Gov. Henry McMaster Named Commencement Speaker

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – SC State University will hold its spring Commencement Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 12 in the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster will deliver the Commencement speech.

Stacy Danley“We are honored that Governor Henry McMaster will join SC State University as we celebrate our graduates’ significant accomplishment of earning their degrees,” said President James E. Clark.

“I want to thank him for accepting our invitation to be this year’s commencement speaker. His presence on campus further demonstrates his commitment of support, which he made to the university as lieutenant governor several years ago. We look forward to the words of wisdom he will share with the Bulldog family and friends.”

During the ceremony, the university will confer degrees to nearly 500 graduates.

“South Carolina State's distinguished graduates and alumni have contributed mightily to our state and citizens. It's is quite an honor to be invited to deliver the commencement address at one of our finest institutions of higher education,” said the governor.

McMaster, who became the 117th governor of the Palmetto State, on January 24, 2017 ascended to the role following former Gov. Nikki Haley’s presidential appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Prior to becoming governor, McMaster served two years as lieutenant governor of South Carolina. He was the last independently elected lieutenant governor of South Carolina while simultaneously serving as president of the Senate the duration of his term.

For eight years, McMaster served as attorney general of South Carolina. As the state’s chief criminal prosecutor, McMaster made the prosecution of criminal domestic violence a priority and harnessed the resources of law enforcement and prosecutors to crack down on child Internet predators. He also extended the state grand jury’s jurisdiction to securities crimes after the collapse of Carolina Investors and Home Gold, convicting those responsible.

The first U.S. Attorney appointed by President Ronald Reagan, McMaster was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and held the position for four years. His “Operation Jackpot” investigation into international drug smuggling produced over 100 convictions.

A former member of the S.C. Ports Authority board, the state Commission on Higher Education, Palmetto Health Foundation Board and chairman of the South Carolina Policy Council, McMaster is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto. He is admitted to practice in all courts, state and federal, in South Carolina, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

McMaster received his AB degree in history in 1969 from the University of South Carolina and his Juris Doctor degree in 1973 from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served on the Law Review. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves in the JAG Corps from 1969 to 1975.

Gov. McMaster is married to Peggy McMaster, and they have two children, Henry D. McMaster Jr. and Mary Rogers McMaster.