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Winter 17-18

Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the University

Service, Honor and Commitment

Remembering Lander President Emeritus Larry A. Jackson

The Lander Eclipse | Ready for the Classroom | Learning the Ropes at Bearcat Camp | Top Faculty Honored

All Aboard!

Lander University launched a new shuttle service in December, designed to help students experience all that Greenwood has to offer. The Lander Line – a 35-seat passenger bus decked out in an eye-catching design – provides students, faculty and staff with free transportation seven days a week to popular spots in the Uptown area and along the bypass shopping district. Initial plans of the Lander Line were announced in September during Lander President Richard Cosentino’s State of the University Address, and the university hopes to eventually acquire a San Francisco-style trolley as part of the service. “Many of our students – particularly our international students – do not own vehicles, so the Lander Line is vital in providing them with safe transportation throughout the City of Greenwood. It also makes it easier for our students to become even more active in the community,” Cosentino said. – photos by Laura M. Brown ’16 and Megan Price

Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the University



The university remembers President Emeritus Larry A. Jackson, who passed away Nov. 7, 2017, at the age of 92. The ninth president of the institution, Jackson led Lander through its largest period of growth in enrollment and infrastructure.


The Great American Eclipse crosses over Bearcat Country for a spectacular start to the 2017-18 academic year.


As one of the university’s original signature academic programs, Lander’s Teacher Education program is preparing students to be effective leaders in the classroom.


Taking freshman orientation to the next level, Bearcat Camp brings new students together for adventure and immersion into the Greenwood community prior to the start of classes.



Smaller class sizes allow Lander biology and physical science majors the opportunity for unique summer research with valuable hands-on experience.



Distinguished Professor of the Year: Gina Dunn.............................................34 Moore Award: Lisa McDonald......................................................................................35 Young Faculty Scholar Award: Diana Delach....................................................35 Nursing Internship in Ghana: Rachel Marrah....................................................36 Internship in Washington, D.C.: Becca Watford................................................37

HIGHLIGHTS Life at Lander............................................................................................................................38 Alumni Week............................................................................................................................44 Lander Scholarship Banquet..........................................................................................68



News Briefs................................................................................................................................4 Spring and Fall Commencement................................................................................16 Bearcat Sports Roundup...................................................................................................40 Class Notes................................................................................................................................46 Giving Report & Scholarship Spotlights..................................................................55


Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the University

LANDER MAGAZINE STAFF Megan Price, Editor Deb Nygro, Co-Editor, Writer and Photographer L. C. Leach III, Writer Jeff Lagrone, Writer Eric Lawson, Writer Judy Bello, Writer Lisa Canada, Writer Laura M. Brown ’16, Photographer Graham H. Duncan ’17, Editorial Assistant Mike Blackwell, Photographer and Videographer Maria Scott, Designer Rixon Lane, Sports Writer

LANDER ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Denise Manley ’89, Director of Alumni Affairs & Annual Giving Debbie Lyons Dill ’90, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Debrah Hodges Miller ’76, President Rodney Jones ’08, Vice President Jalysa O’Conner ’12, Secretary Lamar Scott ’82/84, Treasurer Don Durden ’12, Vice President for Young Alumni

LANDER EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Richard E. Cosentino, President Suzanne Ozment, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy J. Benoit Jr., Vice President for Enrollment and Access Management H. Randall Bouknight, Vice President for Student Affairs E. Van Taylor Jr. ’90, Interim Vice President for University Advancement Gregory M. Lovins, Vice President for Business and Administration Brian P. Reese, Director of Athletics J. Adam Taylor ’87, Vice President for Governmental Relations

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Linda L. Dolny ’69, Chair Cary Corbitt ’74, Vice Chair Cathy Lee, Secretary Robert A. Barber Jr. Bobby M. Bowers Holly Bracknell Maurice Holloway ’78 Raymond D. Hunt ’90 Marcia Thrift Hydrick ’81

Donald H. Lloyd II ’83 Jack W. Lawrence Peggy M. Makins ’81 Claude C. Robinson ’79 Robert F. Sabalis DeWitt B. Stone Jr. Angela G. Strickland ’02 S. Anne Walker ’72

It is the policy of Lander University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, race, pregnancy, religion, sex, veteran's status, and genetic information in regard to the administration of all campus programs, services and activities including intercollegiate athletics, and the admission of students, employment actions, or other sponsored activities and programs including obligations of Title IX. For additional information, please visit our website at



A Message from the President Dear Alumni and Friends: We are approaching the close of another academic year at Lander – a year in which we are celebrating several achievements, among them our 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation, increases in the size of our student body and further gains in our reputation as a respected university. These accomplishments are incredibly satisfying, but I would be less than truthful if I said we are surprised by them. The fact is, our increase in freshman enrollment – more than 25 percent this year – and our rise to #3 on U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of public regional colleges in the South are the natural result of our continuing commitment to reaching the goals laid out in our strategic plan. Our intention is to follow those wins by adding to our excellent faculty, expanding athletics and enhancing our student facilities. It’s a true sadness that one of our most esteemed Lander leaders, Dr. Larry Jackson, is not able to share in these exciting developments. His death last November is a reminder that time is fleeting, and that we must work as tirelessly as he did to cultivate Lander’s success as a university. You will read a tribute to Dr. Jackson in this issue of Lander Magazine. Surrounding that touching remembrance, though, are articles describing the vibrant university that Dr. Jackson spent two decades leading. You’ll meet Lander students who are serving the world – in the United States’ National Archives, abroad in Ghana, and even farther afield in a NASA telescope mirror project. And, you will get a closer look at the success stories of one of Lander’s most respected and influential academic programs, Teacher Education. As instructors in South Carolina and beyond, our education graduates are playing a pivotal role in the instruction and direction of this generation’s children and young adults. In closing, our fall semester started on a day when the Moon eclipsed the Sun. What an extraordinary launch to the new academic year! Now that this stellar academic year is drawing to a close, I wonder if the Great Eclipse of 2017 was foretelling our success and marking the start of a memorable year. It has been notable by all accounts. Lander University values deeply your friendship and support, and I hope you will take ownership in the successes described in this issue of Lander Magazine. Moreover, I invite you to join me in honoring Dr. Jackson’s legacy by continuing to nurture the university he helped shape. Best Regards,

Richard Cosentino President, Lander University


Get Connected Videos by Mike Blackwell

Late Night Breakfast at Lander

Spotlight on Lander Music

Follow us So happy and proud to announce my verbal commitment to Lander many thanks go out... PARENTS, coaches, friends, believers.

Fall 2017 Move-In

Solar Eclipse from All Angles

Evan Berkner of Hilton Head Island, on his commitment to join the Lander men’s soccer team

Lander University volunteers are awesome! Rice sincerely thanks all of you for your time and assistance! Rice Elementary School, Greenwood

It really is crazy how next semester turned into tomorrow real quick, but I can’t wait to start a new journey at Lander University! Kaitlyn Anderson, of BatesburgLeesville, on enrolling at Lander Hundreds of people go to Lander University to watch the Great American Eclipse!

Lander University June 23, 2017

WYFF-TV, Greenville NBC News affiliate

Proud to announce the Bearcat Bound Program! This joint initiative – historic in nature – is a dual admissions partnership between Lander University and Piedmont Technical College. After being admitted into the Lander track at PTC, that student will be ushered through the admissions process at Lander. That student is also guaranteed admission into Lander as long as the transfer requirements are met.

Super job by the @follow_lander University team. #recruited #hardwork Theo Lane of Greenwood, in response to news of Lander’s largest freshman class in its 145-year history Lander's Holiday Tree Lighting is quickly becoming a favorite tradition! This fun photo by Laura Brown ’16 taken during the event was a huge hit with Lander’s Instagram followers. Photos by Laura M. Brown, Deb Nygro and Megan Price

Shout out to #LanderUniversity for an awesome attendance & packed auditorium! I had so much fun with you guys! The Asia Project, poetry entertainers, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.



Lander’s Accreditation Reaffirmed n It was announced in December that Lander University has been reaccredited for 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The reaffirmation of accreditation concludes a rigorous review of the university that began with the submission of an initial report to SACSCOC in September 2016, and it means that Lander meets approximately 90 SACSCOC requirements. Lander Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Suzanne Ozment said that reaccreditation “is a stamp of quality, something that people can rely on to give them some confidence that they’re going to an institution with well-qualified faculty and staff, where students are held to standards that will mean that their diplomas are worth something.” Ozment and Lander University President Richard Cosentino praised the faculty and staff members who worked to maintain Lander’s designation as one of 795 accredited members of SACSCOC. “We had a lot of hard-working folks really throwing themselves into this,” Ozment said. “We’re pleased by the outcome.”

Ozment Honored for Service n Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Suzanne Ozment was recently recognized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) with an esteemed award. Presented in December at the SACSCOC annual conference in Texas, the Carol A. Luthman Meritorious Service Award is given each year to “outstanding individuals whose volunteerism and commitment to the best principles of the academy and of accreditation personify the ideals of the Commission,” according to the organization. Ozment joined the Lander administration in the summer of 2017 and helped successfully guide the university through the final stages of its recent SACSCOC reaccreditation process. Lander’s 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation was announced Dec. 5 during the same annual meeting in Texas. “This award is a testament to Suzanne’s dedication to higher education and recognizes the many accomplishments she has made in this field,” President Richard Cosentino said. Prior to Lander, Ozment served as vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She has also previously served as executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of South Carolina Aiken, and as dean of undergraduate studies at The Citadel. She has served on 30 SACSCOC review committees and has been a member of the organization’s Board of Trustees and its Committee on Compliance and Reports. Ozment said she was “deeply honored to be recognized for work that has been instrumental in my own professional development over the years.”



Rookard Joins Lander as General Counsel n In October, Lander welcomed

Crystal Rookard, a veteran attorney for state government and higher education, to the university’s administrative team. As general counsel, Rookard reports directly to the president and plays a vital role in providing legal and strategic advice to the university’s administration and Board of Trustees. Additionally, she provides administrative oversight for the university’s Human Resources Office. “We are delighted to welcome Crystal Rookard to our university and the Greenwood community,” said President Richard Cosentino. “She is well-versed in many of the important legal issues facing higher education today.” A graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Rookard has extensive experience in the areas of Title IX, the Clery Act, the Violence Against Women Act and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act. She has also conducted training courses on employee relations, human resource management and legal issues, anti-discrimination, sexual harassment, supervisory training and workplace laws. From 2000 – 2005, Rookard was deputy general counsel for the South Carolina Department of Corrections. In 2006, she began working at Midlands Technical College in Columbia as human resources director/ legal counsel before being promoted to the position of general counsel and special advisor to the Midlands president. “I’m excited to join the Lander University family,” said Rookard. “My career passion is to work for the public interest, and I firmly believe that education is a powerful means for self-improvement and improving our society.”


Tutoring Program Earns Prestigious Certification n Lander University’s tutoring program was

recently approved through the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) for International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC). The ITTPC distinction, coming after two years of efforts, applications and CRLA reviews, marks Lander as one of only 15 certified programs in South Carolina and among 1,400 worldwide. “Our tutors are trained to give feedback that professors can use to assess whether there are common concerns or ‘information gaps’ for an individual course or student,” said Caleb Polatty, tutoring coordinator with Lander’s Academic Success Center. Lander’s tutoring program turned 39 years old in January. Currently, more than 80 upperclassmen tutors are employed across 30 different subject areas, including: mathematics, nursing, history, foreign languages, biology, chemistry and physical science. Requirements to be a tutor include a minimum 3.0 GPA, having earned an “A” in the course the tutor plans to work within, and a faculty recommendation. Requirements for tutors to achieve ITTPC certification include 10 hours of supervised training and 25 hours of completed tutoring. The training ensures tutors are versed in best practices to help students overcome tough academic hurdles. The training covers tips in study skills, effective communication, customer service, teamwork and a three-phase evaluation system for the tutor. “CRLA has one of the top respected certification practices across the nation and is recognized globally,” Polatty said. “This approval will allow us to certify each individual tutor who participates in the professional training provided by the Academic Success Center. In addition to making them better tutors, the new certification will also make them more marketable as they begin their careers.”

Lander Begins 2017-18 Year with Higher Rankings n U.S. News and World Report has once again named Lander University among its top colleges and universities in the publication’s annual ranking of schools. In the 2018 rankings, Lander climbed three spots – from #19 to #16 – in the Best Regional Colleges category, South division. The university has risen 48 spots over the past three years in that category, which includes almost 325 colleges and universities nationwide that focus mainly on the undergraduate experience. In the Top Public Regional Colleges-South category, Lander moved up one spot to #3. Lander was also named to the Best Colleges for Veterans category, finishing #6 among Regional Colleges in the South. U.S. News and World Report has been ranking schools for 33 years and considers factors such as student graduation and retention rates; assessments of the institution by counselors and peers; faculty and financial resources; student selectivity and alumni giving. Lander also earned accolades in Washington Monthly’s 2017 ranking of schools, released in August, coming in at #43 in the Best Bang for the Buck-Southeast Colleges category. It was also ranked among the publication’s Top 100 baccalaureate colleges in the country. Additionally, this fall, named Lander as one of its Top 5 four-year colleges and universities in South Carolina. The climbing rankings coincided with the university’s record-breaking freshman enrollment for the fall 2017 semester, which saw an astonishing 26 percent increase over last fall. At 768 students, it was the largest freshman cohort in the university’s 145-year history. Academically, it was also the strongest, with average SAT scores 50 points higher than last year’s class and an average GPA of 3.79. Freshman enrollment at Lander has grown 38 percent over the past two years, thanks to initiatives outlined in the university’s strategic plan. “Our freshman recruitment strategy has seen tremendous results over the past two years, and especially this fall,” said Andy Benoit, Lander vice president for Enrollment and Access Management. As a whole, this year’s student body saw a 25 percent increase in enrollment of transfer students from public community and technical colleges, as well as a 96 percent increase in the number of ROTC cadets. Lander’s ROTC program is one of the fastest growing in the state, Benoit said. Lander’s student body is also geographically diverse. Benoit noted that Lander students come from all 46 South Carolina counties and from 25 U.S. states. “There are great things happening at Lander University, and prospective students from all across the state and the country are taking notice,” he said. The enhanced recruitment efforts are paying off globally, as well. This fall, Lander welcomed its second-highest number of international students in the school’s history, with 30 countries and six continents represented.



Witherspoon and Maze Awarded Endowed Professorships n Dr. Kevin Witherspoon, professor of history, and Dr. Timothy

D. Maze, professor of biology, have received two endowed professorships awarded by The Lander Foundation for 2017-18. Witherspoon, recipient of The Lander Foundation Endowed Professorship, has combined his love for sports and a fascination with how events shape the human condition to build a career marked by heralded research and distinguished instruction. Witherspoon’s reputation as a skilled historian was established with the 2008 publication of his first book, Before the Eyes of the World: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games. The book received critical acclaim from leading sports history scholars, and established Witherspoon as the “go-to expert” for virtually all things related to the 1968 Olympic Games. In addition to delivering the keynote address at San Jose State University on the 40th anniversary of the famous Black Power salutes, given by John Carlos and Tommie Smith, Witherspoon was interviewed by global media outlets, including the BBC, and was asked to edit a number of entries pertaining to the 1968 games. Besides being invited to review and contribute to numerous other publications, Witherspoon has completed multiple chapters of his own for peer-reviewed journals about sports happenings and how they parallel American society. He has also

begun work on a new book and given 40 professional conference presentations. Additionally, he authored and served as director of a federal grant program for Greenwood District 50 to improve history instruction among primary and secondary-level American history teachers. Dr. Timothy D. Maze is the recipient of the Monica Martin Stranch Endowed Professorship. Since joining the Lander faculty in 2002, when he began sharing his research interest in general animal physiology, he has been a difference-maker for his students, as well as his peers. Among his numerous accomplishments, Maze coordinated an in-house preparatory seminar series for pre-medical students intending to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), revitalized the Department of Biology’s internship program, and redesigned first-year courses for biology students in order to increase student success and retention. While serving as chair of the Department of Biology, Maze initiated annual retreats at the beginning of each academic year to set short- and long-term goals. He also developed the vision and mission statement for Lander’s General Education program, chaired the Faculty Senate and introduced a proposal to form a Center for Teaching Excellence at Lander.

