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College of Arts and Sciences

The McNair Conversations on the American South

Photo of Jean Toal

2024 Honoree: Chief Justice Jean Toal 

Institute for Southern Studies 
College of Arts & Sciences 
Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 6:30 PM 
Joseph F. Rice School of Law, Karen J. Williams Courtroom 

What does it take to become a leading jurist in the South? How does a Southern woman navigate the highest levels of the law and politics to become the state’s first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Carolina? Does growing up in the South help or hinder such signal achievements? Join us as we explore these issues and more with our 2024 McNair Honoree, former Chief Justice, Jean H. Toal.

The Institute for Southern Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences annually hosts The McNair Conversations on the American South. Made possible by the generosity of the late South Carolina Governor, Robert Evander McNair, The McNair Conversations is a live podcast interview honoring individuals who have made a lasting and significant contribution to the American South. They are recorded in front of an audience and broadcast on the Institute’s highly successful Take on the South podcast series.

Our 2024 McNair Honoree, Jean Toal, is a political and legal trailblazer. When she graduated from USC Law School in 1968, she was just one of eleven women actively practicing law in the state. Chief Justice Toal has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for thirteen years, and became the first female Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1988 and became Chief Justice in 2013. Her achievements are significant and enduring. Few have left such a mark and legacy on our state.

This year’s McNair Conversation will be live-recorded and aired at a later date on the Take on the South podcast.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Check-in will open at 6:00 p.m. and the program will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.