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Distinguished Alumni Award

The highest honor bestowed by the College of Charleston Honors College, the Distinguished Alumni Award publicly recognizes Honors College alumni who are noted for their professional achievements, their contributions to society, and their support of the College of Charleston. Honorees have performed exceptional service for the College of Charleston through cumulative contributions or by extraordinary efforts that advance the both the Honors College and the College of Charleston.



Michael S. Shemtov '00

Michael Shemtov attended high school in Atlanta, G.A., and was attracted to the College of Charleston, in part, due to a full tuition scholarship. While at The College, Shemtov enjoyed the academic challenge of the interdisciplinary courses in the Honors College and decided to leverage his Bachelor’s Essay by writing a business plan to open the first Mellow Mushroom in Charleston on King Street. Six months after graduation, he and his business partners did just that. From 2008 to 2010, Michael served as the Director of Marketing for Mellow Mushroom’s parent company. With two partners, he went on to open three additional Mellow Mushrooms in the Charleston area between 2011-2015.

In the fall of 2011, he opened Butcher & Bee in downtown Charleston.  Butcher & Bee has been a critical success, and has resonated deeply with guests.  The restaurant has been featured in magazines, television shows, and at the James Beard house.  In 2014, he opened Butcher & Bee’s sister concept, The Daily and in 2015, Butcher & Bee Nashville. Michael has since expanded the original Butcher & Bee to a larger space, opened a second location of The Daily inside the Gibbes Museum, and launched The Workshop, a culinary incubator here in Charleston.  He currently has a new restaurant under development in Nashville.  Michael has substantially impacted the restaurant scene in Charleston – his willingness to experiment and take risks with his restaurant model have given us some of the most interesting culinary experiences on the peninsula. The Honors College had the pleasure of working with Shemtov in November 2017 when he hosted the Honors College 50th anniversary celebration at Butcher & Bee. 

Shemtov lives in Charleston with his wife Melody and their two children. 


2017- Arlinda Locklear, J.D. '76
2016- Lisa Broome, Ph.D '92
2015- Melissa Siegel, Ph.D '03
2014- James G. Hodge Jr., J.D., LLM '89
2013- Howard L. Hall, Ph.D '85
2012- Wills Geils, MD '88
2011- Beth Middleton Burke, J.D. '94
2010- Steve Swanson '89

  1. Graduate of the Honors Program/College at the College of Charleston
  2. Exemplary Professional Achievements
  3. Significant Contributions to Society
  4. Distinguished Service to the Honors College and the College of Charleston