Welcoming New Leadership for the College of Business n Following a national search by university administration, Dr. Barbara M. Wheeling was selected as the new dean of Lander University’s College of Business. She brings a wealth of experience in academia, including teaching, administration and leading successful accreditation efforts. Wheeling replaces Dr. Bob Barrett, who served as dean from 2012-17 and retired in July after more than 38 years of teaching. Upon retirement, Barrett was recognized by the South Carolina House of Representatives for his service in higher education. “We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Barbara Wheeling join the Lander University family,” said President Richard



Cosentino. “Her track record is filled with one success story after another, as she has leveraged her leadership abilities to advance initiatives.” Among Wheeling’s top priorities is the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). “We need to demonstrate how we are achieving the goals and strategies of the College of Business strategic plan,” she explained. “Investigating possible new programs and courses is also high on my list of priorities.” Prior to her appointment at Lander, Wheeling served as dean of business and professor of accounting for Montana State University Billings. She has also taught at Southern Utah University and Colorado State University Pueblo. She earned her bachelor’s in animal science from North Dakota State University; an M.B.A. from the University of Wyoming; and a doctoral degree in accounting from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Lander Board of Trustees Officers

Linda Dolny, Chair

Cary Corbitt, Vice Chair

Cathy Lee, Secretary

Trustees Elect New Officers, Name First Emeriti

Advocating for Diversity n In the fall, Lander University established a new group tasked with promoting and supporting diversity initiatives across the university. The Diversity Advisory Council was created to advise the president and other university constituency groups on all matters related to diversity, in support of the university’s mission, vision and strategic plan. The 21-member council is composed of student, faculty, staff, alumni and community representatives. Foremost among their objectives is fostering open dialogue, education and training on topics of diversity, such as age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, language, physical appearance, religion, political beliefs and occupation. The group will also provide the administration with an annual report, as well as play a vital role in conflict management and communication. “The purpose of the Diversity Advisory Council is to provide an ear and voice to Lander students, faculty and staff, ensuring that all feel welcomed, heard and valued,” said Crystal Rookard, council chair and Lander general counsel. “Additionally, we believe that students who learn to adapt and thrive in a diverse learning environment will have a significant advantage in tomorrow’s workforce.” Top: Members of Lander’s newly established Diversity Advisory Council discuss ideas during a recent meeting.

n New officers for the Lander University Board of Trustees recently began their two-year terms: Linda Dolny, a Lander trustee since 2008, has been elected chair; Cary Corbitt, who joined the Board in 2014, will serve as vice chair; and Cathy Lee, also a trustee since 2008, is the new secretary. In describing the overall strengths of the board, Dolny emphasized the diversity of its members’ backgrounds. “This is a strong board dedicated to the success of Lander and its students. Different life experiences and talents are represented by the members, which encourages different perspectives needed to support our current administration and meet our responsibilities,” she said. In other trustee news, retired board members Mamie W. Nicholson and George R. Starnes have been named Lander University’s first Trustees Emeriti. The announcement was made by outgoing chairman Jack W. Lawrence, shortly before the board’s June 13 meeting. “In addition to attending meetings and functions, a good trustee will be fully involved in the development of university policies,” said Lawrence. “But, Mamie and George are extraordinary trustees. They have a history of outstanding contribution and exemplary service to higher education, Lander University, the local community and to the State of South Carolina.” Top: George R. Starnes and Mamie W. Nicholson, Lander University’s first Trustees Emeriti.



Lander Group Collects Blankets for Dogs n A blanket drive organized by Lander’s Animal Advocates Club resulted in two donations of blankets to the Greenwood Animal Shelter, helping the dogs there survive some unusually cold January weather with no casualties. Other events planned by club members include a Moe’s Night fundraiser and adoption events at Petsmart and Petco, according to Assistant Professor of Art Asma NazimStarnes, who serves as faculty sponsor for the club, which has approximately 20 members. Animal Advocates Club President Bre Butler, of Bradley, recently made a second donation of blankets to the Greenwood Animal Shelter. Standing, from left, are Greenwood Humane Society Executive Director Karen Pettay; Shelter Manager Angela Hall; Butler, and Humane Educator/ Volunteer Coordinator Hope Kalbach. Kneeling beside “Haze,” a five-year-old terrier mix, is volunteer Cindy Scott.

Students Give Businesses Logo Makeovers n For many college students, real-world experience can be difficult to come

across, but that’s not the case at Lander University. A prime example is the Graphic Design Studio course led by James D. Slagle, associate professor of art and chair of Lander’s Department of Art. For their final exam, Slagle’s students were paired with five local businesses from different industries for a logo makeover project. After meeting in groups of three with the business owners, the students then separated to work on individual concepts. “This was an exhaustive process,” said George Dowell, a graphic design major from Clinton. “I’ve done basic design work in the past for friends but this was much more intense. After meeting with the client and gauging their needs and their business’s identity, we heavily researched the industry and made initial drafts, and showed how it would look in various formatting. We then presented the designs to the clients for critique and more tweaking.” For Dowell, discovering his passion for graphic design at Lander was a game-changer. “I came to Lander as a computer science major, but the mathematics involved became a challenge,” he explained. “However, I still prefer to work digitally, and it was during my first graphic design course that I realized this is what I want to do for a career. I love everything about it – from working with the typography and the illustration, to merging it all with the messaging.” Right: Students in Jim Slagle’s Graphic Design Studio course showcase their artwork for a logo makeover project for five area businesses during a December reception.



Staff Senate Heralded as ‘Milestone’ n Calling it a “significant milestone” in the univer-

sity’s history, Lander President Richard Cosentino announced the establishment of a 15-member staff senate at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year. Serving as advocates for approximately 275 Lander staff members, the non-faculty senators represent all areas of the campus. According to Rodney Jones, senate chair, the group advises Lander’s administration on matters concerning members of the staff. “This is the first time Lander has had a platform for all staff employees to express matters of importance and concern, and it’s a key component in advancing Lander as an employer of choice,” he said. Inaugural members of the Lander Staff Senate were nominated in May and were immediately charged with building the infrastructure of the group. “Using Lander’s mission, vision and values as our building blocks, we identified best practices and developed bylaws, policies and procedures that will guide the Senate as it moves forward.” The senators led informational meetings in the fall to update Lander staff about progress already made. Additional forums will be held each semester. The representative ratio is one senator for every 20 employees, and eligibility to serve is open to full-time employees who are non-faculty with at least one year of service at Lander. Senators serve a two-year term. “We want to address areas such as professional development, employee recognition and other similar issues,” said Jones. “Also, we plan to carry out surveys on a regular basis to discover other concerns and desires from Lander staff.”

Reflecting on Mays’ Legacy n Hundreds of community members, college students, faculty and staff filled the seats of the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium in November to participate in a panel discussion on the life and legacy of Dr. Benjamin E. Mays. The program was co-hosted by the university's Department of History and Philosophy in partnership with the GLEAMNS Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historical Preservation Site. It featured a starstudded panel of historians and scholars, including several of Mays’ students and mentees. The evening kicked off a weekend of celebration honoring the Greenwood native, who is regarded as one of the country’s most influential citizens and leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. He served as president of Atlanta’s Morehouse College from 1940-67, where he was a teacher and mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., among many other noteworthy students. A quiet, almost reverent atmosphere filled the room as the panelists shared their expertise and thoughts on Dr. Mays, including personal experiences. Participating were Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in history and one of the nation’s leading historians; Dr. Zachery Williams, a Greenwood native and associate professor of African American history at the University of Akron; Dr. Otis Moss Jr., pastor, theologian and mentee of Mays; Dr. Lawrence E. Carter, professor of religion and dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College; and Dr. John

Pictured, from left: Dr. Zachery Williams, Dr. John H. Roper Sr., Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, Dr. Lawrence E. Carter and Dr. Otis Moss Jr.

H. Roper Sr., author of The Magnificent Mays and history professor at Coastal Carolina University. Following the panel discussion on Friday, the weekend honoring Mays continued with additional events organized by the GLEAMNS Historical Site, including the unveiling of an 8-foot-tall bronze statue on the grounds of the Mays site and a special worship service at Old Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ninety Six, which was Mays’ childhood church.

Lander Honors Student Leaders n Lander University recognized students in April for scholarship and cocurricular service during the 2016-17 academic year. Hosted by the division of Student Affairs, the annual Student Life Awards is an evening of celebration honoring the achievements of Lander's finest student leaders. Among the students and organizations receiving top honors were Kate Schwartz, of Greenwood, S.C., who earned the President’s Award in recognition of her unique exemplification of the ethic of service to the university community. In addition to serving as a Presidential Ambassador, Schwartz is an Honors College participant and

Kate Schwartz, of Greenwood, S.C., accepts the President's Award from Lander President Richard Cosentino during the Student Life Awards ceremony in April.

member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Corey "Blake" Duncan, of Pendleton, S.C., and Haley Moore, of Charlotte, N.C., were named 2017 Lander Man and Woman of the Year. Honoring Samuel and Laura Lander, the awards recognize undergraduates who demonstrate the true spirit of Lander, encouraging others to pursue excellence in all aspects of their collegiate endeavors. Jessica Grooms, of Greenwood, S.C., received honors as the 2017 Greek Woman of the Year, which is presented to a member who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in Greek life.

Haley Moore, 2017 Lander Woman of the Year, and Corey "Blake" Duncan, 2017 Lander Man of the Year

Jessica Grooms, 2017 Greek Woman of the Year


He Will Live On In Our Hearts


“ here are few people whose influence on Lander University is more far-reaching than that of President Emeritus Larry Jackson.”



Remembering Lander President Emeritus Larry A. Jackson By Megan Price

It was U.S. President John Quincy Adams who penned, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

For those who knew Lander President Emeritus Dr. Larry A. Jackson, those words are a fitting description of the man who would lead the institution through its largest period of growth in both enrollment and infrastructure. Jackson died Nov. 7, 2017, at the age of 92. As Lander’s ninth president, serving from 1973-92, Jackson was the longest-serving president of any four-year public college or university in South Carolina at that time. During his 19 years of service, his energy and vision helped transform then-Lander College from an institution of only 900 students and few facilities into a burgeoning university with 2,700 students and a beautiful, modern campus. “There are few people whose influence on Lander University is more far-reaching than that of Larry Jackson. Many major facilities on our campus today are the result of his vision for growth and his belief in what Lander could become,” said Lander President Richard Cosentino. “When you look at all that was accomplished under his presidency, it’s nearly impossible to imagine where Lander University would be today without Dr. Jackson’s leadership.” On Dec. 9, the university and Greenwood communities paid tribute to President Jackson’s life and legacy at a special memorial service in the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium. Among the friends and colleagues speaking at the service was Joe Berry, past chair of the State College Board of Trustees, which was the governing body for Lander College from 1973-88. At the time Lander entered the state system in 1973, Berry was chair of the Board’s Planning and Development Committee, and he was among those who served on the panel that selected Larry Jackson as Lander’s president.

“I was summoned to Columbia to meet with Larry Jackson, then a candidate to become Lander College’s first president under the state system. It was immediately apparent to me that he had a naturally engaging and effective smile,” Berry said, adding that the meeting was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. “What a man. What a leader. What an educator. What a visionary. What a compassionate, caring person and a believer in service to mankind and to his Lord. It was my privilege to have called Larry Jackson my friend,” he said. Also speaking at the service were Dr. Joel Cleland, Lander professor of history, 1974-2011; Dr. John Ratté, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of faculty, 1974-76; S.C. Senator Floyd Nicholson; and S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. Spearman was a sophomore during Jackson’s first year at Lander. She later became student body president and had the opportunity to work with President Jackson on many student-related issues. She recalled the impact Jackson made upon her, saying, “He set a beautiful example of the things we can accomplish and problems we can solve if we just sit down and talk to each other. That is a lesson that I use now in my daily life.” Another lesson, she said, came after her graduation in 1976, when the president and first lady surprised Spearman as guests at her wedding. “I can still remember the thrill of looking out the window, down the road, and seeing the Jackson family coming to my wedding,” she said. “As an educator, that taught me a very important lesson about the impact we can have on the young people we work with by showing them we care.” “The kindness he showed was sincere,” she continued. “When he talked with you, he was looking you right in the eye – he wasn’t gazing past you to see who was next in line. He was speaking to you because he really loved and cared for you.”

– continued on page 12


A Long and Noteworthy Career A native of Florence, S.C., Larry A. Jackson began his collegiate studies at Wofford College before joining the Army Air Corps, serving as a B-17 navigator during WWII. He flew 26 missions before VE Day, for which he was awarded the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. He finished his bachelor’s at Wofford after the war and returned to Germany to work with the American Friends Service Committee. He earned a Master’s in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1953, followed by a Master’s in Comparative Education from the University of the Pacific in 1972. Jackson’s long and noteworthy career in education took him around the globe. His international experiences were something he valued dearly, said Dr. Joel Cleland, who arrived at Lander not long after Jackson’s tenure began. “Larry loved to travel and live in other countries,” Cleland said. “For him, living abroad was a way to understand other cultures and to gain better perspective on one’s own values.” Jackson served as a pastor and preparatory school headmaster in Santiago, Chile, before becoming provost of Callison College, a part of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. There, he developed a study abroad program in Bangalore, India, and he and his family lived in Bangalore during the second year of the program. In 1970, he became vice president for finance at the University of Evansville in Indiana, where he set up an international study abroad program in Harlaxton, England. When Jackson arrived at Lander in 1973, it was a time of new beginnings for the small college. S.C. Governor John C. West had recently authorized the transfer of Lander College to the State of South Carolina, and Jackson, along with his administration, faculty and trustees, charted a bold new course for the public institution – one that focused on developing academic excellence, enhancing cultural opportunities and modernizing campus facilities. “No matter how creative Lander’s future might be, the newness and renewal that may come to birth will not be the fruits of any one man,” Jackson wrote in 1973. “Whatever good happens here will be the fruits of team work, and the team will consist of the administration, the faculty, the Board of Trustees, the members of the Greenwood legislative delegation, the community of political leaders of this region, Lander alumni, and the citizens of this area and the state.” Over the next two decades, Lander would achieve many significant milestones under Jackson’s dynamic leadership. Student enrollment and faculty tripled in number. Five major buildings were constructed, including the Larry A. Jackson Library. Housing expanded from 300 beds to 925, with five dorms added. New academic offerings were brought online and the Honors International Program was established. With a commitment to providing education for citizens of South Carolina and expanding international opportunities for both students and faculty, Jackson worked to build a nurturing, inclusive community in which all students felt empowered and were provided the tools and resources for success. “Dr. Jackson was well respected and loved by all, both at Lander and in the community. He was always out and about on campus, talking with students and participating in student programs and activities,” said Randy Bouknight, Lander’s vice president for Student Affairs.




resident Larry Jackson was a truly reflective and thoughtful educational leader.”

