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Governor’s Awards

The Governor of South Carolina may bestow upon a citizen of the State of South Carolina the Order of the Palmetto, the Order of the Silver Crescent, or an official certificate of appreciation, congratulations, recognition or acknowledgment.

The Order of the Palmetto and the Order of the Silver Crescent are prestigious awards that recognize those who have made significant contributions to the life and well-being of the state and nation.

Established by Governor John C. West, the first Order of the Palmetto was presented in 1971. The Order of the Silver Crescent was established by Governor David Beasley in 1997 and subsequently modified by Governor Jim Hodges. Governor Nikki Haley began the practice of presenting official certificates of appreciation, congratulations, recognition and acknowledgment in 2011.

Descriptions of Awards  

The Order of the Palmetto is the State of South Carolina’s highest civilian honor presented in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievement, service and contributions on a national or statewide scale. An individual must be nominated for the Order of the Palmetto. This once in a lifetime award may only be presented to natives or residents of the State of South Carolina.

The Order of the Silver Crescent is the State of South Carolina’s most prestigious service award. It was specifically established to recognize a remarkable single achievement or action or an individual’s community service and volunteerism on the local level.

Official Certifcates are presented by the governor for appreciation, congratulations, recognition or acknowledgment to individuals or organizations in South Carolina. 

Nomination Guidelines  

Nomination applications for an individual to be considered for the Order of the Palmetto or the Order of the Silver Crescent must include the following:
Application – the official application form must be fully completed and accurate contact information must be included.

Biographical Summary – Applications must include a thorough and detailed biographical statement of the nominee’s accomplishments with specific details and examples using clear, concise, descriptive language.

Include time periods of memberships, leadership roles, and professional and personal achievements. Materials supporting the nominee’s achievements may also be submitted, including professional articles, press clippings, etc.

Letters of Recommendation – Applications must include a minimum of one letter of recommendation from either the State Senator, State Representative or U.S Representative representing the nominee’s district of residence or either of the state’s U.S. Senators.

Applications must also include letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the nominee’s character, accomplishments, and his or her significant contributions on a local, statewide or national level.

All letters of recommendation should be addressed to:

The Honorable Henry McMaster
South Carolina State House
1100 Gervais Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201


Completed applications must be delivered via hand, mail, or delivery service.

Emails or facsimiles will not be accepted.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Posthumous nominations for awards are not eligible for consideration.

All nominees are subject to a criminal background check conducted by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Department.

Receipt of completed applications will be acknowledged via mail and the nominator will be notified when a decision on an application is final.

All applications will be reviewed by a nominations committee selected by the governor. The nominations committee makes recommendations on applications to the governor for consideration.

Awards Contact Information 

Find the Governor’s Awards Nomination Packet here (PDF)

By Mail:
Office of the Governor
Attention: Award Nominations
1205 Pendleton Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

Hand Delivery:
South Carolina Statehouse
Office of the Governor
First Floor
Attention: Award Nominations