Picture of Kauffman Placard


Each Spring the Academy for Lifelong Learning honors a group or individual that has made significant contributions to the Academy.  This award is given in memory of Dr. Earl F. Kauffman who was one of the individuals most responsible for the creation of the Academy for Lifelong Learning back in 1989.

To learn more about Dr. Kauffman and the founding of the Academy for Lifelong Learning, please see our EARLY HISTORY document. 


The annual Kauffman Award for outstanding service to the Academy for Lifelong Learning was presented to Doug Cook at the annual Earl F. Kauffman Remembrance Day Luncheon, April 25, 2019.

Although born in New York, Doug Cook spent his formative years and most of his life in southern Michigan. He and Kathy, his wife of nearly 51 years, have a daughter Melissa, a son-in-law Blair, and a granddaughter, Emily, residing in the Washington DC area.

Doug's working career centered around medical diagnostics and health care sales. Early on he worked in the laboratories of several hospitals, then sold medical diagnostic equipment for the Swiss medical firm Roche. From there he moved into pharmaceutical sales for Roche and then Proctor and Gamble. Proctor and Gamble eventually assigned him to a sales territory encompassing Georgia and South Carolina, which brought Doug and Kathy to Aiken in 2005.

Once in Aiken, Kathy discovered the Academy for Lifelong Learning as she strove to learn about the area and its history. She started taking Academy classes while Doug was on the road visiting the doctors and medical facilities in all the large and small towns in his territory. Kathy kept Doug up on the interesting classes she was taking and Doug thought the Academy would be something he'd be interested in when he was no longer spending all his time on Georgia and South Carolina back roads. As soon as he retired in 2009, Doug joined Kathy on the Academy's Curriculum Committee, where he has continued to serve as liaison for a wide variety of classes.

In the fall of 2013 the Academy found itself in a bind because it had no President-Elect from the previous year who would automatically progress to the office of President. Doug was approached by former President Dick Baxter and he agreed to fill in as President for the 2013-14 academic year. He served as Past President the following year, and when there was again no President-Elect on board, Doug agreed to serve as President one more time. He then continued on as Past President the next two years. He rotated off the Board this year, when Jan Van Slyke became Past President.

During his tenure on the Board Doug helped guide the Academy through several administrative changes in the UofSC Aiken Continuing Education Department, significant growth in Academy membership, the movement of oversubscribed classes to larger classrooms, and the introduction of online registration.

All told, Doug spent five consecutive years on the Academy Board, where he was perhaps the most active President and/or Past President in the Board's history. And all this time he also continued to participate as a valuable member of the Curriculum Committee.

For his dedication to the Academy and his willingness to take the bull by the horns and make things happen, the Academy for Lifelong Learning presents its 2019 Kauffman Award for Outstanding Service to Doug Cook.

Past President Jan Van Slyke presents the
2019 Kauffman Award to Doug Cook