Bouknight worked closely with Jackson as a member of his administration. “There are so many words that describe him – educator, leader, family, mentor and friend. Dr. Jackson’s work as the first president for Lander as a state college was instrumental in setting the foundation for an excellent university that is respected throughout the state and far beyond.” Oscar Page, who served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs during Jackson’s presidency, told the (Greenwood) Index-Journal, “[Larry Jackson] was a man of great compassion. He was a man who understood and gained great insight into numerous cultures throughout the world, and as a result, he had a good understanding of people in various parts of life.” Maurice Holloway, a 1978 alumnus who has served on Lander’s Board of Trustees since its creation in 1988, said Jackson was dedicated to serving those around him. “President Jackson was a president for all – a true servant leader, whether at home, at work, in the community or internationally.” Holloway said Jackson had a special relationship with the student body and was especially supportive of the university’s minority students. “During his early years as president, it was a very critical time racially, and he brought everybody together,” Holloway said. “He made everybody feel they belonged to a bigger place, and he tried his very best to address the needs of all students in the Lander community.” A longtime champion for equality, Jackson counted civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin E. Mays among his friends, and the college awarded Mays an honorary doctorate at Jackson’s inauguration. Mays returned the tribute in 1981, when the Mays Crossroads was dedicated and Jackson was requested to give the keynote address. Jackson’s own writings on human rights earned him a place in the entourage of college presidents who traveled to the Soviet Union in 1987 to meet Andrei Sakharov, a Pulitzer Prize-winning nuclear physicist and human rights activist. That visit reinforced his beliefs that the common, everyday citizen must be concerned about not only his own rights, but also the rights of his fellow citizens, whatever their country, race or creed. “So interwoven are the threads of human life that no single contact is trivial. In our most casual moments, we entertain angels. Around the humblest of us are the influences which touch eternity.” President and Mrs. Jackson used this anonymous quote in a Christmas greeting in 1977 – and Lander Trustee Anne Walker has kept that parchment hanging in her office for the past 40 years. “For me, this epitomizes who Larry Jackson was – that no contact he ever made was trivial,” said Walker, a 1972 Lander alumna who has served on the Board of Trustees since 1988. “He will live on in our hearts.” Center: President Jackson is pictured with Greenwood native and civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin E. Mays. Bottom: On May 14, 1992, President Jackson was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. From left are Barbara Jackson, Larry Jackson, and Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Nick Theodore, who made the presentation. – continued on page 14


Lander in the Jackson Years • From 1973 to 1992, enrollment grew from 900 students to 2,700. • Faculty increased from 40 to 135. • Five major buildings were constructed: the Larry A. Jackson Library; the Boyce M. Grier Student Center; the Marion P. Carnell Learning Center; the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center; and the John Drummond Physical Education and Athletics Complex, featuring the Finis Horne Arena and the Joe V. Chandler PEES Building. • The S.C. legislature approved funding in 1992 for the 100,000-sq.-ft. science/mathematics facility, which opened in 1996. • Housing expanded, growing from space for 300 students to space for 925. New residence halls included Brookside, Coleman Hall, Williamston, Lide and Thomason. Chipley Hall was also refurbished. • International experiences for faculty and students were encouraged. Faculty received Fulbrights to teach and study in Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, England, India and Scotland. • In 1987, an Honors International Program was established, providing a semester of study in England. • The Lander men's tennis team earned four national team championships, two national singles titles and 12 consecutive District 6 titles.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Lander’s Larry A. Jackson Library, 1975



Committed to Service In 1992, S.C. Governor Carroll Campbell awarded President Jackson the Order of the Palmetto in honor of his 19 years of service to the college and the people of South Carolina. The award, which is the highest honor that the state can bestow upon private citizens, was presented during farewell ceremonies for Dr. Jackson and First Lady Barbara Jackson. The retiring president was also honored with a joint resolution from the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate. At the time of Jackson’s retirement, then-Lander Board of Trustees Chair John E. Johnston Jr. said, “Unlike many people who reach a position of influence, Larry Jackson was never tempted to build a personal empire. He directed the controlled growth of Lander College, tripled enrollment, and added new facilities, new academic programs, new cultural programs and much more. However, without conscious effort, he did build a personal empire – one of respect, friends and memories.” Jackson was very active in civic activities during and following his presidency. He chaired boards for Greenwood County Children's Center and the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics; and he served as president of United Way Greenwood and Greenwood Rotary. His longterm interests in history and education were reflected in his activities with The Caroliniana at USC, S.C. Historical Society, Benjamin E. Mays Museum Board, S.C. Humanities Council, S.C. Alliance for Children, Greenwood Enrichment Foundation and the Society of Values in Higher Education. He was a visiting fellow at Wolfson College at Cambridge University and at Lanzhou University in China. “If you have love and compassion in your heart, you’re going to do things to help other people. That’s what Larry Jackson’s life was about,” said S.C. Sen. Floyd Nicholson, in speaking at Jackson’s memorial service. “Dr. Jackson and Barbara not only made an impact on Lander, they had a vision for the entire Greenwood community. They wanted to do whatever they could to make Greenwood a better place for everyone – to improve and enhance the lives of the people of Greenwood.” President Emeritus Larry Jackson’s legacy at Lander University will live on for generations to come. Each day, hundreds of students, faculty and staff pass through the doors of the campus’s Larry A. Jackson Library. The Jackson Lecture series – endowed in his honor by the Lander Alumni Association and the Jesse and Elizabeth K. Ouzts Foundation – provides a forum for ideas and discussion among students and the people of Greenwood. And each year, Lander students receive financial assistance provided through multiple scholarships established in honor of Larry and Barbara Jackson. “A vital, creative college is a living organism,” Jackson wrote in his final Lander President’s Report in 1992, “forever growing, changing, reaching out, and serving new constituencies.” In addition to his wife of 64 years, Larry Jackson is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“His everyday life taught us by example a comprehensive message that was theology, ethics and cosmology all rolled into one. In one of our last visits, I said to him, ‘Larry, what is God?’, and Larry said, ‘God is love.’ Larry’s serenity, his wit and his resilience were all shot through with this simple teaching. And fortunate are we, his colleagues and friends, to have lived surrounded by that love.” – Dr. John Ratté

“Larry was a truly reflective and thoughtful educational leader. He believed a true liberal arts education taught men and women to examine carefully their lives and community roots; that it prepared them for service and citizenship in a global community that was much larger and more complex than the immediate places from which they came.” – Dr. Joel Cleland “He was a minister, a man of God, but also an educator and an important person who took the time to mentor me, to talk with me, to congratulate and encourage me throughout my life. And I know that I am just one of thousands of young people here at Lander for whom he did the same.” – Molly Spearman

Speaking at President Emeritus Larry Jackson’s memorial service were, from left: S.C. Senator Floyd Nicholson; Joe Berry, past chair of the State College Board of Trustees; S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, Class of 1976; Dr. John Ratté, former vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of faculty; Dr. Joel Cleland, retired professor of history; and the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Beasley, of the Church of the Resurrection Episcopal.

“I can truly say that I’m a better individual, Greenwood is a better community, Lander is a better university, South Carolina is a better state, America is a better nation, and the world is a better place because of the vision of Larry Jackson. He traveled all over the world, and I can tell you, he left an impact everywhere he went.” – Floyd Nicholson

Memorials may be made to The Lander Foundation Scholarship Fund, c/o The Lander Foundation, 320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, S.C. 29649. Gifts may also be made online at


Embracing the Moment By Megan Price

Photos by Deb Nygro, Laura M. Brown ’16, Randy Pace ’01 and Caroline Jenkins



Lander Celebrates the Class of 2017 It takes only a handful of steps to complete the brief walk across Lander University’s commencement stage. However, for the new graduates making that journey to receive their diplomas, those few steps are some of the most significant they will take, representing a symbolic passage into the next phase of their lives.

Spring commencement speaker Kevin Marsh, chairman and CEO of SCANA Corporation.

Fall commencement speaker Jay Hewitt, Ironman triathlete and motivational speaker.

In 2017, Lander conferred bachelor’s and master’s degrees upon more than 460 students during the university’s spring and fall commencement exercises, which took place in Horne Arena. On May 6, graduates, family and friends listened as keynote speaker Kevin Marsh, chairman and chief executive officer of SCANA Corporation, a $9-billion energy-based holding company that brings power and fuel to millions in the Carolinas and Georgia, delivered the commencement address. To the graduates, Marsh emphasized the importance of living a life built upon personal leadership and remaining faithful to deeply held values. “Do not compromise on your values,” he said, “and always align yourself with people and organizations that consistently display high values.” Challenges, he added, will be an inevitable part of life. But, when armed with knowledge and experience, no obstacle is insurmountable. “There is no app you can download for the answers to the problems you’ll face in life, but there’s nothing better for solving a problem than using your brain,” Marsh said. “The only way to go through life is to live it. So live it to the best of your ability. Do it with honor and respect, and you’ll be fine.” On December 16, the university conducted its fall commencement, welcoming another cohort of graduates into the Class of 2017 with inspirational remarks from attorney and Ironman triathlete Jay Hewitt. The only person with Type 1 diabetes to race for the U.S. National Triathlon Team, Hewitt balanced years of grueling physical triathlon training with managing his diabetes and maintaining a demanding full-time law practice in Greenville, S.C. In 2011, he launched a full-time professional speaking career. Drawing on his competitive experiences, Hewitt urged the fall graduates to “embrace this moment.” “You have few moments like this in your life,” he said. “You’ve reached a finish line – one that some of you set many years ago. Look back at what you have overcome to get here. Now, what is your next finish line?” Hewitt shared the values he has found to be crucial in reaching one’s goals, including adopting a healthy lifestyle, finding balance in life, and taking control of one’s own success. When encountering obstacles, he said “be willing to fail but unwilling to quit.” “Success is not what happens to you, but how you respond to adversity.”




Commencement 2017


Spring 2017

University Medalists Continuing a new tradition at Lander University commencement, the graduates achieving a 4.0 Lander GPA were honored with a ceremonial medal, struck with the official university seal. University Medalists for Spring 2017 were, from left: Shelby Fawn Brant, biology; Sarah Elizabeth Snowden, Honors College, biology; Miranda Nicole Cox, Honors College, elementary education; Kaeli Wates Findley, elementary education; and Michael Luther Harris, Honors College, political science.

Bearcat Medalists Each commencement, graduating student athletes are presented with a Bearcat medallion in recognition of their efforts on the playing fields and courts, as well as in the classroom. Spring Class of 2017 Bearcat Medalists were, front row, from left: Isabel Chika Whaley, special education, Bearcat Cheerleaders; Ivanka Mocic, psychology, women’s tennis; Reychel S. Webster, business administration, softball; Kayla Combs, exercise science, women’s soccer; Destiny L. Clyde, mass communication and media studies, softball;

and Emily Marie Marousek, elementary education, softball. Back row, from left: Laurence Harper Grier, mass communication and media studies, baseball; Zachary J. Giczewski, mass communication and media studies, baseball; Jeffrey Reed Gray, mass communication and media studies, baseball; Michal Pospisil, business administration, men’s golf; Paul Vincent Arslanian, interdisciplinary studies, men’s tennis; Jordan James Ainley, business administration, men’s golf; Ian Martin Rosas, exercise science, men’s soccer; Juan Pablo Bolaños, business administration, men’s soccer; and Marc Hofer, physical education, men’s tennis.

U.S. Veteran Honorees Graduates who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces are honored with a special stole bearing stars and stripes, as well as the Lander seal. Pictured, President Richard Cosentino, left, stands with four graduates who were recognized at the Spring 2017 ceremony as newly commissioned army officers, from left: Lawrence Albert Williams, mass communication and media studies; Coleman Edward Merck, political science; Ahmad Rashad Keyes, mass communication and media studies; and Michael Luther Harris, political science.




Commencement 2017


Fall 2017

University Medalists Earning recognition as University Medalists – reserved for graduating seniors who have achieved a 4.0 Lander GPA – at the Fall 2017 ceremony were, from left: Michael Breann Steadman, early childhood education; Katherine Anne Ergle, early childhood education; Lacey Marie Hawkins, early childhood education; and Sydney Glace Horne, elementary education.

Bearcat Medalists Lander University President Richard Cosentino, left, and Athletic Director Brian Reese, right, join with student athlete graduates from the Fall Class of 2017, from left: Harrison Wayne Washington, business administration, men’s basketball; Alexandre Pierre Jacques Springer, business administration, men’s tennis; Yuriko Ono, exercise science, women’s tennis; Kari Sunday Faye George,

business administration, women’s soccer; MaKenzie Marie Smith, physical education, softball; Sara C. Flores, business administration, women’s soccer; Harrison Elliott Williams Duckett, biology, men’s soccer; Jamie David North, psychology, men’s soccer; Caleb Monroe Fenner, business administration, men’s soccer; Halle Drew Dotson, psychology, women’s volleyball; Haley Alexandria Moore, exercise science, Bearcat Dance Team; and Jamie Dean Waite, exercise science, baseball.

U.S. Veteran Honorees Among the students honored at the Fall 2017 ceremony were those who are currently serving or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Pictured with Christopher Giles, left, Lander University Director of Veteran Services, are, from left: Courtney Lynn Jones, sociology; Jay D. Esposito, elementary education; and Chariot Shantelle Wharton, mass communication and media studies.


Like No Other Day By L. C. Leach III

It was a one-of-a-kind experience for Lander University – and likely one that no other Lander class will ever get to experience again. In what may prove to be the school’s all-time biggest event to kick off a new term, more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff and community members filled the university’s front lawn on Aug. 21, 2017, to witness the Great American Solar Eclipse. And for many, the eclipse not only exceeded expectations, it created a day like no other. “It was way better than what I expected,” said junior Ashley Hampton only moments 8-21-2017 after it ended. Freshman Sarah Owen added, “I was just mesmerized – if I live to be 100, or even 200, I doubt I will ever forget it.” Preparations for the event began early, p.m. with crews arriving just after dawn to set up for a campus-wide picnic, with tables and chairs, tents, inflatables, a DJ station and bungee trampolines near the front fountain. After the morning Convocation, crowds began assembling, setting up camp in the shade with chairs or blankets, and sporting umbrellas and hats to battle the unrelenting summer heat. Through it all, everyone kept a pair of solar viewing glasses close by. Around 2:39 p.m., after waiting more than two hours under the summer sun, the excited crowd heard a voice announce, “30 seconds to showtime!” Everyone looked up and watched the sky darken – slowly at first, as if a gigantic invisible umbrella was moving overhead. Then there it was – the moon covering the sun in a way that freshman Macy Sinner called “surreal.” For two minutes and 30




seconds, everyone cheered and clapped as day turned into night, with false twilight and chirping crickets. “It was jaw-dropping,” said senior Chaz Giles, when daylight returned. “You could hear the cicadas come out. It was great that I got to see it.” Sinner added, “Seeing it get dark and then feeling the temperature drop – it was really cool that I got to experience this.” Had Sinner and Giles been alive to see this phenomenon 1,0002,500 years ago, they might have thought the sun was about to vanish. “Ancient peoples thought eclipses were bad omens,” said Dr. Bob McLaren, special guest speaker at Lander’s morning Convocation and associate director of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. “The ancient Chinese, for instance, thought a dragon was coming to eat the sun.” And world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking once explained in a Grand Design documentary how the Vikings blamed a sky god called Skoll for eclipses, responding in “the only way that made sense to them.” “They tried to scare away Skoll (by shouting him down from the sun),” Hawking said. “The Vikings believed their actions caused the sun to return.” But for the 2017 eclipse, Lander physics instructor Dr. Michelle Deady wished she could have shouted something at the sky to keep the moon over the sun for the rest of the day. “I wish it could have lasted longer – it was so amazing,” Deady said. – continued on page 24

Lander sophomore Mickayla Crumley watches in awe as the moon moves to cover the sun just moments before the 2017 solar eclipse. – photo by Deb Nygro

Celebrating a Once-in-a-Lifetime

Cosmic Spectacle


Citizen CATE

Something else that made Lander’s Eclipse Day amazing was the university’s participation in a national research project known as Citizen CATE – the Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse experiment.

Organized by Dr. Matt Penn, associate astronomer with the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., Citizen CATE recruited hundreds of scientists, students and volunteers at 68 selected sites to track the sun along the coastto-coast path of totality (total darkness), with identical telescopes, software and instrument packages. The purpose was to put together images from all the sites to make a continuous 90-minute movie of the sun’s solar corona, to be used nationally for future scientific study. Thanks to the efforts of Lander’s IT Technical Services manager Kelly Hughes, Lander University was one of five sites in South Carolina chosen as an official Citizen CATE observation point.

“I read about the project and contacted the Tucson Observatory when they were looking for sites in the path of totality,” Hughes said. “There was a big gap between Clemson and USC in Columbia, and Lander was in the perfect spot.” Lander’s three-member observation team included Hughes, Dr. Michelle Deady and Dr. David Slimmer, professor of physics and dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. For the project, they received a set of observation/photography equipment, including a solar telescope and a CCD camera – a charge-coupled device that can convert light into electrons and deliver high-quality image data. Together, the team recorded 800-1,000 eclipse images from the Lander plaza. Even though they were there for the purposes of science, Deady, Slimmer and Hughes were as astounded by the spectacle as anyone on the lawn. “I had never seen a solar eclipse before,” Hughes said, “and our involvement with Citizen CATE was worth every bit of effort we put into it and more.” After the eclipse data is ready, Dr. Penn expects to get Lander involved a second time. Students will be able to utilize the CATE equipment for future night-time projects. “Some possibilities include measuring the brightness of variable stars and comets, measuring linear polarization of light and rapid cadence (flow) of solar observation,” he said. And, Slimmer added, “I hope that going forward, project CATE invokes a lot more student interest in science here at Lander.”

People – and More People Lander’s 1,000+ spectators and their eclipse experience, however, represented only a pinpoint of the total viewing interest.

