Honorees

September, 2008

Milton Kimpson

Community Leader

From the cotton fields of Calhoun County to the cabinet of the Governor of the State of South Carolina, Milton Kimpson has traveled a path of great achievement and service to his state, family, community and fellow man. One of four children growing up as sharecroppers in Calhoun County, Kimpson’s parents struggled to send all of their children to college. After graduating from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina with a B.S. degree in Mathematics and a stint in the United States Army during the Korean War, Kimpson began his teaching career at Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia as a mathematics teacher. Kimpson later distinguished himself as a principal at two of the city’s elementary schools before being selected as a State Supervisor of Elementary Education at the South Carolina State Department of Education. He later was appointed the first Executive Director of the Community Relations Council of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

In 1979, Kimpson was appointed as the Executive Director of Health, Education and Human Services by the Honorable Richard W. Riley, Governor of the State of South Carolina, where he was responsible for the supervision and administration of the state government’s efforts in education, health, community services, employment and training. It was during his tenure in this position that Kimpson provided leadership and assistance to the Governor in the passage of the landmark Education Improvement Act of 1984. Governor Riley thereafter appointed Kimpson to the South Carolina Worker’s Compensation Commission, where he later was appointed Chairman.

After serving as an Associate Commissioner to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Kimpson retired from state government in 1994 as the Deputy Commissioner for Program Services at the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

In addition to his undergraduate degree, Kimpson earned a Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin and has furthered his education at the University of Georgia, Syracuse University and the University of Miami. Kimpson has also received Honorary Doctorate degrees from Benedict College and Wofford College.

Among his many honors and awards, Kimpson has received the Order of the Palmetto from the Governor of South Carolina; Colonel of the Staff award from the Governor of Mississippi; Arkansas Traveler award from the Governor of Arkansas; Man of the Year award, NAACP; Manning Branch, Distinguished Service Award, South Carolina State College; Public Servant of the Year award, South Carolina Association of Minorities for Public Administration; and the Friend of Education Award, South Carolina Education Association.

Kimpson is married to Wilhelmina Page Kimpson and they have three sons. Kimpson and his family are members of St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, where he is the Chairman Emeritus of the Deacon Board, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Preschool Education Board and sings in the Senior Musical Choir.