Sandlapper Society

Bob and Rose Wilkins Awarded Prestigious Statewide Honor

Bob and Rose Wilkins, founders of Sandlapper, The Magazine of South Carolina, have each been awarded the prestigious Order of the Palmetto. It's the first time in 37 years the award has been given to a husband and wife. The Governor's Award was given at a reception May 15, 2008 in Columbia to honor the 40th year of the magazine's founding. 

"Bob is one of the three most amazing people I've ever met. Rose is the second," observed Jerry Howard of Lexington County in his nomination letter for the award, South Carolina's highest. Mr. Wilkins, now retired, is a nationally known lawyer and author of several estate planning books, as well as founding editor and now editor emeritus of Sandlapper. A Florence County native, he is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, USC Law School and Georgetown University.

Rose Truesdale Wilkins, a Camden native, received her degree from the University of South Carolina and has dedicated herself to numerous causes, most significantly environmental. "She was green before green was cool," said C. Richard Jackson, Sandlapper Society's Chief Financial Officer. The Wilkins have four children (one who is now deceased), seven grandchildren and one step-grandson. They live in Lexington.
The award was presented by Senator Nikki Setzler of Lexington County, who recalled seeking advice from Mr. Wilkins when he was a young lawyer.

Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins started Sandlapper in 1968 to prove that South Carolina had many positive attributes at a time when the state's reputation was suffering nationally. The magazine spawned a book publishing company, Sandlapper Publishing, which published books of South Carolina interest. The Wilkins sold Sandlapper magazine in the 1970s and the book publishing company in the 1980s. Though Sandlapper Publishing continued in Orangeburg, the magazine ceased publishing in 1983. The Wilkins revived the magazine in 1989.

Since 1994 the magazine has been published by Sandlapper Society, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It's circulated across the country and overseas, and can be found in libraries and classrooms in South Carolina schools. It continues to focus on South Carolina's people, places, history and culture, and is known for its photography. "Telling the South Carolina story" is the magazine's mission, which it accomplishes with the support of its generous sponsors. The magazine won the South Carolina Arts Commission's Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award in 1980, and award-winning writers and photographers contribute frequently to its content. Many readers have been subscribing since the magazine started in 1968.