From left: Lander’s Citizen CATE team of Dr. Michelle Deady, Dr. David Slimmer and IT Technical Services manager Kelly Hughes stand with a solar telescope and camera they used to record 800-1,000 images of the solar eclipse. – photo by Damian Dominguez, Greenwood Index-Journal In this image captured by Lander’s Citizen CATE team, solar particles emitted in band wavelengths from the sun’s corona produce an effect similar to an aurora. – contributed



Experts from both NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Washington, D.C., estimated that the 2017 solar eclipse was seen by 15-25 million people in the path of totality, and by a few hundred million more in the regions where the partial eclipse occurred. “The last time a total solar eclipse crossed the U.S. coast to coast was in June 1918,” said Dr. Rick Fienberg, AAS press officer. “But unlike that one, which was witnessed by relatively few people, this one was likely the most-viewed solar eclipse in history.” Spectators came to areas all along the eclipse path, such as Rickreall, Ore.; Appendicitis Hill, Idaho; Fearsville, Kent.; Grand Island, Neb.; Hanging Limb, Tenn.; and numerous places in South Carolina. The eclipse swept a 2,400-mile coast-to-coast path across 14 states in about 90 minutes, from just outside its entry at Government Point, Ore., around 10:15 a.m. PST, to its ending just beyond McClellanville, S.C. All across South Carolina, hotels were either sold out or nearly sold out. “Every South Carolina hotel in the path of totality had 90-100 percent occupancy for eclipse weekend,” said Dawn Dawson-

Students, faculty and the Bearcat mascot brace with excitement at the coming solar eclipse. – photo by Deb Nygro

House, communications director with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) in Columbia. “The state fairgrounds in Columbia had 14,000 people just on the day of the eclipse.” Based on an SCPRT survey, South Carolina received approximately 1.6 million eclipse visitors, generating $269 million in tourism money. “The eclipse was the largest single state tourist event on record,” Dawson-House said. In Greenwood, the numbers were similarly impressive, as the economic impact to both the city and the county totaled $1.35 million over only three days. “Every hotel room in Greenwood County – more than 600 total – was occupied on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the eclipse,” said Kelly McWhorter, executive director of the Greenwood Regional Tourism and Visitors Bureau. She added that people came from more than 30 U.S. states, as well as from Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua and Sweden. “Lander had a huge part in helping us plan for the eclipse,” she said. “Kelly Hughes approached me and we put together a steering committee to help anyone who was hosting an eclipse viewing venue, and she did some publicity videos for us and donated some eclipse glasses. It was a great collaboration.”

One of a Kind? After the 2017 Lander Eclipse Day was over, people lingered,

shared memories and took pictures with friends. The only joyful regret anyone seemed to have was that it didn’t last longer. The day may also prove to be memorable for a much bigger reason. If Hughes, Sinner, Giles and Owen were to live another 600 years, they would be able to witness the next three Lander total solar eclipses: in May 2078, October 2153 and April 2591 – as projected by NASA’s World Atlas of Solar Eclipse Paths. But none of those eclipses will coincide with the launching of a new school year like the one from Aug. 21, 2017. That kind of experience may never happen again for any other Lander class – at least not until sometime after the year 3000. “I couldn’t invent a better way to start a new school year,” said Lander University President Richard Cosentino. “I’m proud that we were a prime viewing spot for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and everyone here who witnessed it will remember and cherish it all of their lives.”


Ready to Step into the Classroom Graduates of Signature Program Continue Long Tradition of Excellence By Jeff Lagrone, Photos by Laura M. Brown ’16

S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, left, and Laurens County School District 55 Superintendent Dr. Stephen Peters, right, congratulate Gray Court-Owings Elementary & Middle School art teacher Marcia Womble after announcing her as a finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year. Spearman and Womble are graduates of Lander’s teacher education program. – contributed photo



Lander’s Teacher Education program is on a roll. Last March, Marcia Womble, a 1995 graduate of the program, learned that she was a finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year. Breaking the news to Womble, an art teacher at Gray Court-Owings Elementary & Middle School in Laurens, was State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, herself a 1976 graduate of the program. For at least five years, every student graduating from the program has found a teaching job. Many of the 55 who graduated in spring of 2017 had multiple job offers, including Katie Carroll, a special education major from Gray Court, who had six. In October, a production crew for the “Informed” television series was in Greenwood, filming a documentary on Lander’s Montessori program, one of a handful of programs in the U.S. to offer a master’s degree leading to national certification by the American Montessori Society. The segment will air on ETV this year to a national audience. “There are a lot of wonderful things happening in the Department of Teacher Education right now,” said Dr. Judith Neufeld, professor of education and dean of the College of Education. According to Lecturer of Education Rebecca Fernandez, faculty members interviewed 132 prospective students last spring. “I think that speaks well of our program,” Fernandez said, adding that students must also pass PRAXIS Core and have a grade point average of at least 2.75 before being admitted. – continued on page 28

“Having the opportunity to step into the classroom early was most beneficial.” Alumni Spotlight:

Spring 2017 graduate Kristain Price said that being able to observe a functioning classroom early in her college career helped prepare her for having a classroom of her own. “It helped me visualize how I would operate in my classroom by allowing me to witness what worked, and what didn’t, in a live setting,” she said. Price, who teaches history at Westside High School in Anderson, S.C., credited Associate Professor of History and Social Studies Secondary Education Coordinator Dr. Ryan Floyd with assisting her during her time at Lander. “Not only is he a brilliant historian, he is a very insightful educator. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor or supporter,” she said.


“It’s a seamless transition.”

Lander education graduate and Hickory Tavern Elementary School resource teacher Katie Carroll, pictured this page, works with students in her classroom.

One magnet for new students is Lander’s participation in the South Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. Associate Professor of Education Dr. Lee Vartanian, who directs the program, said, “It gets some of the best and the brightest into the profession and keeps them there.” Fellows agree to teach a year in South Carolina public schools for every year they received the scholarship, worth $6,000 a year, but the competition is keen. Only 200 of the 900 high school seniors who apply statewide each year are chosen, with Lander getting 16 to 18 of them. Vartanian said that more fellows are listing Lander as their first choice. “More and more people know about what we do and are eager to be a part of the program,” he said. Education majors at Lander find out quickly whether they’ve got what it takes to teach. Second-semester freshmen are required to spend a minimum of 25 hours in a classroom, working one-on-one with students and assisting the teacher. They continue to have contact with a school every semester they’re in the program. First-year teachers in South Carolina prove their mettle to the school districts that hired them by submitting a teacher work sample (TWS), a detailed discussion of a unit of instruction they designed, taught and graded. For many, the TWS is a major hurdle. Lander reduces the stress associated with the requirement by making the submission of work samples part of the curriculum. The goal of education faculty members is to prepare students so well for success in their chosen field that “it’s a seamless transition,” Fernandez said.

“Thank you to the faculty for equipping me for all the future holds.”



“Lander's professors taught us to be great teachers by showing us how to make lessons interesting and relevant to all students.” One of the strengths of the program, which is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), is being small enough that faculty members are able to know students personally. Fernandez admitted to “mothering them somewhat.” She added, however, that “we have standards, and we want them to work hard and meet those standards.” When students aren’t meeting expectations, for whatever reason, faculty members will “track them down and attempt to have a conversation with them. If there’s a problem at school or at home, we attempt to work out a solution,” Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Chris Sacerdote said. Faculty members are also interested in how students perform after they graduate and start work. “We tell them all the time, ‘When you go out there, you have a big ‘L’ on you, and that does not stand for Loser; it stands for Lander, and you have to think about that – that you represent all of us,’” Sacerdote said. The number of Lander graduates teaching at Greenwood District 50's Lakeview Elementary suggests they’re representing Lander well. Principal Dr. Molly Smith said that 10-15 of her 39 traditional classroom teachers are Lander graduates, as are all six of her Montessori teachers. – continued on page 30

Melissa Moore, pictured this page, a 2016 Lander graduate, teaches third grade at Woodfields Elementary School in Greenwood.


“Graduates leave with the necessary tools to effectively teach all across our state.”

Marvaye Payton, pictured, a 2015 graduate of Lander’s Call Me MISTER program, received a teaching assignment at Goodwin Elementary School in North Charleston. His efforts in the classroom have made a significant impact on his students’ test scores. – photo by Mike Blackwell



The thing that stands out about her Lander teachers, Smith said, is their comfort level. She said the university is “not going to have an education graduate who’s not ready to step into the classroom.” If not for the Montessori program at Lander, she added, the Montessori program at Lakeview would not exist. “There’s no way we could have a program without access to those student teachers.” Smith said that Sacerdote, a Montessori specialist, and Associate Professor of Education Barbara Ervin, who directs Lander’s Montessori program, have provided valuable support. “They know the background and research behind everything that we’re doing. They’ll come in and model for our teachers, and we’ve really worked well together,” she said. Lakeview and other area schools will always be popular destinations for Lander graduates, but a wider range of schools is coming into play. “We’re starting to see our students venture further than the Greenwood-Ninety Six-Abbeville area, and it’s been very good for us, because they’re high-quality students,” Associate Professor of Education and Department Chair Dr. Cynthia Gardner said. One example is Marvaye Payton, a 2015 graduate of Lander’s Call Me MISTER program, who teaches at Goodwin Elementary in North Charleston. By individualizing instruction according to the needs of his students, Payton has been able to improve their test scores so much, according to Fernandez, that “district personnel have been through his classroom to observe.” Patrick Hawthorne, another graduate of the MISTER program, an acronym for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models, has enjoyed similar success while serving as a special education teacher at Saluda Trail Middle School in Rock Hill, S.C. Hawthorne was nominated for Rookie Teacher of the Year and invited to speak at last year’s New Teacher Orientation. “That was an honor and a privilege,” he said. He credited Lander’s education faculty, especially Associate Professor of Education Dr. Tracy Garrett and retired Professor of Education Dr. Dava O’Connor, with giving him the tools he needed to succeed. More recent graduates like Katie Carroll, a resource teacher at Hickory Tavern Elementary, sounded a similar note. “I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the faculty for equipping me for all the future holds,” she said. “The professors, from day one, made sure we knew that they wanted us to succeed in the program as much as we wanted it for ourselves. They taught us to be great teachers by showing us how to make lessons interesting and relevant to all students,” said Melissa Moore, a 2016 graduate who teaches third grade at Woodfields Elementary. Molly Spearman, who describes herself as “a proud product of the College of Education,” said the skills she learned at Lander helped prepare her for her career as a music teacher, administrator and state superintendent of education. She said that teacher education programs like Lander’s “ensure that the teaching profession has a solid foundation and that graduates leave with the necessary tools to effectively teach all across our state.” Teacher education programs offering a broad slate of courses with a pedagogical emphasis are a relatively recent development. The first mention of Lander’s is found in its March 1945 “bulletin,” or catalog, as it would be called today. But Lander has been training teachers since long before that. In fact, teacher education can rightly be called Lander’s first signature program. According to Vartanian, it remains one of the things that Lander does best. “We all feel confident that if you have made it through our program, and you bear the name of a Lander teacher education graduate, that you represent excellence,” he said.

“I owe my career to the education department at Lander University. It prepared me to be an effective educator, and for that I am forever grateful.” Alumni Spotlight:

Patrick Hawthorne, one of the first graduates of Lander’s Call Me MISTER program, was participating in a photo shoot in April of 2015 when he received a call from the principal of Saluda Trail Middle School, in Rock Hill, with an offer for a job as a special education teacher. The moment was captured on camera, pictured on the right, and Hawthorne quickly accepted the offer. – contributed photos


Learning the Ropes

Bearcat Camp Results in Immediate Success By Eric Lawson, Photos by Deb Nygro

During the student recruitment process, orientation is virtually the last opportunity a college or university has to influence a student’s decision on whether or not to enroll. That’s according to Andy Benoit, vice president for Enrollment and Access Management at Lander University. Because orientation is a relatively short two-day event, Benoit and Shelby Dominick Reed, Lander’s Director of Orientation Programs, used their creativity to expand this window of opportunity. The result of their ingenuity led to the establishment of Bearcat Camp – an experiential learning opportunity that takes place just prior to the start of the fall semester. The inaugural Bearcat Camp was held before the kickoff of the 2017-18 academic year, and the results speak for themselves. “We began the year with the largest and academically strongest freshman class we’ve ever had,” said Benoit. The numbers back up Benoit’s statement. Lander began the academic year with a 26-percent increase in freshman enrollment over last fall – in fact, it was the university’s largest-ever freshman class, with 768 in the cohort. The class also broke records academically, with an increase of more than 50 points in average SAT scores and a GPA of 3.79. Freshman enrollment has grown 38 percent over the past two years at Lander. Reed says the purpose of Bearcat Camp is to give participants a taste of living in Greenwood, as well as provide opportunities to develop friendships and engage in the community through service projects – a hallmark of the overall Lander experience. 32


Adventure and Immersion

In addition to a painting session at the Arts Center in the historic Federal Building, the “Adventure & Emerald City Immersion” session of Bearcat Camp included a visit to the Railroad Historical Center and a private movie screening at the Greenwood Community Theatre. – contributed photo

Attendees of the 2017 Bearcat Camp had the opportunity to choose between two separate sessions: “Adventure & Emerald City Immersion” and “Lander Serves.” “The ‘Adventure & Emerald City Immersion’ session included a ropes course and volleyball at Lake Greenwood; an exclusive ‘paint-and-pour’ session at the Arts Center in the historic Federal Building; a visit to the Railroad Historical Center, and a private movie screening at the Greenwood Community Theatre,” explained Reed. For the “Lander Serves” session, participants volunteered at Rice Elementary School, where they assisted teachers in preparing for classes, both inside and outdoors in a garden classroom. The success of Bearcat Camp is a contributing factor to Lander enjoying the enviable position of signing a large and talented freshman class, in contrast to other colleges and universities that are experiencing a decline in enrollment in recent years. The process itself is a delicate one, being carefully navigated by Benoit and the Enrollment Management team. “For the first time, each South Carolina county is represented in our freshman class,” he said, “and while we have recruited well in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, we’ve been aggressive in recruiting students from Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Alabama.” Additionally, 25 U.S. states are represented, along with 30 countries and six continents, and Lander saw its second-highestever international student enrollment this fall. “The key is identifying academically strong students who also exhibit the character that tells us, in addition to coming to Lander, they’ll stay, work hard and graduate,” Benoit said. “Even though we’re definitely growing and all indicators are pointing up, we need to scale our growth so that we can still provide individual attention to our students throughout their time at Lander.”


Gina Dunn: 2017 Distinguished Professor

Taking the Fear Out of Math By L. C. Leach III

Every August, Lander University math professor Gina Dunn enters her classroom ready for a challenge: to teach math to students who cringe at the mere mention of 2 + 2. But by the time autumn arrives, glum expressions have been replaced by raised eyebrows and an almost happy spirit of tackling quadratic equations, exponential and logarithmic functions, mathematics of finance, and elementary math for students wanting to become gradeschool teachers. Dunn’s miraculous turnaround in her students’ attitudes comes not from endlessly explaining complicated problems or concepts, but by turning their mutual fear of mathematics into something akin to joy. “In spite of how common math anxiety is among students, Gina’s students seem to consistently adore her,” said Dr. Lillian Craton, associate professor of English and director of Lander’s Honors College. “Her warmth and approachability make math itself less intimidating.” For example, when Brionah Pride signed up in the fall of 2016 for Dunn’s course Mathematics for Elementary Teachers, she was already counting the days when she would forever be free and clear of her ongoing “frustration with math.” “I just wanted to get it over with because it was a school requirement,” said Pride, a senior early childhood education major. However, with every class, Pride saw more and more math language adding up and sensed her frustration vanishing in ways she had never thought possible.

“Things that I never understood about math suddenly made sense to me because of how Professor Dunn taught them,” she said. “My fear of math hasn’t completely gone away, but her classes definitely helped me grow into thinking more critically and helped prepare me to teach math to young students after I graduate.” Dunn’s methods and outcomes led to her being named Lander’s 2017 Distinguished Professor. She was nominated for the award by the Department of Mathematics and Computing and selected by students as one of the at-large nominees. “It’s an amazing feeling when colleagues publicly recognize your classroom performance and your overall contribution to the Lander and Greenwood communities,” said Dunn, who began teaching at Lander in 2002. “Each one of my students is important to me, and I always try to let them know that school is just the beginning of learning.” When asked what one constant she employs for every class, regardless of the size or level, Dunn smiled and said it is “reading eyebrows.” “My favorite part of teaching is when a furrowed brow relaxes and lifts in that ‘ah-ha’ moment,” she said. “So many students come to me with a hatred of math because they just don’t ‘get it.’ It is my job to present math in a way that meets their needs as individual learners.” And in the coming year, as the next group of non-math majors agonize over matrix solutions, linear programming and other forms of math they view as frustrating requirements, Dunn will be ready to see eyebrows furrow and fears disappear – fraction by quantum. “For me, teaching is fun,” she said. “I’m a teacher because that is what I was called to do, and it’s a great feeling to help students in any major discover that they can learn math in all disciplines of study.”

Lander 2017 Distinguished Professor Gina Dunn explains algebraic functions to sophomore Dailyn McKinney, a health care management major.




