HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Dr. Emory Campbell received the ”Peggy May Inspiration Award” at the Foundation for Educational Excellence’s annual “Jewels & Jeans” event on March 3rd at the Country Club of Hilton Head. Campbell was recognized for his lifetime contributions to the cultural and environmental heritage of the Lowcountry and South Carolina.
The Peggy May Inspiration Award recognizes persons who demonstrate extraordinary dedication, passion, and skills that influence and inspire local students. The award is named for former recipient, the late Peggy May, who served as county and state Director of Adult Literacy, and Board chair of the Foundation for Educational Excellence. Other previous recipients include 2013 American Idol Winner Candice Glover and Food Network contestant Orchid Palmieri.
Campbell worked as an Environmental Health Engineer at the Beaufort-Jasper Health Center for 10 years addressing issues that affected the daily lives of island people – from housing, to education, healthcare and more. He worked to not only preserve, but enhance the unique Gullah cultural and environmental heritage in the face of rapid development. In 1980, Campbell was named Executive Director of Penn Center on St. Helena Island. Penn Center, the site of the former Penn School, is one of the country's first schools for formerly enslaved individuals. He vigorously embarked on a program to revive the Center’s historical significance and its educational programs, and to preserve the cultural and environmental assets of the Sea Islands.
“I am honored to receive this award that focuses on the enrichment of students in our public schools in Beaufort County,” said Campbell. “Growing up in the Lowcountry meant learning how to row a boat, how to ride a horse or catch a fish – all enriching for my life. The work of the Foundation today will enrich the lives of many through innovative grants.”