Presents Medal of Honor in the Arts
Winthrop celebrated the
work of five individuals or couples with outstanding involvement in
the arts on Oct. 24, 2003.
The recipients of the Medal of Honor in the Arts were: Guy and
Margaret Lipscomb of Columbia, S.C.; Mary Mintich of Belmont, N.C.;
David and Diane White of Rock Hill; Robert Manson Myers of Charlotte,
N.C.; and B.S. Plair of Rock Hill. The medal ceremony, now in its
second year, is the most prestigious award granted by Winthrop's College of
Visual and Performing Arts.
“This year’s honorees represent the highest of artistic excellence and
achievement and the kind of selfless philanthropy and
community-mindedness that have become hallmarks of this award,” said
Andrew Svedlow, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “It
is a privilege to be associated with these distinguished arts
professionals and arts devotees.”
The recipients contributed to the arts in the following ways:
• Guy and Margaret Lipscomb and their
four daughters have added to the state’s cultural life with the
Lipscomb Family Foundation. While Margaret Lipscomb ’41 enjoys playing
the piano, her husband has devoted himself to his artwork for the past
30 years. He helped establish the South Carolina State Museum and has
been instrumental in the growth of the Columbia Museum of Art and
South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. He has
had numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums.
• Mary Mintich, Winthrop professor emeritus of art and design, has
been a pioneering art educator and sculptor in the region. She taught
at East Mecklenburg High School and at Sacred Heart College. Her
sculptures are included in the Archives of Women Sculptors at Texas
Women’s University and in the collections of Bank of America, American
Express and the South Carolina State Art Collection, to name a few.
Mintich worked at Winthrop from 1973-99.
• Many of the cultural event offerings that exist today in Rock Hill
can be tied to the dedication of David and Diane “Tweedie” White. She
helped start the Winthrop Fine Arts Series in 1975 and worked to
establish the artists in the school programs in Rock Hill. David
White, a Rock Hill attorney, has headed the Winthrop University
Foundation and served on the university’s Board of Trustees from 1990
to 2002. The Whites recently established a fund to underwrite Eagle
Editions, the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ recording label,
which has produced several compact discs.
• Dr. Robert Manson Myers considers himself an “educator, literary
critic, historian, playwright, incorrigible Anglophile, and a proud
Virginian.” He taught English at Yale University, the College of
William and Mary, Tulane University, and the University of Maryland,
before retiring in 1986. A Fulbright scholar at the University of
London, he won the prestigious National Book Award in 1973 for "The
Children of Pride." A member of the Winthrop University Board of
Visitors, he resides in Charlotte, N.C.
• A Rock Hill native, B.S. Plair has had a distinguished career as a
musician and educator. He has performed with Ike Johnson, the
Drifters, the Tams, Patti LaBelle, the Platters, the Duke Ellington
Band and headlined as the B.S. Plair Combo and B.S. Plair Dazzlers.
He recently purchased the historical Hermon Presbyterian Church
building in Rock Hill with plans for it to become a community center.
Organizers gave the recipients a medal created for the event, as well
as presented a theatre scene and musical, dance and performance art
pieces. Each of the entertainment segments paid tribute to a recipient
and his/her love of art and highlighted the talented students and
faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The dance segment of seven female dancers, “Movescapes: the Puccini
Collection,” combined Guy Lipscomb’s fascination with watercolor
painting with his wife’s love of Puccini operas. A graduate student
introduced a sculpture tribute to Mintich which was a performance art
piece titled “I am the knot.” Theatre students presented a comedy of
manners scene from Myers’ play, Lover Pro Tem. Plairs’ sons and two
other musicians dedicated a musical tribute to the long-time
performer. The Winthrop Jazz Voices sang selections to honor the
Whites and their appreciation of music.
Winthrop commissioned art professor Alf Ward to design and produce a
medal to present to the recipients. Since his arrival at Winthrop in
1989, Ward has designed and produced ceremonial maces for Winthrop and
designed brooch pins for the last 10 First Ladies of South Carolina.
Proceeds from the Medal of Honor in the Arts event
arts scholarships for students from North and South Carolina.
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