Lisa McDonald: Moore Award for Excellence In General Education Teaching

Diana Delach: Young Faculty Scholar Award

Making Sense of the Science

Thinking Outside the Systems

Each year in her classrooms, Lander University biology instructor Lisa McDonald performs some real-life magic: transforming uncertain, non-science majors into A-level students. By mid-autumn, their thinly veiled stressing and apprehension have turned into excitement for microorganisms, cell division, genetics and lab experiments of all kinds. “In high school, I struggled to grasp both chemistry and biology,” said senior business major Joseph Bender. “But Professor McDonald can break down large concepts and complex material in ways nonbiology majors can understand.” Hannah Leister, a junior business major, added that her apprehension of studying prokaryotes, protists and phylogenetics – plus a three-hour lab each week – carried an unexpected treat. “Prior to Lander, I did not know much about the theory of evolution,” Leister said. “But I enjoyed learning about biology from Professor McDonald so much that I decided to take two more of her classes this past semester.” McDonald is the 2017 recipient of the Moore Award for Excellence in General Education Teaching. “She received more student nominations than any other faculty member,” said Dr. Lillian Craton, associate professor of English and director of the Honors College, “and she’s helped redesign our general education biology sequence to make the courses flow better for students.” And while only in her third year at Lander, McDonald spent 15 years perfecting her craft at Central Michigan University, the University of Tennessee and Greenville Technical College in Greenville, S.C. In every class, regardless of her students’ interests, strengths or backgrounds, McDonald said she stresses “the importance of connections.” “I try to make them see the connections we have,” she said, “within biological systems, with other people, between biology courses and their other courses, and connections between humans and the natural world in which we live.”

For students in assistant professor of environmental chemistry Diana Delach's science classrooms, terms like atmospheric deposition, inorganic contaminant exposure, persistent organic pollutants and polychlorinated biphenyls pose no real problem for them. With the science comes an approach to how they will train their minds over their next four years to think. It's what Delach calls systems thinking – and along with grasping the science, she tries to get her students to see that their particular field of study, their individual lives and destinies are only going to be part of a whole system that they will have to help look after. It was the main reason junior biology major Ravon House signed up for three of Delach's chemistry classes. "Environmental chemistry was my favorite," House said. "It combines and takes perspectives from multiple disciplines – biology, chemistry and environmental science – to assess theoretical situations and the impacts on human and environmental health." Sierra Harrison added that Delach helped her overcome an invisible barrier to understanding chemical concepts. "I was often too insecure to come to teachers for help because I was afraid I was the only one that didn’t understand," Harrison said. "Dr. Delach helped me become more comfortable with speaking up about something." Delach's approach led to her winning the 2017 Young Faculty Scholarship award, in only her fourth year at Lander. Her current research focuses on inorganic contaminant exposure in drinking water, persistent organic pollutant profiles of Lake Greenwood and environmental chemistry pedagogy. But, along with the research and teaching, Delach remains committed to steering her students toward "balanced lives.” "It’s important for them to consider more than just the immediate effect of a given action,” she said, “because a small change to one aspect of a system can have repercussions on other elements of the system."



Rachel Marrah: Committed to Nursing

If you’re thinking of becoming a nurse but want to know what’s in store first, then talk a few minutes with Lander junior Rachel Marrah about her nursing experience this past summer. Marrah, an Honors College student, spent six weeks of her 2017 summer working a medical internship in Cape Coast, Ghana, a nation on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. Far from treating the experience as just a fun overseas trip, Marrah took everything that was thrown at her and came away wanting to be a nurse more than ever before. “Part of my going to Ghana was to extend my knowledge in the nursing field,” Marrah said. “It also turned out that I learned more about myself in this time.” Two days a week, she treated people in a local leper camp because “they did not have health insurance or money to go to the hospital.” The camp housed individuals battling leprosy and recovering patients with complications from the disease. Marrah saw about 30 patients a day, cleaning wounds, checking vital signs and giving medications. “Wounds at the camp were like none I have ever seen before,” she said. “Shoes there are hard to come by – and injuries ranged from maggots in wounds to toes falling off.”



By L. C. Leach III

In addition, Marrah worked three days a week in a children’s hospital with other nurses and volunteers delivering babies, assisting in caesarean sections and other surgeries. “I had a really hard time in the children’s hospital because of the malaria, HIV, and burns,” Marrah said. “Pain medications aren’t easily accessed so it is even harder on the kids.” After 12-hour night shifts that saw Marrah participating in multiple births and surgeries, handling critical care patients when the electricity went out, working without all necessary supplies and pain medications, and being in an environment where she was the only American, Marrah emerged somewhat scathed but with more resolve than ever to become a nurse. “There were parts of this experience that were really terrifying – but they were also pretty wonderful, too,” Marrah said. “And it helped me figure out more about myself in ways I otherwise would have never thought of.” Lander nursing student Rachel Marrah holds a small patient who “had a big effect on my life.” Marrah spent six weeks in the summer of 2017 in Cape Coast, Ghana, taking care of children and adults as part of a nursing internship. – contributed photo


Becca Watford: Pioneering a Path for History Students

By L. C. Leach III

It’s only a matter of time before Greenwood-native Becca Watford calls Washington, D.C., her permanent home. The Lander senior recently finished a dream internship at the National Archives – the first-ever Lander student to do so. But when it ended in December 2017, her bosses told her they weren’t letting her go. “And we didn’t,” said Miriam Kleiman, the Archives’ program director for Public Affairs. “This past January, Becca became our first-ever ‘long distance’ intern.” This second internship is supposed to end in June, but Watford is seriously considering making the Archives her oneand-only career path. “I’m hoping to get a permanent job there as an archivist after I graduate Lander in August 2018,” said Watford, a history major. “If I cannot do that immediately, I will go to graduate school.” Despite being only 20, Watford’s path to the Archives was long in the making. She grew up with a knack for all things historical – be it pre-Columbus America, ancient Greek and Egyptian societies, or just learning about her own family’s past. After becoming a member of Lander’s Honors College, she was encouraged to study abroad or do an internship. “So I did some research on interning opportunities with the Archives and applied to their History Office in mid-June 2017.” Within a few weeks, Watford was accepted. “That was a very big deal,” said Dr. Lillian Craton, associate professor of English and director of Lander’s Honors College. “For Becca to work there puts her alongside – and learning from – some of the most important historians and writers in the nation.” Lander Professor of History Dr. Robert Figueira, who has taught Watford in four courses, added that her achievement will “greatly help Lander with future student-placements of this kind.” “Becca is a wonderful ambassador who makes the university, its history faculty, and its history majors look very good,” Figueira said. When asked about her biggest challenge to working in D.C., Watford said, “Trying to learn the city’s Metro system.” “But,” she added, “I think my most valuable experience has been to learn how a history degree can come in handy in new ways.” Lander University senior Becca Watford, left, stands with Miriam Kleiman at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Kleiman is program director for Public Affairs with the Archives. – contributed photo


Life@Lander Photos by Deb Nygro, Laura Brown, Eric Lawson and Megan Price

Students began arriving on campus the morning of August 14 during Lander's annual Freshman Move-In Day. With classes scheduled to start just days later, everyone quickly immersed themselves into the fun activities of Welcome Week. Some undergrads found their niche in Greek Life, while others discovered groups sharing similar interests and teams formed to compete on the intramural sports field. The academic school year kicked off with a rare total solar eclipse shadowing the skies above Bearcat Country; and a fresh eatery, Twisted Taco, now offers up tasty Mexican dishes in the Grier Student Center. "Eat 'n Play" and International Week gave students a chance to experience different cultures and also enjoy a little down-time between their studies. A Career Fair in October brought employers to meet with job seekers, and Lander's annual Family Day invited loved ones to visit campus. Glowing runners followed a 5k path during the popular Moonshine Fun Run and seniors ordered their caps and gowns at the Grad Gala. We honored those who serve on Veterans Day, crowned a new Miss Lander and collected toys for needy children in November. The Holiday Tree Lighting delighted everyone with horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, Christmas carolers, gingerbread house decorating and the official tree lighting on Chipley Lawn. A late-night breakfast helped ease the stress of Final Exam Week, art students sold their classroom projects during a ceramic sale, and graduates got their diplomas during the Commencement Ceremony on December 16. A new shuttle system, Lander Line, began transporting students to Uptown Greenwood and nearby shopping outlets, and a brief winter storm gave everyone a chance to play in the snow.




Bearcat Sports Roundup

Men’s Soccer Makes Run Toward National Championship The No. 17-ranked and third-seeded Lander men's soccer team capped off an impressive 2017 season with a Peach Belt Conference tournament title and a run toward a national championship, but the Bearcats were stopped by fourth-seeded Young Harris, 3-2, in double-overtime in the Southeast Regional championship match hosted by Lynn University. The Bearcats finished the season with a 13-4-3 record, a second-consecutive PBC regular-season championship, and the fifth PBC tournament title in program history – the most of any team currently in the league. They advanced to the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship for the first time in four years. Lander won the Southeast Regional title in 2001 and 2005.

Jordan Skelton

Sam Lofts

Several Bearcats received post-season accolades for their efforts on the field and in the classroom. Junior defender Jordan Skelton and senior forward Sam Lofts were both named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II Men's Scholar All-South Region Team. Skelton was also tabbed as a Men's

Scholar All-American, United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American and a D2CCA Third-Team All-American. The Bearcat captain tallied 19 points on eight goals and three assists for Lander, while maintaining a 3.59 grade point average. Meanwhile, Lofts led the Bearcats with 21 points on eight goals and five assists. The forward was a Second Team All-Peach Belt Conference selection and sported a 3.40 grade point average during the season. Freshman midfielder Thibault Chretien, co-Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, was selected to the All-Southeast Region first team and earned second- team all-Southeast Region honors from the D2CCA.

Men’s Tennis Dominates on Home Court The 2017 Lander men’s tennis team continued one of the region’s most impressive runs as the Bearcats returned to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th consecutive season. Lander has now appeared in 24 of 25 NCAA Tournaments since joining the Division II ranks in 1992-93. The Bearcats marched to an 18-6 overall record, earning at least 16 wins for the eighth-straight year and the 18th time in program history, while advancing to the NCAA Southeast Regional championship match. Lander climbed as high as No. 4 in the national polls and ended the season as the 9th-ranked team in the nation. After a 2-2 start to the season, which included losses at No. 2 Saint Leo and NAIA perennial power Georgia Gwinnett, the Bearcats rattled off a 13-match winning streak which saw them outscore their opponents 96-21. Lander wrapped up the



regular season by earning the No. 3 seed in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and advanced to the semifinals. As the three-seed in the NCAA Southeast Regional, the Bearcats defeated USC Aiken, 5-3, to advance to the regional final against second-seeded Armstrong State. Down 4-0, the Bearcats reeled off three consecutive victories before the Pirates sealed the match to end Lander’s season at 18-6. Lander continued its domination of PBC opponents at home, extending their regular-season PBC win streak at the Joe Cabri Tennis Center to 19 consecutive matches. Dating back to 2011, the Bearcats have won 56 of their last 62 matches played in Greenwood. The Bearcats placed four players on the All-Peach Belt Conference team. Senior Marc Hofer and sophomore Omar El-Moslemany were named to the first team

Marc Hofer

Omar El-Moslemany

as a doubles team. The duo combined to go 10-8 on the season at the No. 1 doubles spot. Sophomore Eirik Groner, who ended the season as the 42nd-ranked Division II player in the nation according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, completed an unbeaten regular season in singles play, going 18-0 and winning 13 matches at the No. 3 spot. Junior David Korsten rounded out Lander’s quartet of all-PBC performers, going 10-6 in singles play and teaming up with Groner for a 13-5 mark in doubles competition.

Lander Golf Sees Changing of the Guard Lander golf head coach Roger "Chipper" Bagwell announced in September that he would retire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, after spending 13 seasons as the men’s golf head coach and 40 years on the Lander campus as a student, administrator and coach. The 1973 Lander graduate is a four-time Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year and led the Bearcats to six NCAA Tournaments and the national championships in 2007, after starting the men's golf program in 2005. As the men's head coach, Bagwell coached a Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year and four PBC Freshmen of the Year. Bagwell won the PBC Championship in 2013 as the women's golf head coach in just the program's second year of existence. He led the Lander men to the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive seasons, from 2007-10, and back-toback trips in 2015 and 2016. He was named PBC Coach of the Year four times – first in 2009, with the men’s program, Coach Chipper Bagwell and then again in 2013 with the women’s program. In 2015, he earned the honor for both programs. "I have been privileged to be able to coach so many studentathletes," said Bagwell. “I've enjoyed many highs and a few lows, but, at the end of the day, Lander University has been home for me." Bagwell's coaching career at Lander began in 1977, when he was hired as the women's basketball coach. In his final year as the women's coach in 1980-81, Lander was ranked as high as No. 3 in the national polls. He later served as an assistant coach for the men's basketball team under Finis Horne for eight seasons, and was named the head coach in 1997. The 1998-99 men’s team won the PBC regular-season title and became the first PBC team ever to advance to the Elite Eight. Bagwell stepped down as the men's basketball head coach in 2004, compiling a 159-126 overall record in 11 years as head coach for the men's and women's programs.

"I appreciate all of the support from the Lander family, the Greenwood community and all the players that I have coached," Bagwell said. "I have really been blessed to have a career here at Lander University." In December, the university announced that 1984 Lander alum Mark Riddle would follow Bagwell as head coach of the men’s and women’s golf programs. A member of the Athletic Department Board for two decades, Riddle served as an assistant coach for the Emerald High School boys and girls golf programs from 2015-16. A television industry veteran, Riddle is the creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning children's shows “Dooley and Pals” and “BJ's Teddy Bear Club and Bible Stories.” He also served as executive producer of the 2016 musical drama “Divine Will.” He started Little Heart Entertainment in 2002 and has served as the company's Coach Mark Riddle president for the past 16 years. "Besides a very well-rounded golf experience, Mark brings a unique skill set that I know will enhance our student-athlete experience and help prepare our student-athletes for success on and off the course,” said Brian Reese, Lander's athletic director. “Mark has very solid ties and connections to the golf community in Greenwood and throughout the state of South Carolina. I am positive that he will continue to foster the success of our golf programs." Riddle said he was excited about the opportunity to coach Lander’s golf program. "Coach Chipper Bagwell has done a great job at Lander and I want to continue that tradition,” he said. “I'm at a time in my life when I can do something like this, and I want to be able to give back to Lander. I'm just excited about the things we have in place here."

Cross Country Returns with Strong Season The 2017 season marked the first time Lander University fielded a men’s cross country team since 1999, and the first women’s cross country team since 2008. Under Coach Kevin Scola, both programs had strong return seasons. The men’s team launched their season Coach Kevin Scola in September with a fifth-place finish at the 34th running of the Eye Opener Invitational in Spartanburg. They would go on to claim three more top-10 finishes in the season,

including 8th place in the Peach Belt Conference Championship – the program's first championship appearance in nearly two decades. The men’s season wrapped up with a 23rd-place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional, with senior Dylan Scott running out front for the Bearcats with a 94th-place finish and a time of 35:52. The Lady Bearcats’ season included four Top-20 finishes. After taking 11th place in the PBC Championship in Fort Benning, Ga., in October, the team made its first appearance in the NCAA Southeast Regional since 2008. They finished 23rd, with freshman Catey Rithianos running out front for the team for the fifth time in the season.


Student Athletes Honored The Lander University Athletics Department held the 49th Annual Athletics Banquet in the spring, honoring the university's student-athletes for their accomplishments during the 2016-17 campaign.

Reed Gray

Breshay Johnson

Michal Pospisil


Reed Gray, a redshirt-junior baseball player from Tampa, Fla., received the Dr. Boyce M. Grier Award as the Lander student-athlete who best exemplifies sportsmanship, integrity, pride in the university and a positive attitude. Gray led the team with a .343 batting average and a .478 on-base percentage. He interned with the athletics department, assisting with social media and other duties in the sports information department. Breshay Johnson, a junior women's basketball player from Hopkins, S.C., received the Dr. Samuel C. Hodges Award as the Female Athlete of the Year. Johnson led the Lady Bearcats to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and was named the D2CCA Southeast Region Player of the Year and PBC Player of the Year. She averaged 16.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while leading the PBC with a 61.3 field goal percentage and 208 free throw attempts. Michal Pospisil, a senior golfer from Unhost, Czech Republic, received the M.V. Wells Award, given annually to the Lander Male Athlete of the Year. Pospisil won two tournaments during the regular season and led the Bearcats to the No. 1 spot in the regional rankings. Named an all-PBC performer for the third time in his career, he was also tabbed as a PING All-Region selection and a semifinalist for the 2017 Division II Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award. His 71.8 scoring average was the lowest in the conference.


In Other Sports Softball The Lander softball team won six of its final eight games of the 2017 season and placed a player on the All-Peach Belt Conference team for the second consecutive season en route to a 21-win campaign. The Lady Bearcats were led by sophomore catcher Chandler Carey, who batted a team-high .346 on the year, and senior second baseman Destiny Clyde, who earned All-PBC honors after batting .344 and leading the team with 56 hits in her senior campaign. Lander won 12 of 22 games at Doug Spears Field to finish with a winning home record for the second-straight year.

