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Distinguished Alumni Award

USC Upstate presented the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award to Tracey L. Jackson '90 who gave the graduation speech at the December convocation.

Tracey L. Jackson '90

Tracey JacksonThe University of South Carolina Upstate held its Convocation honoring December Graduates on Tuesday, December 15 at 6:45 p.m. at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. The University awarded degrees to 392 graduates.

“Graduation is always a time for celebration as we recognize those who have completed their experiences here and leave us to use capacities they have developed here for further study, productive work, and meaningful living,” said Dr. Tom Moore, chancellor of USC Upstate. “The graduates we recognize this year will further the impact of USC Upstate on Upstate South Carolina and the world. This was a particularly joyful graduation as we recognized an outstanding alumna for her career accomplishments, civic service within the local community, and service to the University.”

Tracey Jackson graduated in 1990 with a degree in political science from the University of South Carolina Upstate. She later earned a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.

In 1998, Jackson became the first – and only- executive director of Piedmont Care, Inc. The mission of Piedmont Care has been to coordinate and provide medical, social and psychological services for individuals and families affected by or at risk for HIV. In her role as executive director, Jackson has steered advocacy to a new level and, in some ways, redefined the conversation so that it’s about caring for people not stereotyping a disease.

She developed classes for the public that help eliminate fears and misconceptions. These classes, which help break down all the stereotyping and stigma associated with the disease, have paved the way for many to be able to understand HIV/AIDS with factual information. Jackson’s years of experience as a leader in her discipline have given Piedmont Care expertise and enables the agency to be a dynamic service provider for its clients and community.

Under her capable leadership, Piedmont Care has grown from serving 220 clients per year to approximately 550 clients per year. This is a crucial pattern given that our state ranks ninth in the nation in HIV/AIDS cases.

Jackson has received numerous honors and awards for her outstanding accomplishments, which include: 2014 Business and Professional Women of South Carolina Career Woman of the Year, 2012 GSA Business Health Care Hero of the Year (Professional Category), 2007 A National Minority AIDS Council Unsung Hero, 2004 Junior Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year, and 1999 Alma and T.R. Garrison Professional Health Person of the Year.

The University of South Carolina Upstate Alumni Association is extremely appreciative of all the nominations that were submitted for our Distinguished Alumni Award. Submit a nomination for our 2016 award.

Past Recipients

Wanda Fowler
Chris Hawkins '89

Chris Crowley '11

Dr. Sherwood Thompson '80

Sonya Kay Ehrhardt '08

Lee Ann Johnston '80

Michael E. Meilinger ‘93
Penny D. Meilinger ‘92

C. Dan Adams '83

Milton A. “Chip” Smith, Jr. ‘78
Mary Lou Hodge, RN ‘82

Dolores Anderson ‘81

Stephanie Seay ‘91

Lisa Leary ‘87
Jane Bottsford ‘69

Ainsley M. Williams ‘93
Barney G. Gosnell ‘79

William Robert Cobb ‘74

Priscilla Joyce Lipscomb ‘89
Jonathan Taylor McClure ‘83
LTC (Ret) Barry G. Murray ‘82
Dr. Edward Homan Overstreet ‘91

Debroah Ruth Shehan ‘96
Albert V. Smith ‘77
James Robert Smith ‘72
Mike Wood ‘77

Johnny Mack Brown ‘76

Reverend Robert Lee Brown ‘84
Wilson W. Casey ‘77
Henry Alexander Danis ‘83
Dr. Daniel Livingston Dreisbach ‘81
Rebecca Marion Grant ‘83
Harold Andrew May ‘95
Paul Lee Thomas ‘83
Darrell Edward Whitaker ‘92

Kimberly Jean Ashby ’85 & ‘91
Tonie Gail Edwards ‘89
Toni Lea Nunsz ‘91
Jane V. Turner ‘78

David Alan Bellew ‘80
Rev. Mary Jo Cartledgehayes ‘83
Steve Harvey ‘80
Duveen Karen Woolbright ’80 & ‘88

Robert Meadow Carpenter ‘85
Kathleen Gibson Elam ‘83
Gloria Hope Graves ‘91
Vanessa Thompson ‘94

Bonita B. Landers ‘84
Tyrone Sterling Toland ‘90

Harry Howell Clyborne ‘80
Dr. Linda Claire Miller ‘81
Robert Lee Speer ‘83

Lee Hunter Bender ‘82
Elaine Emory Bond ‘90
Paul Alan Gray ‘84
Carl Franklin Hyatt ‘81
Joni S. Phillips ‘90
Lou Lyn Turner ‘84

Dr. Jimmy Arthur Ferrell ‘81
Jeffery Wayne Ray ‘88
John Carter Wallace ‘89

Cynthia Ann Gardner ‘86
William Craig Newsome ‘88
Cynthia Denise Smith ‘81

Janet Sue Kirby ‘83
Susan H. Krause ‘85



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Joshua Jones
Director of Alumni Relations 

USC Upstate Alumni Relations
Administrative Building
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5093
Fax: 864-503-5264
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