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Barnwell Given Presbyterian Young Alumnus Honor

At Presbyterian College’s Homecoming ceremonies in September, Brian Barnwell (Presbyterian–Beta Pi ’03) was named the recipient of the 2018 Young Alumnus Award, given to an alumnus under 40 years of age for early competence within his chosen field of endeavor, and for exceptional promise of future achievement. Barnwell is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, SC, practicing business litigation, financial services litigation, insurance coverage and defense, and construction litigation. He followed in his father’s footsteps by graduating from Presbyterian en route to becoming an attorney, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and graduating summa cum laude, with honors. He earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and was an editor for the Law Review.

“My father, Buddy Barnwell (Charles Brison “Buddy” Barnwell, Jr.–Presbyterian ’61), who was class of 1964, came from humble beginnings,” Barnwell told a reporter for Presbyterian’s website. “He took pride in his job and what it allowed him to provide his family and the community. My mother, who was a substitute teacher and taught ballroom dancing and shag classes, was always there to support him and raise the family. I liked the way they lived their lives and have tried to emulate it with their guidance.” In addition to his father, Barnwell’s sister, Erin Richardson, and his grandfather, Charles Brison Barnwell, Sr. (Beta Pi ’31) also graduated from Presbyterian.

This year’s recognition as the 2018 Young Alumnus Award recipient isn’t the first significant honor Barnwell has received in his young career. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named Barnwell the youngest member ever of the South Carolina Ethics Commission in January 2015. He was re-appointed by Governor Henry McMaster in June 2017 and was chosen to be the chairman, which he continues to serve as today.


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