Women’s Tennis The Lander women’s tennis team captured seven home victories en route to a 9-9 overall record in 2017, marking the program’s fourth consecutive season with a record of .500 or better. The Lady Bearcats recorded two shutout wins on the year and defeated in-state foes Newberry, Limestone, USC Aiken and North Greenville, going 4-1 against teams from the Palmetto State. Senior Ivanka Mocic went unbeaten in the No. 3 singles spot, while fellow senior Yuriko Ono teamed up with freshman Nelli Lius to go 13-3 at No. 2 doubles. Freshman Julia Suzuki earned 10 wins as the team’s No. 5 singles player.

Baseball The Lander baseball team battled through a rocky 2017 season to return to the Peach Belt Conference tournament for the sixth time in seven seasons, in head coach Jason Burke’s first year at the helm. The Bearcats’ season was highlighted by a series win over nationally ranked in-state rival USC Aiken, which featured walk-off wins for Lander on consecutive days to take the series over the Pacers. Lander also extended its winning streak over rival Erskine to 13 games, with a 10-9 victory in May. Junior Reed Gray led the team with a .343 batting average, while freshman Nathan Schreckengost belted a team-high 14 home runs.

Women’s Soccer The 2017 campaign got off to a strong start for the Lander women’s soccer team, with the Lady Bearcats winning four of their first five matches of the season. After some mid-season struggles against Peach Belt Conference foes, the team would snap a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over Georgia Southwestern in late October to clinch the seventh seed in the 2017 PBC Championship. However, the Lady Bearcats were unable to top No. 8-ranked Columbus State in the quarterfinals of the championship, bringing their season to an end. Three teammates were named to the 2017 Peach Belt Conference Women's Soccer All-Academic Team. Senior forward Hannah Martin led the way with a 3.57 GPA in education, while fellow senior forward Sara Flores posted a 3.50 while pursuing a degree in business. Senior midfielder Kari George rounded out the team, with a 3.30 in business.

AonNew Spin Student Research By Eric Lawson

Small Class Sizes Promote Unique Summer Research There are many advantages to attending a college – like Lander University – that’s committed to small class sizes. Chief among them are opportunities for research and the ability to work in collaboration with professors. Students of Dr. Lisa Brodhacker, associate professor of chemistry and campus director of the S.C. Space Grant Consortium at Lander, are receiving a healthy dose of both. Working directly with Brodhacker are Jordan Bates, of Beaufort; Jongcheol Lee, of Daegu, South Korea; Blair Harmon, of Saluda; and Payton Rogers, of Greenwood. Specifically, the group has been working to advance technologies designed for production of telescope mirrors that will make observation and communication much more affordable and efficient for the scientific community. Most large telescope mirrors are made of glass, which in turn requires heavier structures for support. The problem has a direct impact on new scientific research and discovery. Because increased costs have limited the number of deployed telescopes, the time required for in-depth observation has also been limited. The Lander team’s approach to addressing this issue involves spinning a liquid epoxy – which is lighter than glass – so that it forms the parabolic surface needed for a telescope’s proper focusing. The resulting lightweight mirror should mean significant savings for the scientific community. “As with any product, research to find cheaper methods without compromising quality is important,” said Harmon, a biology major with a chemistry and psychology minor.

Bates has been heavily involved with the project since applying for and securing a competitive grant from the S.C. Space Grant Consortium, edging out student researchers from other regional colleges and universities. “I have definitely grown and matured as a student through working on this project,” he said. “I’ve discovered that being a researcher requires a lot of patience, and a project like this teaches you to never give up. Even though I’m a biology major and this project focuses on polymer chemistry, the approach is relatively the same for most research projects: identifying a problem and analyzing results.” In November, members of the team presented their findings at the Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Charlotte, N.C. Bates credited the structure at Lander with providing him and his teammates the opportunity to separate themselves from the competition as they prepare for graduate school. “This research project, and others like it, will clearly make us more attractive applicants as we continue our education at the graduate level,” he said. “I’ve visited larger universities and felt more like a number than a person, and I doubt I would have had the opportunity to take part in this research. Here at Lander, I know that I have a better prospect of developing a working relationship with my professors, and I have access to more opportunities to grow as a researcher.” Appearing, from left: Payton Rogers, Blair Harmon, Jongcheol Lee and Jordan Bates hold epoxy telescope mirrors they’ve produced.


Alumni Weekend 2017

1 Photos by Laura M. Brown '16

Each year, the Office of Alumni Affairs hosts a lineup of events celebrating Lander’s more than 17,000 alumni from South Carolina and beyond.


Held April 17-22, Alumni Week 2017 kicked off with Lander Unite Day, when graduates from around the world were encouraged to proudly wear their Lander attire and reach out to other alumni from their area. A happy hour at the Fox & Hound Pub in Uptown Greenwood, along with alumni appreciation events on campus, at Dolny Stadium and at the nearby Dixie Drive-In, brought graduates together for fellowship and reminiscing. Capping off the week, the Class of 1967 gathered together for a special 50th reunion dinner at the Lander Foundation and Alumni Center. It was followed the next day by the annual Alumni Association Awards and Reunion Luncheon, held Sat., April 22, in Horne Arena. There, the Classes of 1957, ’67, ’77, ’87 and ’92 joined with alumni of all ages to commemorate milestone reunions, share memories, tour campus and hear updates from their alma mater. For information about future alumni events, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 864-388-8351 or visit

1. Class of 1967: Along with marking their 50th reunion, the Class of 1967 enjoyed a new distinction as Lander Golden Grads, reserved for those with at least 50 years as alumni. Pictured, front row, from left, are: Millie Still Kennedy, Jayne Kelley Ellicott, Joan Owens Yearwood, Mary Boleman Lindsey, Suellen Oliver Campbell, Patricia Buzhardt Elgin, Deadra Galloway Potter, Faye Coker Thompson, Virginia Agee Dean and Sara Frances Huiet Way. Back row, from left: Frank Ridlehoover, Linda Riser Groggel, Jean Miley Littlejohn, Janet Holliday Bradford, Ron Ferrell, Donna Spivey Boozer, Carolyn Ward Harrell, Kathy Littlefield Ashley and Dianne Lawson. 2. Long-Distance Travelers: Earning the honors as the alumni traveling the farthest distance to attend Reunion Day were Texas residents Jerry Lazenby ’63 and Suellen Oliver Campbell ’67.

3 44


3. Special Honoree: Recognized as the alumna representing the earliest class present at the 2017 luncheon was Margaret Derrick Lee, Lander Class of 1946, who was celebrating her 71st reunion.

4. Horne Arena was filled with the sounds of laughter during the luncheon, as alumni of all class years shared memories and stories of their time at Lander. 5. Class of 1957: Celebrating their 60th reunion at the 2017 Alumni Association Awards and Reunion Luncheon were, from left: Preston Lollis, Patricia Martin Bowie, Betty Skinner Skinner and Mary Alice Cox Burnett. 6. Class of 1977: Enjoying their 40th reunion in 2017 were, from left: Gowan Lancaster, Janet Crosby Horton, Glenn Miller, Christine Graves, Jane Devore Bryant and Bessie Williams.


7. Class of 1987: Among those from the Class of 1987 marking their 30th reunion were, pictured, Clayton Dorn and his wife, Jonetta Brown Dorn. 8. Class of 1992: In attendance from the Class of 1992, which celebrated a milestone 25th reunion, were Shannon Stephens, left, and Beth Reynolds.










Class Notes

Class Notes are compiled by Debbie Dill, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. Please mail items for Class Notes to Alumni Affairs, CPO Box 6004, Lander University, 320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649, or email items to


Betty Jo Hall ’82 was named the 2017 Personnel Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Administrators. She was also appointed as the new superintendent of Abbeville County School District.


Jody Hammontree Yates ’91 was named 2017 VirtualSC Teacher of the Year.

Hanna Norris Dover ’04 is the owner and operator of the newly opened Think Tank on Main in Uptown Greenwood. Think Tank is a multi-purpose facility offering innovative luxury office suites and incubation space for entrepreneurs, independent agents, small groups and start-up companies.

Reva Long Davis ’94 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for Lakeview Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C.

Charlotte Anthony ’05 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for the Early Childhood Center in Greenwood, S.C.

Gina Seigler Brazill ’90 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for Pinecrest Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C.

Stacey Bevill ’95 was elected to the board of directors of Mental Fitness Inc. Dana Miller Duncan ’95 was named 201718 Teacher of the Year for Mathews Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C. Shawn Foxworth ’97 received his M.B.A. from North Greenville University in May. Joellyn Williams Hayden ’98 has accepted a position as the graphic communications instructor at the Anderson District 1 & 2 Career and Technology Center.

Terry Pruitt ’82 and daughter Rebecca Caroline Pruitt ’11, pictured above, were recently honored for their efforts in the field of education. Dr. Terry Pruitt was named the 2017 District Level Administrator of the Year by the S.C. Association of School Administrators (SCASA), in recognition of his involvement with statewide educational issues and his tremendous impact on improvement in his school district. He serves as the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at Spartanburg School District 7. Caroline Pruitt, a special education teacher at Chapman Elementary School, was named Spartanburg School District 7’s Induction Teacher of the Year, in addition to receiving the 2017-18 District 7 Crystal Apple Award, which recognizes superior instructional skills and distinguished performance in the classroom. Stephanie Aull Johnson ’88 received her South Carolina license for Occupational Therapy Assistant. Harriett McCray ’88 is a new RUSH counselor at Florence/Darlington Technical College.



David Moody ’98 has completed work on a documentary film titled “The Hidden Homeless” after four years of research. The film was released in the fall of 2017.


Scott Kates ’00 was hired by Moore, Beauston & Woodham as a staff accountant. Amy Uldrick ’01 has been promoted to assistant vice president, risk management, by Palmetto Healthcare Liability Insurance Program. Brooke Goldman ’02 has a new position with Carolina One Real Estate Company as the new agent liaison. Stephanie Roe ’02 has accepted a position as the associate athletic director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

Brittney Wells ’05, pictured above, a senior chemist with Capsugel, was featured in May in an Upstate SC Alliance blog during the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) 2017 Economic Development Week and South Carolina's Industry Appreciation Day. Her profile was included in an industry spotlight series that recognizes employee skills and shares their stories of success and inspiration. Wells, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Lander, works in Capsugel’s Quality Control Chemistry Laboratory and is the team lead for its Global Testing program, which supports other Capsugel sites by providing process monitor testing. She and her team are responsible for ensuring lab testing is completed accurately, and she also trains other employees on policies, procedures and test methods.

Erin Copeland Watts ’02 was named assistant principal for Westview Middle School in Greenwood, S.C.

Dean Gunter ’06 was promoted to the position of associate by the Fuller Group Inc. Dean has been with the engineering firm since 2006.

Laura Fortner Bentley ’03 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for Northside Middle School in Greenwood, S.C.

Leslie Dominick Burden ’07 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for Brewer Middle School. Belinda Johnson ’07 received her master’s in criminal justice from South University.

Greene Retires from Alumni Affairs After 12 years with Lander University, Myra Greene retired this past summer from the Office of Alumni Affairs. Greene, a 1978 Lander graduate, beamed as friends and co-workers shared hugs, smiles and memories during a June drop-in in her honor. “It was just time to retire,” said Greene, a past recipient of the Lander Alumni Association's distinguished alumni award. “When my father passed away in March, I looked at my priorities, reassessed everything, and decided it was time for a new adventure." Greene had served as director of Alumni Affairs since 2010. She took on the position following 14 years with the Greenwood Community Theatre and then serving as the executive director of the former GreenwoodLander Performing Arts. This background initially led her to becoming an adjunct professor for Lander’s theatre department from 2007-13. She directed the annual Bearcat Athletic Auction from 2006-16. “I enjoyed my time here and loved the people I worked with and I know I’ll miss them,” she said. “But since I’m an alum, I’ll be back as a participant.”

– photo by Laura M. Brown ’16


Lander’s Wind Ensemble and lead trumpet for the Jazz Ensemble. He has performed with the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Festival Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He also regularly performs with brass chamber groups, as well as with local jazz quintet, Jazz42.

Anthony Chapman ’10 is working at The Actors Gymnasium as marketing manager. Nick Mountz ’11 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for Woodfields Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C. Paige Chalmers ’12 was named 2017-18 Teacher of the Year for Springfield Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C.

Jammy Lawson ’15 has a new position as float sales and service representative with First Citizens Bank.

Kirsten Stewart ’12 was promoted to the position of coordinator of special events and transfer counselor at Lander University. Demario Watts ’12 was promoted to assistant dean of students at Wofford College. Daniel Harris ’13 has accepted a position as the assistant director of Residence Life at Privateer Place at the University of New Orleans. Rhett Sapough ’13 is the assistant director of Admissions and director of International and Transfer Admission at Wofford College.

Kamryn Boyce ’16 has a new position as EHS/human resource assistant with Eaton. Cody Beard ’15 recently returned from Salzburg, Austria, where he studied under Wolfgang Navratil, principal trumpet player for the Mozarteum Orchestra. A professional trumpeter and freelance musician, Beard earned his Bachelor of Science in music from Lander, where he was the principal trumpet player with

Allen Obi ’16 has accepted a position as mortgage loan originator at Home Point Financial. Bryson Bouknight ’17 is employed as the neighborhood revitalization coordinator for Greenwood Area Habitat for Humanity. – Class Notes continued on page 49


Manley ’89 Steps Into Role as Alumni Director By Jeff Lagrone, Photo by Laura M. Brown ’16

Denise Manley ’89 never expected she would leave her post as president and CEO of United Way of Greenwood and Abbeville Counties, a position she had held since 2008, but she was intrigued by the prospect of succeeding Myra Greene ’78 as executive director of Alumni Affairs at Lander. “In the back of my mind, I had always wondered what it would be like to work at Lander. A couple of people asked me about it, and I said, ‘I’m going to go down that path. As long as the Lord opens the doors, I’m going to keep walking through them.’” Manley’s extensive work experience also includes seven years as public relations coordinator for Velux-America in Greenwood, and eight years as marketing and resource development director for the Greenwood Family YMCA. She is married to 1993 Lander graduate Jim Manley, a founding partner of Manley Garvin LLC, the Greenwood accounting, tax and consulting firm. Manley, an interdisciplinary studies major at Lander, said that communicating with graduates “early and often” is essential if Lander is to continue increasing its percentage of alumni participation. Over the years, the university has lost contact with some alumni, and Manley hopes to reestablish those connections and update important information on others. Identifying “affinity groups” – such as students who have studied abroad – and getting them back on campus for events planned specifically for them is also a goal. Manley would like to convince alumni who own their own businesses to create new internships and apprenticeships for Lander students, which would not only help the students, but also facilitate “more connectivity with that alum.” Having alumni in different towns to sponsor “freshman send-offs” before students from their area begin classes at Lander would be another way of strengthening the bond between graduates and current students, she said. Manley is thankful for the opportunity she has been given, saying, “I am honored to join in this exciting time for Lander with the recently launched strategic plan and, in particular, with the alumni engagement component. I am ready to meet and build relationships with the 17,000 alumni across the state and region, and to help foster and create connectivity between them and the students. I also look forward to being able to recognize the efforts of our loyal and dedicated alumni as they help us support and promote the university.” Lander President Richard Cosentino said he is “thrilled to have Denise Manley joining our team at Lander University. Our alumni are our largest constituency, and we are excited to see how Denise will engage our alumni and help strengthen their ties to their alma mater.”



Save the Date Alumni Weekend 2018 April 20-21, 2018 Lander University Campus

Births Sonja Woods Lee ’99 and Robert Lee, Hanahan, S.C., a son, Hampton Parker, Dec. 1, 2015. John Moore ’05 and Lacy Moore, Greenwood, S.C., a son, Hudson Joel, April 27. Hudson joins big brother John Luke, 2.

Mark your calendars and join fellow Lander alumni for this funfilled weekend of events and the annual Alumni Association Awards and Reunion Luncheon.

Adam Young ’08 and Amber Jenkins Young ’09, Martinez, Calif., a son, Grant Davis, Oct. 27, 2016.

For details, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 864-388-8351 or visit online at

Amy Miller Williams ’09 and Craig Williams, Hodges, S.C., a son, Nicholas Reed, March 12, 2017. He joins big sister Lauren.



Follow Lander University Alumni Affairs on Facebook® at

* Events/dates subject to change. Visit for details.

Weddings Amy Michelle Robinson ’99 and Marcus Painter, Sevierville, Tenn., May 28. Amy is the TB Program Manager with S.C. DHEC Midlands Region. They live in Lexington. Paul G. McCallum ’04 and Elizabeth M. Butler, Lexington, S.C., April 22. Paul is employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. They live in Lexington.

