Honorary Honors College Graduate

The Honors College Honorary Graduate Award is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained commitment to the College of Charleston Honors College and to its students. Recipients are selected for the ways in which they exemplify the mission, goals, values and ideals of the Honors College.


John J. Culhane, 2023 Honors College Honorary Graduate

John J. Culhane, J.D.

John J. Culhane is the former Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Coca-Cola Enterprises and has served for many years as scholar-in-residence for the College of Charleston Honors College.

John grew up in Weehawken, New Jersey, and from an early age developed a keen interest in American politics and history. He attend Xavier Military Academy in lower Manhattan and St. Peters College where he graduated with honors. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he began night classes at Fordham Law School while simultaneously teaching high school and working on weekends as a desk clerk at the famous Plaza Hotel. He eventually finished at the top of his class at Fordham Law and was twice awarded high school Teacher of the Year honors.

John practiced law for ten years before taking on a senior legal position with the Coca-Cola Company. He rose to became the company's General Counsel in North America before moving abroad as their principal mergers and acquisition legal counsel in greater Europe. After fulfilling a lifelong dream of living in Europe, John and his wife Dianne returned to the United States in 2002 when he was named Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Coca-Cola Enterprises in Atlanta. 

After John retired from Coca-Cola in 2010, he was invited to teach in the Honors College by his friend and then-Dean Dr. John Newell. John Culhane was soon named the first ever Honors College scholar-in-residence, and over the years has taught a variety of Honors courses on topics including the Supreme Court, the U.S. Constitution, and the electoral process. He and Dianne now split their time between Kiawah Island and England.


2021 - Reba Huge
2022 - Dr. John Newell