Global expedition leader receives lofty home honor

May 23 proclaimed Dr. Tom Mullikin Day in historic Kershaw County, S.C.


By Alex Junes-Ward

Dr. Thomas Stowe “Tom” Mullikin received a somewhat unique – most assuredly rare – honor from Kershaw County (S.C.) Council, Tuesday evening, May 23, when the Camden-based attorney, retired military officer, and global expedition leader was presented a unanimously approved proclamation recognizing his life’s work and officially proclaiming May 23 as DR. TOM MULLIKIN DAY in Kershaw County now and forevermore.

The proclamation read by County Council Chairwoman Katie Guinn detailed much of Mullikin’s work locally, regionally, and nationally: focusing on his service as a U.S. Army officer, commanding general of the S.C. State Guard, university professor, chairman of the gubernatorially established S.C. Floodwater Commission, founding president of Global Eco Adventures, and tireless provider of resources and pro-bono legal work for-and-in-support-of citizens living in the Republic of Fiji, the Republic of Moldova, mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, and elsewhere around the world.

“The most interesting man in America lives within our own community,” said Kershaw County District 1 Councilmember Russell Brazell.

Mullikin’s arduous expeditions across mountain ranges stretching across all continents and his leadership of teams exploring many of the world’s most remote destinations were lauded, as was his SCUBA diving expertise, his leadership in training divers and dive teams, and his recorded dives in all the world’s oceans from pole to pole.

Much of the Kershaw County proclamation discussed Mullikin’s SC7 expeditions (three so far) across S.C. from the mountains to sea, his organized litter cleanups in S.C. and around the world, and his leadership in the record-setting statewide planting of 3.4-million loblolly pine tree seeds and saplings on Earth Day in 2021.

Mullikin attended the reading accompanied by family, friends, and members of the South Carolina Black Belt Hall of Fame, of which he is an inductee.

“This is a much-deserved honor for a truly extraordinary man who has in many ways defined the greatness of South Carolina in the 21st century,” said Colonel (Ret.) Steven B. Vitali, a veteran U.S. Marine Corps combat commander of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a S.C. Black Belt Hall of Famer. “Students of the Palmetto State will read about the legacy established by this man [Mullikin] for at least the next 100 years and beyond.”

Vitali attended the reading of the proclamation, as did his fellow Black Belt Hall of Famer Bruce Brutschy.

“Tom Mullikin has become the benchmark by which greatness is measured,” said Brutschy. “And it’s obvious to all.”

– Mullikin (R) is pictured with S.C. Governor Henry McMaster (L) at the Mullikin Law Carolina Cup 2022.


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