Eric Steven Gambrel ’10 and Chancie Louise Lewis, Simpsonville, S.C., May 26. Eric is self-employed. They live in Greenville.

Kendall Jenkins Gott ’11 and Chance Gott, Conway, S.C., a son, Carson Bradley, Nov. 22, 2016.

Brynna A. Rinehart ’10 and Christopher Holland, Ware Shoals, S.C., Aug. 6. Brynna is pursuing a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner. They live in Ware Shoals.

Rachel Perry Hollis ’11 and Avery Hollis, Saluda, S.C., a son, Avery Dalton Hollis IV, Feb. 7, 2017.

Chaney Leigh Rolin ’10 and Matt McCoy, Greenwood, S.C., May 6. Mary Lyle Smith ’13 and Steven Cathcart, Greenwood, S.C., Nov. 4. Mary Lyle is the marketing coordinator at Self Regional Healthcare. They live in Greenwood.

Sharon Elizabeth Smith ’06 and Matthew Cooper, Columbia, S.C., Feb. 27, 2016. They live in West Columbia.

Mary Katherine Pegram ’14 and Andrew Revels, Fuquay-Varina, N.C., July 15. Mary Katherine is a public information officer for the N.C. Department of Labor. They live in Fuquay-Varina.

Craig Carl Scott ’08 and Allison Grier Bouknight ’09, Greenwood, S.C., April 29. Craig is pastor of Beulah Baptist Church and Allison is an administrative assistant and computer lab coordinator at Piedmont Technical College. They live in Greenwood. Ashley Lynn Beaman ’09 and Jeremy Britton Knotts, Columbia, S.C., Aug. 26. Ashley is employed with South Carolina Oncology Associates. They live in West Columbia.

Sally Smith Taylor ’10 and Nathan Taylor, Simpsonville, S.C., a daughter, Evelyn, Oct. 21. Alden Broome ’11 and Kayla Williams Broome ’14, Walhalla, S.C., a daughter, Olivia Erin, Jan. 7.

Anna Elizabeth Plowden ’05 and James “Jimmy” W. Thomason Jr., Greenwood, S.C., April 25. Anna works for Security Mutual Life Insurance Co. They live in Greenwood.

Hope Lorraine Williams ’06 and Reid Jackson, Mayesville, S.C., April 8. Hope teaches second grade at Alice Drive Elementary School in Sumter, S.C. They live in Sumter.

Brittany M. Bowdler ’10 and Andrew Bowdler, Saluda, S.C., a son, Pierce Fischer, April 29. He joins big sister Hannah.

Tyler R. Griffin ’15 and Jessica Renee Trotter ’17, Greenwood, S.C., May 27. Tyler is a customer service representative with Velux, and Jessica works for Self Regional Healthcare as an ICU nurse. They live in Greenwood. Olivia Kathleen Rushton ’15 and Eric Bruce McKee Jr., Greenwood, S.C., May 6. Olivia is the benefits coordinator at Wesley Commons in Greenwood. They live in Greenwood.

Nicholas Mountz ’11 and Shannon Lominick Mountz ’11, Greenwood, S.C., a son, Ezekiel Jon, May 10. Ben Snelling ’11 and Abby Focht Snelling ’12, Charlotte, N.C., a daughter, Eleanor Anne, March 29, 2017. Don Durden ’12 and Katherine McKinney, Clinton, S.C., a son, William Luke, March 10, 2017. Kacie Calliham McCutcheon ’12 and Tyler McCutcheon, Greenwood, S.C., a son, Briggs Thomas, Aug. 30. Danielle McKelley ’13 and Keith Tebo, Simpsonville, S.C., a son, Arthur Henry, Jan. 23, 2017. Rhett Sapough ’13 and Rebecca Sessions Sapough ’13, a daughter, Georgia Eleanor, Sept. 25. Kayla Chrisley Beale ’14 and John Beale, a son, John Edward “Tripp” Beale III, Nov. 20. – Class Notes continued on page 51



Turning a History Degree into a Curatorship By L. C. Leach III

In his senior year at Lander University, Brad Utter needed some real-life direction for a growing, looming problem. He was set to graduate in the spring of 1998 with a degree in history, but since he didn’t want to teach in a school, he wondered what else to do with his degree. “My history professor, Dr. Susan Ouellette, recommended that I look into public history, which generally deals with history done or taught outside of the classroom,” Utter said. Following Ouellette’s advice after graduating from Lander, Utter earned a master’s in public history in 2000 from the University at Albany in New York. Since 2014, he has been teaching in a different sort of classroom: as a curator and senior historian at the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y. “It’s the oldest and largest state museum in the country,” said Utter, who also served from 2001-14 as director of the Waterford (N.Y.) Historical Museum and Cultural Center. “And, I doubt I would have found the path here if not for Professor Ouellette and her excellent guidance at Lander.” While museum work is not usually at the top of most students’ career lists, Utter said it was exactly the path he had been looking for. “Working in a history museum and working with objects is exciting for me. My areas of research at the New York State Museum revolve around the development of industry and transportation in the state of New York, and how that development impacted the lives of New Yorkers.”



One of those developments involves the importance of the Erie Canal, as highlighted in a two-year museum exhibit that opened this past September. Titled Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal (Phase One), it marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the canal’s construction. Utter said the Erie Canal was the primary element in shaping westward American growth and development, opening up new opportunities along its 363-mile route from Albany to Buffalo, N.Y. In honor of the exhibit’s opening, CBS Sunday Morning aired a segment in July that featured Utter as a consulting source. PBS also planned to include his expertise for a canal documentary to coincide with the opening of the museum exhibit. Phases two and three of the exhibit will be completed by May 2018. Utter said he would love to see members of the Lander community travel to Albany to experience the Erie Canal in a way that no one could have imagined in 1825 – or in 1997, when Utter was pondering over what to do with his history degree. “I have been working on this exhibit for over three years and am excited to see it come together,” he said. “I always like to think that part of the reason it did was because a Lander professor, who is still a very good friend, helped steer me in the right direction.” Lander alumnus Brad Utter, left, explains an 1830s map of New York to correspondent Richard Schlesinger for a CBS Sunday Morning segment. Utter, curator of the New York State Museum, is spearheading an Erie Canal Exhibit that opened in September. – contributed photo

In Memoriam Esther Messick Weir ’36, Georgetown, S.C., Feb. 28, 2017. She established a physical education program for Southwestern University. Surviving are a son, daughter, three grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren. Margaret Hammett New ’40, Dublin, Ga., March 29, 2017. She was a retired nurse educator and administrator. Surviving are two daughters, four grandchildren and four great-grandsons. Frances Bishop Cheek ’41, Greensboro, N.C., Feb. 16, 2017. She was a retired teacher and member of Christ United Methodist Church. Surviving are her husband, a son and two daughters. Betty Martin McGowan ’41, Gaffney, S.C., Oct. 20. She was a retired teacher and girls’ basketball coach. Betty was a member of Salem United Methodist Church. Surviving are a son, daughter, granddaughter, and many nieces and nephews. Carolina Workman Montgomery ’42, Camden, S.C., Sept.14. She enjoyed gardening and was a member of First Baptist Church. Surviving are her daughter, two grandchildren and seven greatgrandchildren. Ruth Bishop Jones ’44, Tunkhannock, Pa., July 12. She was a retired special education teacher and member of Tunkhannock United Methodist Church. Surviving are two sons, a daughter, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Monteze Mundy Snyder ’44, Rock Hill, S.C., Aug. 14. She was one of the first women hired as a professional chemist for TVA during World War II and was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Moncks Corner. Surviving are a son, daughter and five grandchildren. Mary Alice Boyd Hagen ’45, Abbeville, S.C., Feb. 6, 2017. She owned and operated Hagen’s grocery with her husband. Surviving are two daughters, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Asilee Capell Looper ’46, Easley, S.C., May 19. She was a retired school teacher and member of Cross Roads Baptist Church. Surviving are two daughters, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Ella Claire Lee Mays ’48, Greenwood, S.C., March 5, 2017. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church and enjoyed outdoor activities. Surviving are a son, daughter,

five granddaughters and four greatgrandchildren. Beverly McGee Wofford ’49, Anderson, S.C., Sept. 29. She loved music and the arts and was a member of Midway Presbyterian Church. Surviving are two sons, two daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Joyce Maxwell Hyman ’50, Florence, S.C., March 3, 2017. She worked as a medical secretary and was a member of John Calvin Presbyterian Church. Surviving are a son, two daughters, a granddaughter, a brother and a sister. Barbara Murphy Hughes ’51, Honea Path, S.C., Sept. 8. She was a retired school teacher and member of Honea Path First Baptist Church. Surviving are two sons, a grandson and a granddaughter. Jean Steed Risher ’51, Augusta, Ga., Nov. 25. She was an avid golfer and member of St. Mark United Methodist Church. Surviving are three sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Mary Bowen Rice ’54, Bristol, Tenn., April 15. She was a homemaker and member of First Presbyterian Church. Surviving are three daughters, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Barbara Bruce McInnis ’56, Sumter, S.C., Jan. 4, 2017. She was a former Miss Lander, a homemaker and member of First Presbyterian Church. Surviving are a son, two daughters, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mildred Stockman Daum Young ’56, Spartanburg, S.C., Aug. 27. She was a retired school teacher and member of South Main Baptist Church. Surviving are a son, two daughters and six grandchildren. Sara Nell Bishop Wise ’56, Edisto Beach, S.C., Feb. 18, 2017. She enjoyed teaching ballet and tap dance and was a member of Edisto Island United Methodist Church. Surviving are three sons, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Ola Jones Porter ’57, Six Mile, S.C., Nov. 5. She was a retired school teacher. Surviving are her husband, two sons, four grandchildren and two sisters. Grace Rector Barrett ’60, Lexington, N.C., Dec. 27. She taught business and keyboarding at various schools. Surviving are her husband, a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.

Mary Frances Lee Cantrell ’60, Spartanburg, S.C., June 9. She was a retired school teacher and member of Morningside Baptist Church. Surviving are three daughters, five grandchildren, three brothers and two sisters. John A. Bailey ’61, Hermitage, Tenn., Feb. 17, 2017. He was retired from United Methodist Publishing House. Surviving are a son, a grandson and several nephews. Vivienne Price Good ’62, Rock Hill, S.C., Dec. 14. She was the office manager for her husband’s business and a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Surviving are her husband, a son, a daughter, five grandchildren, and a brother and sister. James H. “Jimmy” Thompson ’64, Waterloo, S.C., Nov. 20. Jimmy was retired from Greenwood Mills and former co-owner of Montague’s Restaurant. Surviving are his wife, a son, a daughter, a brother and a sister. Carmen Morris Riddle ’64, Bradley, S.C., Aug. 14. She was a retired Health Department Home Health Nurse and member of Providence Pentecostal Holiness Church. Surviving are her husband, a son, three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a brother. Barbara Belvin Tyler ’64, Camden, S.C., May 6. She was a retired teacher and coach, and she was a member of the S.C. Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Surviving are a daughter and two grandchildren. Susan McCrickard Stewart ’66, Greenwood, S.C., Sept. 16. She was a retired nurse and member of Northside Baptist Church. Surviving are a son, a brother and a sister. Bertha Ellenburg Kelly Gales ’71, Anderson, S.C., Sept. 25. She was a retired guidance counselor and member of Boulevard Baptist Church. Surviving are three sons, a daughter, a stepson, four granddaughters and three sisters. Michael John Smith ’71, Lexington, S.C., Oct. 5. He was retired from Taylor Publishing Company. Surviving are his son, a daughter-in-law and a brother. Linda Boozer Buice ’72, Chappells, S.C., April 11. She was a retired teacher and member of Little River Dominick Presbyterian Church. Surviving are her husband, a son, two daughters, three grandchildren and a sister. – Class Notes continued on page 53



Making Good in Law and Medicine By L. C. Leach III, Photo by Laura M. Brown ’16

Shortly after opening her new Greenwood law practice in 2009, Lander graduate Michelle Powers ’99 took on a case that didn’t seem to make sense. Her client wanted help in securing Social Security disability benefits due to ongoing blindness in one eye. Powers knew his claim would never hold up in court – but on a hunch, she read back through his medical records, asked questions pertaining to his health and coordination, and learned that he was stumbling and falling around such that "he could not even feel his feet." Powers discovered he had neuropathy (numbness) in his feet due to diabetes with longterm damage, and informed him that his claim was now valid. “I wrote up an official legal report, explained everything to a judge, and the courts gave the gentleman his benefits,” she said.



Since that memorable and perplexing case, Powers has become Greenwood’s only nurse-attorney, handling more than 500 medical court cases and steering one client after another toward better personal health. “My training and experience as a nurse in Greenwood have been invaluable in my law practice,” said Powers, who graduated from Lander in 1999 with a degree in nursing. “And even though I’m an attorney, I still feel like I’m nursing in so many ways.” Powers’ road to becoming a nurse-attorney began with practicing at Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood. From 1999 to 2007, she worked in labor and delivery, emergency medicine and post open-heart cardiac intensive care units. But in 2004, she was approached by a local lawyer asking if she could assist in reviewing cases for him. The inquiry sparked a new interest for Powers, who began looking into the possibility of becoming a lawyer with a concentration in medical injury cases. Once again enrolling in school, Powers graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2008, and she passed the bar in 2009. “Michelle is the only nurse-attorney I know,” said Stephen Samuels, Esq., of Samuels Law Firm in Columbia, S.C., who served as a professional mentor to Powers. “Her nursing background helps her understand and relate to injured clients.” Part of her focus involves workers compensation, personal injury and disability benefits. She would like to expand her practice to include representing health care professionals before the state licensing board. “When clients come to me, they sometimes have no idea what’s wrong with them,” Powers said. “So I can help steer them toward a health care provider, the right medical practitioner for their condition, and help them focus on how to talk about their condition to a doctor to get the treatment they need.” And, unlike her own days as a nurse, she now gets to see “how things work out.” “Being an attorney, I get to help people navigate through the legal system and then see what happens – good, bad or otherwise,” Powers said. “We settle 90-95 percent of our cases because we know how to review the medical records and how to look for things that someone without a medical background might not know to look for.” Powers’ distinction as a nurse-attorney is still a rarity in the U.S. Since its official creation in 1982 in Washington, D.C., The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA) claims just over 300 members in all 50 states. In South Carolina, Powers is one of only six TAANA members, but her longtime singularity is beginning to catch on. “The profession is growing and there’s a need for attorneys that understand it from the ground up,” said Melanie Balestra, TAANA president for 2017. “People like Michelle are definitely part of the pioneering aspect of the nurse-attorney profession.” When asked why she chose to represent people in medical cases rather than in a corporate or criminal setting, Powers said part of it goes back to her days at Lander. “A Lander professor once told me, ‘Nursing is so vast, you can do anything with it,’” she said. “And I think I’m proof that you can do anything with a nursing degree.”

In Memoriam, continued Susan Pollack Hardin ’72, Summerville, S.C., Feb. 28, 2017. She was a real estate home stager. Surviving are her husband, a son, a daughter, five grandchildren, and a brother and sister. Larry D. Timms ’73, Branchville, S.C., June 5. He retired from Ott Oil Company and enjoyed the outdoors. Surviving are his parents, a daughter, three grandchildren, and a brother and sister. Edward E. “Eddie” Anderson ’76, Salisbury, N.C., Dec. 6. He was a licensed insurance agent and former Lander Security Officer. Surviving are two sons, a daughter, three grandchildren and a sister. Jerry Denny Fortson ’76, Greenwood, S.C., Dec. 31. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and of the Baptist faith. Surviving are a son, a daughter, five grandchildren and a brother. G. Max Gulledge ’76, Columbia, S.C., May 9. He was an insurance sales agent and member of Washington Street United Methodist Church. Surviving are his wife and daughter. Boots Turner Babb ’77, Greenwood, S.C., April 21. She was retired from Ware Shoals Machine Tool and a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church. Surviving are her husband, a daughter, a granddaughter, four sisters, a brother, and many nieces and nephews. Michael E. Crawford ’77, Greenwood, S.C., Oct. 9. He was retired from St. Paul Travelers Insurance Co. and a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Surviving are his wife, two sons, two daughters, four grandsons, and a brother and sister. Lisbeth Bagby Day ’78, Wilkesboro, N.C., Aug. 23. She was employed with Lowe’s and a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Surviving are her parents, husband, two sons, a granddaughter and a brother. Earl Cameron “Cam” Gulledge ’78, Greenwood, S.C., April 4. He was a U.S. Navy veteran and retired from Tyco. Surviving are his wife, two sons, five grandchildren, a brother and three sisters. Steven Summer ’79, Greenville, S.C., Dec. 9. He was a master carpenter at the Peace Center in Greenville. Surviving are his wife, two sons, two grandchildren and a brother. Cindy Mimms Herbert ’80, Anderson, S.C., Aug. 3. She and her husband owned Boscobel Golf Club, and she was a member of Welcome Baptist Church.

