Mike LeFever ‘69 was presented with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest award, during the annual South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) board meeting. The event took place on the Presbyterian College campus on Wednesday, September 26.
The Order of the Palmetto recognizes a person’s lifetime achievements and contributions to the State of South Carolina. LeFever received the award for his years of public service to the State of South Carolina, including as SCICU president for the last 10 years.
“I’ve received awards that I really don’t think I deserve because I was doing everything I was doing because I loved to do them,” LeFever said. “And I hope that in doing that we helped some folks along the way.”
The Order of the Palmetto is one of several awards that LeFever has received for his work. The South Carolina Senate recognized LeFever’s years of public service earlier this year, and Wofford College awarded him an honorary doctorate during its 2018 Commencement.
Further, the SC Tuition Grants Commission recognized LeFever’s efforts supporting tuition grants and other programs that helped students attend independent colleges and universities in South Carolina.
“While we live, we serve’ is the value we instill in all Presbyterian College students,” said Virginia Crocker, a former member of the SC House of Representatives, who presented LeFever with the award. “Mike LeFever exemplifies that from his service in the armed forces to his service in state government.”
During LeFever’s presidency at SCICU, the organization secured more than $6.6 million for student scholarships, faculty/student research grants and other funds for SCICU’s member institutions. SCICU also helped its member institutions acquire $83.5 million in state need-based aid for students as well as $73 million in federal grants annually.
LeFever, who graduated cum laude with a degree in English from PC, spent nearly 30 years in state government before serving as president of SCICU. He served as the director of four state agencies, including the Workers’ Compensation Commission for 13 years. LeFever also served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Executive Office Programs and Cabinet Affairs for Governor Jim Hodges.