Hardwick Receives Jefferson Award


Clifford Hardwick received the prestigious Jefferson Award on February 5
Clifford Hardwick received the prestigious Jefferson Award on February 5

Dr. Clifford E. Hardwick, III, has received the Jefferson Award for Public Service Certificate of Excellence. Paul P. Hinchey, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s /Candler presented the award on February 5th, at a meeting of the Directors’ Council of the hospital.

The Jefferson Award is a prestigious national recognition of individuals committed to local, grassroots community volunteerism and public service. As a Jefferson Award Champion, St. Joseph’s/Candler recognizes staff members who best exemplify that selfless spirit. Recipients of this award join a long list of notable community heroes that include General Colin Powell, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill and Melinda Gates. Hardwick has been affiliated with St. Joseph’s/Candler for several years, and currently serves as a member of the hospital’s patient and family counseling staff.

Hardwick is a Beach-Cuyler High School graduate who attended Hampton Institute and graduated from Savannah State College, receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He earned a Master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh and completed advanced studies at Howard University, South Carolina State University, North Carolina College, Atlanta University, Michigan State – Mot Leadership Institute for Community Leaders, University of Georgia, and the Turner Theological Seminary Extension Division. Hardwick also received the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Morris Brown College, Atlanta, GA.

His devotion to the pursuit of knowledge has been transmitted to countless generations of students on all educational levels. He served as chairman of the Biology Department of Beach High School for approximately nine years, where he was called “Mr. Biology” by his students and colleagues. He was appointed Supervisor of Secondary Education by the Savannah- Chatham County Board of Education after his tenure at Beach. During that time, he was the first African American to hold this post, and was the highest ranking African American in the local public school system.

During July 1968, Hardwick was named Director of Community Education for the school system, and remained in that position until April 19, 1970, when he became Assistant Professor of Continuing Education for the University of Georgia, and Director of the Neighborhood Continuing Education Center in Savannah. He served as Assistant to the Dean of the Coastal Georgia Center for Continuing Education and the Director of Administration, Armstrong Atlantic State University and Savannah State University until retiring from the University System in September 1997.

Hardwick is the recipient of many awards and citations for his outstanding service in the areas of education and civic involvement. He is a charter member of the National Community School Education Association, a member of the National Eagle Scout Association – Boy Scouts of America, and is listed in the Outstanding Personalities of the World, Community Leaders of America, 1969- 1970, and Who’s Who Among Black Americans. The City and County honored him by proclaiming Sunday, October 24, 1982 as “Clifford Hardwick Day” in Savannah and Chatham County. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Savannah Chapter of American Red Cross, and an Alderman Emeritus of the City of Savannah.

Hardwick holds memberships in numerous professional, civic, religious, and fraternal organizations on the local, state, and national levels. He was a member of the Professional Advisory Board for Healthmaster Home Health Care of Georgia, and the first Savannahian to serve on the Eastern Operations Advisory Board of the American Red Cross. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross, and was the first African American to be selected Chairman of a major Red Cross Chapter and Blood Center in the United States. He served as vice chairman of the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Public Health, Southeast Regional Committee, and 1993 Resolutions Committee of the American Red Cross.

Hardwick was a member of the Executive Committee of the Savannah Olympic Support Council, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and the Community Cardiovascular Council. In 1974, Hardwick became the first African American elected Foreman of a Grand Jury in Savannah-Chatham County, and served again in 1985. On both occasions, he received numerous commendations for his ability to lead people of diverse opinions and backgrounds toward group decisions.

His involvement with the NAACP began early during the 1940s as a member of the Youth Council, where he succeeded W.W. Law as president. While serving on the Council, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Carnegie Library. He was the youngest member ever to serve in this capacity. Hardwick also served as Interim Vice President of Student Affairs at Savannah State University from March – December 1999.

Additionally, Hardwick served as the Executive Vice President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day, a director of the Savannah Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a former director of the United Way of the Coastal Empire, past President of the Board of Directors for the Greenbriar Children’s Center, member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, and was named “Alpha Man of the Year” for 1962.

Hardwick is a member of the Board of Directors of Carver State Bank, the oldest financial institution headquartered in Savannah.

Hardwick was ordained as an Itinerant Elder in the A.M.E. Church at the Annual Conference on May 9, 1980, and graduated from the Turner Theological Seminary Continuing Education Institute on May 18, 1990. He was also a member of the teaching staff for Turner Theological Seminary Outreach Center in Savannah. Hardwick is a member of the Old Georgia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Additionally, he serves as Associate Minister of St. Philip A.M.E. Church.

On February 20, 1990, Hardwick was elected to serve on City Council as Alderman from the 5th District of Savannah and was re-elected to a second fouryear term in November 1992.

Hardwick is married to the former Beautine Williams of Savannah, and is the father of two sons, Clifford IV and the late Kenneth Allen. The Hardwicks have six grandsons, two granddaughters and two great grandchildren.

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