Dr. Tom Mack, USC Aiken's longtime English professor and department chairman, will formally receive the 2014 Governor's Award in Humanities on Oct. 23.

According to a press release from the organization, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching and scholarship.

The release also cites “the institutional and individual participation in helping communities in South Carolina better understand our cultural heritage and issues related to the humanities.”

Mack has long been associated with the humanities on the campus and the Aiken community. With Dr. Phebe Davidson, he co-founded the Oswald Review, which promotes undergraduate research and criticism in English. Mack also has written a column for the Aiken Standard for nearly 25 years.

He is most proud of his latest publication, “The South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to South Carolina Writers” to which he edited and contributed.

“It's the definitive reference book of writers from the 18th century to the present,” Mack said.

In 2008, he was elected to the Board of Governors of the S.C. Academy of Authors and has served as chairman. That group manages the state's literary hall of fame.

Among those who nominated Mack for the award is Dr. Jeff Priest, USCA's executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

“Tom is well-deserving of this award,” Priest said, “as he has a lot of stature in terms of the humanities. This is a great way to recognize him for all his accomplishments over the years.”

In a press release, USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan expressed her pride that Mack has received such a prestigious award.

“USC Aiken has been recognized as a quality institution in part due to the accomplishments and dedication of our faculty,” Jordan said. “During his tenure, Dr. Mack has received numerous awards and has written several books. We are pleased he is one of our faculty members that define excellence in his field.”

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001.