MUSC trustees elect new chairman, vice-chairman

Heather Woolwine

Aug. 18, 2010

MUSC trustees elect new chairman, vice-chairman

Former chairman Dr. Charlie Thomas receives Order of the Palmetto award

CHARLESTON -- During the August MUSC Board of Trustees meeting, trustees voted to approve a new chairman and vice-chairman for a two-year period. Greenville attorney Tom Stephenson was elected board chairman and James E. Wiseman, D.M.D., was elected vice-chairman.

Stephenson has served on the MUSC Board since 1998. The lay representative from Congressional District 4 received both his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of South Carolina (USC). Stephenson has practiced law since 1979 and has spent his entire life in South Carolina. He represents clients in commercial and employment matters and has been consistently recognized by "The Best Lawyers in America" and as one of the "Top 25 Attorneys in South Carolina" as published in South Carolina Super Lawyers. Stephenson's contributions to public service have included president of the Legal Services Agency of Western Carolina; president of the Greenville Cancer Society; Greenville Civil Service Commission member; and 300 for Greenville. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Greenville and have two adult children.

Wiseman was elected as the lay representative from Congressional District 5 in 2002, and is a retired dentist and member of the SC Dental Association. He is past president of the Central District Dental Society and past president of the S.C. Academy of Practice Administration. Wiseman is a graduate of USC and obtained his D.M.D. degree from the University of Louisville in 1959. Wiseman is the recipient of many awards, among them the Governor's Rural Summit Award, Woodrow Wilson Award, Order of the Palmetto, S.C. Dental Association Citizenship Award, and the S.C. Downtown Development Award. Wiseman currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Newberry Federal Savings Bank and is Chair of the Newberry Opera House Foundation. He served on the Newberry City Council from 1991 to 2000.

Also during the meeting it was announced that Charlie Thomas, M.D., who is stepping down as MUSC Board of Trustees chairman, was recently awarded the Order of the Palmetto from the South Carolina Governor's office. This award is the highest civilian honor for service in South Carolina. In a letter from Gov. Mark Sanford, Thomas was praised for the outstanding service he has provided orthopedic patients in the Greenville area as well as earthquake victims in Haiti, and for his service on the MUSC Board of Trustees for the last 15 years.

Elected as the medical professions representative from Congressional District 4 in 1996, Thomas practices orthopedic surgery in Greenville and has served in multiple medical missions overseas in Honduras, Cuba, Mexico and Haiti. Thomas served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Medical University of South Carolina from 2006-2010 He graduated from USC in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, and went on to obtain a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy in 1978 and an M.D. degree from MUSC in 1984. Thomas is a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Thomas currently is a commissioner on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic or clinical services, visit or