Institute for Southern Studies Announces Lou Kennedy as the 2023 McNair Honoree

January 17, 2023

Dr. Mark Smith Will Interview Kennedy Live, Before Audience About Leading a Growing Company in the American South

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina College of Arts & Sciences Institute for Southern Studies today announced Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy as the 2023 honoree of the McNair Conversations on the American South. 

As a part of honoring Kennedy, Dr. Smith, Director of the Institute, will interview the business leader live, before an audience at the USC School of Law, Karen J. Williams Courtroom, for a podcast associated with the event on Wednesday, March 1 2023 at 6PM.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving and better suited than Lou Kennedy for this honor,” said Dr. Smith. “I look forward to discussing what it takes to succeed in business – in particular at a life sciences company in the aftermath of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic – with a university alumnus who has proudly supported Carolina and its causes for many years. I invite students and members of the community to attend what promises to be a memorable event.”

Every year, the Institute for Southern Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences hosts The McNair Conversations on the American South.  Made possible by the generosity of the late South Carolina Governor, Robert Evander McNair, the McNair Conversations are a live podcast interview honoring individuals who have made a lasting and significant contribution to the American South.  They are recorded in front of an audience and broadcast on the Institute’s highly successful Take on the South podcast series.

Kennedy has led Nephron to unprecedented growth. Nearly 2,000 full time and part time employees strong, counting interns and apprentices, Nephron produces more than 1 billion doses of life-saving medications each year.  Kennedy has been widely recognized for her achievements in business and civic leadership.

During the pandemic, Governor McMaster appointed Kennedy to the state’s COVID-19 advisory and recovery team.

“I am grateful to be recognized by the university I love, and I look forward to joining Dr. Smith and audience participants for a wonderful discussion about all of the great progress South Carolina continues to make,” said Kennedy. “Nephron is a source of pride for me, and I employ many lessons I learned growing up in the American South, and at Carolina, every day as a CEO. Sharing this experience is something I cannot wait to do during my discussion with Dr. Smith.”

Kennedy is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto – South Carolina’s highest civilian award – and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations from the University of South Carolina.