Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden, Jr. was recently honored with the David H. Wilkins Award for Excellence in Civic Leadership presented by the Riley Institute at Furman University. Bolden served as the 12th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under President Obama. Born and raised in Columbia, Bolden was an astronaut and naval aviator. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2003, and his many military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.
The Wilkins Awards Dinner promotes citizenship, public service, and bipartisan governing. Each year, the Riley Institute at Furman University honors the leadership, courage, vision, and integrity of one South Carolina legislator and one South Carolina civic leader. The winners of the 2017 Awards for Excellence in Legislative Leadership and Excellence in Civic Leadership were honored at the dinner on January 9, 2018.