Former S.C. Senator Floyd Nicholson of Greenwood will deliver the 2022 Booker T. Ingram Jr. Convocation and Lecture as Presbyterian College kicks off its celebration of Black History Month.
Nicholson, a retired educator and longtime public official, will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2.
A native of Greenwood County, Nicholson served as a member of Greenwood City Council from 1982-93 before becoming the first African-American to serve as the city’s mayor in 1994. In 2008, he also became S.C. Senate District 10’s first black senator and served in the General Assembly until 2020.
Nicholson is a graduate of Brewer High School and S.C. State University. He continued his education at Clemson University and the Institute of Government at the University of South Carolina. He also earned an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Lander University.
He served as a biology teacher and coach at Greenwood High School, program director for the Burton Center for Disabilities and Special Needs, area director for Whitten Center, assistant principal of Northside Middle School, and student life advisor at Lander.
The former senator has also been a devoted community leader. He has a campaign co-chair of the United Way of Greenwood and Abbeville Counties and served on a variety of boards, including the Greenwood Partnership Alliance, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the S.C. Municipal Association, the Piedmont Technical College Foundation, the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation, and the Greenwood Community Children’s Center.
Nicholson has been honored on multiple occasions for his leadership. He was named Legislator of the Year for the S.C. YMCA Association and Carolina Health Centers. He earned the United Way of South Carolina Common Good Award, the Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen Award. He was named Outstanding Civic Leader and Educator by American Legion Post 224. In 2019, he was inducted into the Greenwood County Hall of Fame.
Nicholson and his wife, the former Mamie Elnora Williams, have three children and are members of Mt. Olive Baptist Church. He is also a life member of the NAACP.
The Ingram Lecture is named for Dr. Booker T. Ingram Jr., PC’s first African-American professor and its first director of diversity and inclusion. Ingram retired in 2021 as the Charles Dana Professor of Political Science and was an early and driving force behind the college’s celebration of Black History Month.