Arts at Winthrop

Medal of Honor

2007 Recipients


Mark Coplan

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Mark CoplanBorn in Columbia, SC, Mark Coplan's greatest contribution was his extensive private collection and promotion of fine and outsider art of South Carolinians. A lawyer and real estate developer who restored many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, he helped change the way the state's residents look at art and architecture.

Coplan earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a juris degree from the University of South Carolina. Upon his death in 2002, he had more than 450 works of art. Much of the art is now on exhibition in the State Museum of South Carolina.


 Beryl Dakers

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Beryl DakersBeryl Dakers has served as director of cultural programming at South Carolina Educational Television since 1982. She currently works as host of ETV Forum and ETV Roadshow and as on-air talent for fundraising.

Dakers earned a bachelor of arts degree from Syracuse University and complete additional graduate coursework at Harvard University and the University of South Carolina. She has won a National Black Journalists Association award, as well as an Emmy nomination. She is a 2002 inductee into the S.C. Black Hall of Fame and received the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts in 2000.


Carlisle Floyd

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Carlisle FloydBorn in 1926, Carlisle Floyd is one of the foremost composers and librettists of opera in the United States today. His operas are regularly performed in this country and in Europe; at least two of them-"Susannah" and "Of Mice and Men"- have entered the permanent operatic repertoire.

Floyd earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in piano and composition with Ernst Bacon at Syracuse University and at the Aspen University. He began his teaching career in 1947 at Florida State University, remaining there until 1976, when he accepted the prestigious M.D. Anderson Professorship in the University of Houston. He is co-founder with David Glockey of the Houston Opera Studio.

Floyd was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001, and in 2004 was awarded the National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House.


Betty Plumb

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Betty PlumbBetty Plumb is widely respected as a leader and arts advocate for South Carolina. Since 1994, she has been executive director of the S.C. Arts Alliance, a statewide nonprofit agency, whose mission is to serve the arts through advocacy, technical assistance, and leadership development.

Educated at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida, Plumb is past chair and current council member of the State Arts Action Network. She has been president of State Arts Advocacy League of America and the National Community Arts Network. In June 2007, The Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts, presented Plumb its 2007 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award.

Plumb also presents to educators and arts leaders throughout the nation, frequently giving workshops on how citizens can advocate for arts funding. She is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities on arts advocacy.


Dan Wagoner

Medal of Honor - Recipients - Dan WagonerA native of West Virginia and the youngest of 10 children, Dan Wagoner knew from an early age that he wanted to dance. He came to the attention of Martha Graham at the American Dance Festival and danced with her company before eventually forming his own company in 1969- Dan Wagoner and Dancers. The company performed to wide critical acclaim in hundreds of U.S. cities and on four continents, as Wagoner's works became known for their speed and style shifts and an uncanny sense of weight and balance.

During a four-year period beginning in 1984, the company was selected by the S.C. Arts Commission to maintain a second home in the Palmetto State, making the first such dual residency for a modern dance company. After the company disbanded in 1994, Wagoner began teaching dance at Connecticut College, while continuing to choreograph for companies around the world including recent commissions by the Chinese International Dance Festival.