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.