Friday, May 31, 2013
South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley has selected SC State University alumnus, Michael A. Allen, ‘82, to receive the 2013 Historic Preservation Governor’s Award. Since 1995, the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, and the Office of the Governor have recognized exceptional accomplishments in the preservation, rehabilitation and interpretation of South Carolina’s architectural and cultural heritage with a series of statewide awards. Allen will be presented with the award by Governor Haley outside the Governor's Office in the lower lobby of the State House on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Allen was full of joy after receiving a formal email from the Governor’s Office announcing his achievement. "I was excited, surprised, humbled and honored to be recognized for my many years of work and highlighting the legacy, contributions and heritage of African Americans in the context of South Carolina and American history,” stated Allen. “I could never imagine when I was a sophomore at South Carolina State College that I would be embarking on a 33 year journey with the National Park Service that would contribute to expanding the knowledge of the African American people and their place in our nation’s fabric. It is my hope and prayer that my work will serve as a guide to other young African Americans to dream big and aim high," he continued.
Allen grew up in Kingstree, S.C., and is a 1982 graduate of then-South Carolina State College with a degree in History Education. He began his public career as a cooperative education student with the National Park Service in 1980. While employed with the National Park Service, Allen served as a park ranger, education specialist and community partnership specialist. He currently serves as the community partnership specialist to The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site. Allen has been intricately involved in designing museum exhibits, in presenting historical interpretive programs, and preserving and protecting local history and culture. These activities are designed to attract non-traditional audiences to visit and enjoy the National Park Service sites.
Allen is currently involved in an innovative project designed to engage new audiences in understanding and appreciating African and American history. He is a founding board member of the International African American Museum, which is slated to open in 2016 in Charleston, S.C. It will offer a glimpse of Africans and African Americans contributions in the making of the modern world. On June 1, 2013, Allen will celebrate his 33rd year with the National Park Service.
Allen and his wife, Latanya Prather Allen, a 1987 graduate of South Carolina State College (SC State University), reside in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Allen, states that his wife Latanya, has been the driving force behind all of his success and accomplishment. Allen has recently been elected as the SCSU Charleston Alumni Chapter President.