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December 13, 2002

Greenville lawyer given Order of Palmetto

From: Greenville News, SC - 13 Dec 2002

By E. Richard Walton

Those who fondly conspired so Greenville attorney Doug F. Dent could receive the Order of the Palmetto Award without him knowing ahead of time left him nearly speechless Friday, the recipient said.

With about 50 family members, supporters and friends on hand, Dent received the distinction from Gov. Jim Hodges for 30 years of service he's given to the state. His efforts have ranged from the presidency of the Urban League of the Upstate in the 1970's to leading the board at the S.C. School for the Deaf, Blind and Multi-handicapped in Spartanburg until 1993.

"It's really quite a surprise," Dent said at the event at the Commerce Club. "I don't really know what else to say other than I love you all and thank you very much."

Nick Theodore, senior counsel to the governor, characterized Dent as someone who acted on behalf of his community in a selfless manner.

"Heroes are people who do what needs to be done regardless of the consequences," he said. "Doug you've always been a South Carolina hero. Now you're a Palmetto gentlemen as well."

Joe Erwin, of Erwin-Penland, Inc., said Hodges' also gave Dent the "state's highest civilian honor" for his work with the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, which works to provide low- and moderate-income housing in the county.

Born in Washington, Dent said he worked for U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., for eight years.

His daughter, Shawn D. Jackson, said her father emphasized to his two children that they should have "a passion for service."

For a brief time, Dent seemed to struggle momentarily with his own passion.

"It's hard to have these emotions," he said. "It's really quite a day for me. I'm overwhelmed. I really am."

Copyright 2001 The Greenville News.