Help us out with this monumental question — who would you put on a Mount Rushmore for Columbia?
Last week, we asked you to submit your recommendations — we chiseled down the results and gathered the top 10 names submitted.
Mary McLeod Bethune | Mary Bethune emerged as a pivotal Black educator and advocate, founding Bethune-Cookman College and advising President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Bob Coble | As Columbia’s Mayor from 1990–2010, Bob Coble championed downtown revitalization and initiated the Three Rivers Greenway.
Cocky | This Gamecock mascot, with their community of Cocky’s Reading Express, makes an impressive entrance at home football games and often shows up at weddings.
Alex English | Columbia native and USC basketball standout, Alex dominated the NBA in the 1980s, becoming the decade’s top scorer and earning a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kirkman Finlay, Jr. | Mayor Finlay served from 1978 to 1986 and championed projects like establishing the Koger Center, initiating the Congaree Vista development, and relocating railroads to improve traffic flow.
Narciso Gonzales | The co-founder of The State newspaper advocated for journalistic integrity and reform, solidifying his legacy even after his assassination by Lieutenant Gov. James H. Tillman in 1903.
Robert Mills | Born in Charleston, architect Robert Mills designed many well-known buildings and private residences in Columbia, along with 18 courthouses across the state.
Dawn Staley | As Gamecock women’s head basketball coach, Coach Staley has achieved unparalleled success, including multiple national championships and perennial top rankings, while being a beacon for community service.
A’ja Wilson | Recognized as the most decorated athlete in South Carolina’s history, she holds 86 school records, was the unanimous National Player of the Year in 2017-18, the first three-time SEC Player of the Year, and was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft.
Vote for your top four by filling out our finalist survey by Monday, Oct. 23. The winners from this ballot will then be featured in a special newsletter celebrating their achievements, with — of course — visuals of what we think their mountain would look like. It’s a face-off, Cola.