with predominantly Muslim populations in order to open channels of communication, deepen cross-cultural understanding, expand people-to-people contacts, and generate new thinking on important international issues.
In 1993, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) formally organized its cancer treatment and research programs as a cancer center bearing the name of Ernest “Fritz” Hollings. Senator Hollings currently works with the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina and serves on the Advisory Board. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the Charleston School of Law and is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law.
For his military service during World War II, Senator Hollings was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in direct support of combat operations in France and Germany. He received the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five Bronze Service Stars for participation in the Tunisia, Southern France, Rome-Arno, Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns.
Colleagues wishing to celebrate Senator Hollings may do so by sending a tribute gift in his honor to PO Box 608, Columbia, SC 29202 or by making a gift online at http://www.scbarfoundation.org/donate.asp.
About the DuRant Award
The DuRant Award was established in 1980 to honor living members of the South Carolina Bar. Its recipient is nominated and selected by his or her professional peers. Selection criteria include meritorious service to the law and the community. This award was created in memory of Charlton DuRant, a well-known Manning attorney who served as state senator and special associate justice of the SC Supreme Court.
The South Carolina Bar Foundation funds the advancement of justice by improving access, education and accountability. Since 1987, the Foundation has allocated approximately $49.7 million to various legal related organizations that work on behalf of the justice community. For more information, visit www.scbarfoundation.org.