Greenville volunteer and philanthropist Minor Shaw has received the 2016 James F. Barker Ethics in Action Award. She was recognized Thursday during a dinner hosted by the Clemson University Rutland Institute for Ethics.
The Rutland Institute gives the award to “an exceptional individual whose actions exemplify integrity,” according to a news release. The award “seeks to bring ethics into focus in the best way possible – through real-life application.”
In a phone interview with GSA Business Report, Shaw said she was “tremendously honored” to have been chosen for the award.
“I have an awful lot to live up to, knowing the commitment of the previous winners and how they give back,” she said, referring to last year’s winner Scott Dishman, and the 2014 winner, the award’s namesake, former Clemson University President James F. Barker.
When asked what the phrase “ethics in action” means to her, Shaw said “you don’t do things for personal gain, but for the good of others.”
“When you’re involved in anything that is important to you, you need to do your best, your word is your bond,” she said. “You treat everyone equally. You listen to understand.”
Shaw said she learned the importance of giving back to the community at an early age. She learned it from her parents; father Buck Mickel, who owned Daniel Construction Co., and mother Minor Mickel, the first female chairwoman of board at Furman University.
“Growing up it was talked about in my family – helping the community,” she said. “We were all always passionate about it. I was taught to give back wherever you live. You get so much more out of the community when you give back.”
Shaw began her service to Greenville in 1979 with significant involvement in organizations that included the South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Junior League of Greenville, the United Way of Greenville, Ronald McDonald House and Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, according to the release. She went on to help launch the Roper Mountain Science Center, and has chaired the United Way of Greenville, United Way of South Carolina, Community Foundation of Greenville and the Urban League of the Upstate. Shaw also has been inducted to the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame.
Shaw currently serves as chair of the Daniel-Mickel Foundation, The Duke Endowment, Hollingsworth Funds and Greenville-Spartanburg Airport Commission. She graduated from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a degree in history. She is married to Dr. Harold Ellis Shaw and is the mother to three and grandmother to nine. She is a native of Elberton, Ga., and grew up in Greenville.
“I am fortunate to have been able to be involved all these years,” she said. “I like doing it. It is fulfilling to bring people together.
“Community is for everyone. A community is only successful if everyone can have the opportunity to thrive,” she said.