Arts Philanthropist John Zeigler to Receive Multiple Honors

By | March 1, 2013

John A. Zeigler, Jr.The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) has announced that John Ashbury Zeigler, Jr., a long-time friend and benefactor of the School of the Arts who celebrated his 101st birthday on February 5, is the recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts in the Lifetime Achievement category. The SCAC does not present the Verner award in this category every year, so this is particularly good news!

The Verner Awards are the highest honor that South Carolina presents in the arts. These awards recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina, and Mr. Zeigler will join recipients of the award in other categories during the award ceremony in the Statehouse on Thursday, May 2.

As if an honor from the governor wasn’t enough, Mr. Zeigler is also named as one of CHARLIE’s 50 Most Progressive people in Charleston. CHARLIE, an online and print publication, annually recognizes the most forward-thinking people making a positive impact on the future of Charleston.

One would think that philanthropic activities would be the last thing on a person’s mind upon passing the century mark, but that is not the case for Mr. Zeigler. Giving of himself and his resources is something that John does daily, making him an inspiration to all South Carolinians who strive to make a difference in their state.

From endowing funds that recognize and support students who have superior talent to providing financial support for student travel to competitions, Mr. Zeigler has made gifts totaling approximately $800,000 to the College of Charleston during the course of his life.

The College of Charleston Alumni Association honored Mr. Zeigler with the Alumni Award of Honor, the only award the Alumni Association bestows on non-graduates, in 2010.

In 2011 Governor Haley recognized the significant contributions that Mr. Zeigler has made to South Carolina and its arts community by awarding him the Order of the Silver Crescent.

Mr. Zeigler is shown with Chee-Hang See [L] and Amy Tan [R], the piano duo that performed in honor of Mr. Zeigler's 101st birthday.

Mr. Zeigler enjoys his birthday celebration with Chee-Hang See [L] and Amy Tan [R], the piano duo that performed in honor of Mr. Zeigler’s 101st birthday.

A Snapshot of Support
John Zeigler’s support as both a benefactor and as a mentor has helped many students and alumni of the School of the Arts reach a position from which they now are able to teach and guide future generations of artists. For example, Eunjoo Yun, an early recipient of one of Mr. Zeigler’s scholarships, established the Charleston Academy of Music, to “expose people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to the many wonders of music.” Countertenor José Lemos, another recipient of one of Mr. Zeigler’s scholarships, has moved onto the international stage during his young career. His recent roles included that of Narciso in Handel’s Agrippina at the Vlaamse Opera in Ghent, Belgium, in October and November of 2012. Another beneficiary of Mr. Zeigler’s scholarships, and the recipient of the School of the Arts’ Young Alumnus Award in 2011, Florencia di Concilio, is a composer who now lives in Paris. She recently wrote the score for Eyes Wide Open: A Journey through Today’s South America. That film was the recipient of the Audience Award in the 2010 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. The accomplishments of these alumni, along with those of their peers, demonstrate the impact that one person can have on the future through generously supporting young artists in the formative years of their undergraduate education. Kudos, Mr. Zeigler!
DONATE to The John Zeigler Music Scholarship Fund(after clicking link, select “Other” from the Designation menu and type “E501 Zeigler”)