DR. WILLIAM “BILL” T. MARTIN Dr. William Thomas “Bill” Martin, professor emeritus at Lander University, died September 6 at the age of 74. Martin graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology, and later received his master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from Emory University. In 1973, he began teaching at Lander as an assistant professor of psychology. Martin designed a psychology curriculum that emphasized both research methods and applied counseling knowledge, and his influences are still seen in the psychology program today. He developed new courses and internship experiences for students and was responsible for bringing a chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society, to Lander in 1986, of which he also served as adviser. In 2001, Martin was named chair of the Division of Behavioral Sciences and the Division of History and Political Science. During his tenure, he encouraged his students to achieve their highest potential and enjoyed mentoring colleagues and friends. Before retiring in 2005, he established the William T. Martin Psychology Scholarship to provide financial support to promising juniors and seniors. Memorials may be made to the William T. Martin Psychology Scholarship at Lander University and mailed to The Lander Foundation, 320 Stanley Avenue, Campus Box 6004, Greenwood, S.C. 29649. Gifts can also be made online at

David K. Barbour ’82, Sylvania, Ga., Aug. 19. He was an avid golfer. Surviving are his sister and brother-in-law. Robert Michael Greene ’84, Greenville, S.C., Nov. 25. He was a member of Southside Baptist Church. Surviving are his parents, a brother and a sister. William R. Roberts ’85, Wrightsville, Ga., Oct. 16. He was an avid golfer and member of International Gospel Outreach Church. Surviving are his wife, a stepson, three grandchildren and a sister. Hugh A. Simmons ’85, Belton, S.C., Oct. 30. He was retired from the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office as a DARE/Resource Officer. Surviving are his wife, five daughters, three grandchildren and two sisters. Robin Tucker Upshall ’87, Pelzer, S.C., March 26, 2017. She was a teacher at Woodmont High School. Surviving are her husband, mother, a brother and three sisters.

Tracie Waters Bock ’90, Clemmons, N.C., March 1, 2017. She was a former school teacher and member of Hope Moravian Church. Surviving are her husband, three sons, two grandchildren, two brothers and a sister. Terri Whittle ’00, Raleigh, N.C., July 2. She was an elder at Saint Giles Presbyterian Church. Surviving are a son, a daughter, three grandchildren and a brother. Kaitlyn M. Rector ’15, Lexington, S.C., Dec. 15. She was a nurse with Self Regional Hospital and member of Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church. Surviving are her parents, grandparents, a brother, a niece, and many aunts and uncles. Cheyna E. Fore ’17, Hodges, S.C., May 4. She earned a B.S. in criminal justice/ sociology and was an intern with Megs House. Surviving are her father, her mother and a sister. – Class Notes continued on page 54


SYMPATHY TO Joe W. Langley ’60 on the passing of his brother, Thomas Kent Langley, March 22, 2017.

Wanda Dixon Bryant ’83 on the passing of her father-in-law, Chandler Bryant Jr., Oct. 15.

Toni Dellinger Justus ’96 on the passing of her mother, Betty Griffin Dellinger, Oct. 5, 2016.

Gwen Miner Moss ’74 on the passing of her sister, Nov. 29.

Sandy Reynolds McCord ’86 on the passing of her mother, and John McCord ’71 on the passing of his mother-in-law, Gloria “Dolly” Reynolds, March 8, 2017.

James H. “Jim” Thompson III ’97 on the passing of his father, James H. Thompson Jr. ’64, Nov. 20.

Jeannie Holland Price ’76 on the passing of her mother-in-law, and Kenny R. Price ’00 on the passing of his grandmother, Nora L. Price, Sept. 12.

Carol Sellars Ridgeway ’85 on the passing of her father, John N. Sellars, Feb. 11, 2017.

James E. “Trey” Hiott III ’06 on the passing of his father, James E. Hiott, March 30, 2017.

Andrew Gulledge ’87 on the passing of his brother, Earl “Cam” Gulledge ’78, April 4.

Ann Miller Bell ’09 on the passing of her grandmother, Caroline Miller McClintock, Feb. 19, 2017.

Adam Taylor ’87 on the passing of his mother, and Monica Leopard Taylor ’93 on the passing of her mother-in-law, Dorothy Drummond Taylor, March 22, 2017.

Abby Bryant Scott ’11 on the passing of her grandfather, and Robert J. Scott ’11 on the passing of his grandfather-in-law, Chandler Bryant Jr., Oct. 15.

Skip Mathis ’90 on the passing of his father, and Tammy Townsend Mathis ’89 on the passing of her father-in-law, Eugene H. Mathis Jr., Aug. 23.

Robert J. Scott ’11 on the passing of his grandmother, and Abby Bryant Scott ’11 on the passing of her grandmother-in-law, Carol Scott, March 13, 2017.

Marcia Thrift Hydrick ’81 on the passing of her father, Thomas E. Thrift, Jan. 1.

Robbie E. Cox Jr. ’92 on the passing of his father, and Kim Krejci Cox ’93 on the passing of her father-in-law, Robert E. Cox, Oct. 18.

Beth Whittle Bell ’12 on the passing of her mother, Terri Whittle ’00, July 2.

Tessa Teague Moore ’81 on the passing of her father-in-law, Edward E. Moore Jr., May 20.

Nanci Cowart Weeks ’92 on the passing of her mother, Katie Cowart Vaughn, March 19, 2017.

Beth Turner Patterson ’81 and Dorothy Turner Blankenship ’82 on the passing of their sister, Bootsie Turner Babb ’77, April 21.

Patti Zenker ’92 and Cyndi Zenker DeStefano ’93 on the passing of their father, Raymond Zenker, June 26.

Sympathy to Jean Langrehr on the passing of her mother, Kathleen Hipp McDowell, March 14, 2017. Jean is a human resources manager at Lander University.

Myra Greene ’78 on the passing of her father, and Fred Wactor ’78 on the passing of his father-in-law, Nelson Greene, March 16, 2017. Harold Cottle ’79 on the passing of his mother, and Karen Hicks Cottle ’79 on the passing of her mother-in-law, Joan S. Cottle, May 1. Robin Scott ’79 on the passing of his mother, Carol Scott, March 13, 2017. Joy L. Mims ’80 on the passing of her brother, James A. Mims III, March 6, 2017.

Chip W. Snelling ’82 and David J. Snelling ’85 on the passing of their father, Raymond W. Snelling Sr., Feb. 25, 2017.

Amy Craig White ’95 on the passing of her grandmother, Mary Furqueron White, Sept. 18.

Join the Tower Club and Connect With Alumni in Your Area Lander has Tower Clubs located in Charleston, Columbia, Greenwood and the Upstate. Annual membership dues support alumni projects and the Alumni Scholarship Fund. Meetings, projects and social events are planned throughout the year.

For Tower Club information, visit or contact Alumni Affairs Director Denise Manley at 864-388-8351 or




Sympathy to Valleria Popoli on the passing of her brother, Gary Janulewicz, Oct. 9. Valleria is an emergency communications specialist with Lander University Police. Sympathy to Megan Varner Price and James Price on the passing of Megan’s father and James’ father-in-law, Harry A. Varner, June 5. Megan is assistant vice president of University Relations and James is the Central Receiving manager at Lander University. Sympathy to Maria Scott on the passing of her mother-in-law, Carol Scott, March 13, 2017. Maria is a designer for Lander University Relations. Sympathy to Frank Sells on the passing of his son, Richardson Sells, Aug. 7, and on the passing of his father, Frank Sells Sr., Nov. 3. Frank is the grounds department superintendent at Lander University. Sympathy to Michelle Weeks on the passing of her father, Michael W. Selig, July 30. Michelle is the post office manager at Lander University.




The Lander Foundation FY2017 Giving Report


The Lander Foundation FY2017 Giving Report

To our donors who made 2017 another successful year of important fundraising, thank you for your unwavering support. We are forever grateful for the trust you have placed in the Foundation’s hands for the past 69 years – to lead, to discover, and to support the strategic priorities and greatest needs of Lander University. We have reshaped The Lander Foundation, implementing new policies and upgrading our services, operations and donor stewardship with best practices in higher education advancement. The Foundation Board is comprised of volunteer leaders from across public and private sectors who strongly believe that higher education’s impact on communities knows no bounds. Your continued confidence confirms a bright future for the University and our students. Your generous gifts have far-reaching impact. During the 2017 fiscal year, The Lander Foundation received 4,435 gifts from 1,981 generous donors, totaling $1,222,850 for student scholarships, the Lander Excellence Fund and faculty development. But it's not just your gifts that enrich the Lander experience – your engagement fosters a culture of philanthropy at Lander University. Donors attended sporting events, served on advisory councils, came to concerts and art shows, greeted talented students, and served as guest speakers in the classroom. Our donors provided support for students with financial need, faculty development and strategic university initiatives – all vital priorities for Lander University. Guided by the new investment policy of the Foundation and sound financial management, the endowment grew by 9.62 percent to a value of $13,276,788, and provided distributions to support scholarships, unrestricted and faculty development of $1,182,294. We thank you for your generosity and investment in our institution. By standing together, united by a deep sense of commitment, we will expand the boundaries of possibility at Lander University. With gratitude, A.R. Charnes, President, The Lander Foundation Dr. Richard Cosentino, President, Lander University Dr. Richard Cosentino, left, and A.R. Charnes

Endowment Value:

$13,276,788 56

Endowment Growth:



Total Donations:




Strategic Priorities Student Scholarships


Scholarship support significantly facilitates the University’s efforts to enroll and retain top performing students and enables recipients to pursue their studies on a full-time basis, decreasing the time needed to earn a degree. The aggregate unmet need of students enrolled at Lander University in the 2016-17 academic year was $3.1M, with an average need of $4,000 per student; therefore, scholarships are a vital source of support.

2016-17 Unmet Need


Average Annual Unmet Need Per Student

Faculty Enhancement Professional Development

Giving Opportunities Establish an Endowment: Enduring gifts that are invested over time provide Lander University with a stable source of funding, while supporting promising students, recruiting top-performing faculty and enhancing vital programs. Establishing an endowment is the most powerful investment a donor can make. Endowments help Lander and its faculty and students far into the future. The foundation of Lander’s private support, endowments grow with time, benefiting the university with each passing year.

Give in Honor or Memory: Donors can pay tribute to a living or departed family member, friend or mentor by making a gift in his or her name that supports Lander University and its students. Gifts to The Lander Foundation can be made expressly in someone’s honor or in memory. Numerous opportunities are also available to name campus buildings and areas within.

Planned and Deferred Gifts: Donors can join the Samuel

Support for faculty enhancement enables the University to recruit and retain outstanding faculty who integrate scholarship, practice, research Travel and teaching. Faculty enhancement gifts provide needed resources for travel, publishing and professional Publishing development for full-time faculty and academic leaders. Faculty support ensures Lander students continue to be instructed and mentored by first-class faculty members at the forefront of their fields, enhancing the University’s reputation for academic excellence.

Lander Society by leaving a bequest in their will to The Lander Foundation for student scholarships, the Lander Excellence Fund, faculty support or other campus priorities. Deferred or planned gifts allow donors to leave a legacy of support that can also benefit their needs and their family during their lifetime.

Unrestricted Funds

are excellent gifts, assuming the securities have been held for the required length of time.

Gifts to the Lander Excellence Fund provide big, immediate impact. Donors may support the college or program of their choice, the university’s greatest need, or any specific area. Gifts to the fund are important and allow the University greater flexibility in their use for top priorities. By aggregating hundreds of individual gifts, the Lander Excellence Fund ensures that each gift does the most good possible. Donors may give online, by mail or by phone – whatever is most convenient.

Philanthropic-minded taxpayers aged 70 and older have embraced the permanent IRA charitable rollover as an opportunity to transfer up to $100,000 each year from a traditional IRA to charity without it being treated as a taxable distribution. To make a qualifying transfer, donors should contact their IRA administrator and instruct that person to transfer funds to The Lander Foundation.

Securities: Listed stocks and bonds that have increased in value

Real Estate: Property that has increased in value is a wise donation because the full value of the gift is tax-deductible. The donor's profit will not be taxable as gain.

Life Insurance: The cash-surrendered value of a life insurance policy is tax-deductible. Later gifts made to pay the premium are also deductible. More importantly, the donor has the satisfaction of providing The Lander Foundation with a sizable gift.

Trusts and Annuities: Cash, marketable securities or real estate

How to Give For more information on giving opportunities or to make a gift by phone, please call The Lander Foundation at 864-388-8350. To send a gift by mail, please make checks payable to The Lander Foundation and mail to The Lander Foundation, 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, S.C. 29649. To make a gift online, please visit our secure giving site at

may be used to establish a charitable trust or annuity from which the donor would receive income for life. Upon the donor's death, the assets would go to The Lander Foundation.

Have Your Gift Matched: Gifts that are doubled – or more – by an employer or another donor multiply their positive impact to advance Lander University. Numerous companies are willing to match their employees’ charitable gifts. Donors can visit the Foundation’s matching gift look-up to see if their employer participates in a matching gift program and should notify their employer of the gift. In addition, many donors – both individuals and corporations – make “challenge” gifts, in which they offer to match gifts from all donors to an initiative.



The Dolny Legacy

Diverse and Lasting Legacy By Judy Bello, Photo by Caroline Jenkins

If you look, you’ll find the name Dolny in a variety of places around Lander’s campus, from a plaque on a bench leading to Centennial Hall, to a mention on the Habitat House at the front of campus, to the baseball stadium across the street – and prominently on Lander’s scholarship list. Dr. Linda Dolny’s involvement, dedication and generosity to her alma mater is just as diverse and widespread. Over the years, the family has supported a number of scholarships and gifts to the university. Today, as chair of Lander’s Board of Trustees, Linda Dolny Lister is more committed than ever to Lander’s success and to its students. The family involvement began in the late 1980s, when Larry Jackson was Lander’s president. In 2007, Linda established the Memorial Fund, which has supported the May Sports Complex baseball stadium, as well as both unrestricted academic and athletic scholarships. And in 2016, Ken Lister established the Linda Dolny Lister Leadership Scholarship. The Dolny family involvement became more personal in the early 2000s, when Eleanor Teal, who at the time was vice president for University Advancement, asked Linda to host an international student who had no place to go for Christmas. The family never hesitated, and Linda and Albanian student Aniela Mejak developed a lasting relationship that continues today. The experience made scholarship needs a reality, and the feeling never left. “My passion really is for the students,” Linda explains. “So, whether it’s a baseball scholarship or a biology scholarship, if it helps a student succeed at Lander, I’m there.” Linda has included Lander in her will, thus becoming a member of the Samuel Lander Society, an organization reserved for those who provide for Lander's future through wills, life insurance and other planned gifts. Her decision will ensure the Dolny legacy continues into the future, supporting Lander students for generations to come.




The Abney Foundation

How Susie Abney's Gift Has Grown By Judy Bello, Photo by Caroline Jenkins

Susie Mathews Abney would be proud. She would not have imagined her family’s investment in scholarships for South Carolina’s students would now top $40 million. Back in 1957, when Mrs. Abney established The Abney Foundation, Abney Mills operated 15 textile mills and several related businesses around the Southeast. At that time, many towns in South Carolina’s Upstate region were considered “mill towns,” where most people were employed. Today, all that remains of these pioneering textile giants are the family names and their enduring generosity. The Abney Foundation has established endowments at 14 South Carolina colleges and universities that fund around 600 scholarships annually. Lander is fortunate to be in this diverse list of schools. Since inception, these endowments have funded more than 15,000 scholarships. Among those recipients are hundreds of Lander students who have benefited from the nearly 30-year philanthropic partnership between The Abney Foundation and

Lander University – including 50 Lander students this academic year alone. Students are chosen based on a demonstrated need, and South Carolina residents are given top priority. “We are community oriented, and we’d like for these young people to remain local upon graduation,” explains David King, vice chairman and executive director of The Abney Foundation. “Whenever I’m asked to speak at a banquet or luncheon honoring these students, I emphasize the fact that it was someone else’s vision and gratitude that made these scholarships possible; and your alma mater would love for you to do the same – whether it’s time, money or support,” King continues. “The idea is to return the favor by passing on this opportunity to other deserving people.” Pictured, from left: Lander University students and Abney Foundation scholarship recipients Breonna Belton, Terrell De’Quaries Quarles, Ariana C. O’Dell, Darnell Carl Norman and Aneyah Nicole Williams.



The Self Family Foundation

Bringing Montessori into the National Spotlight By Judy Bello, Photo by Caroline Jenkins

Thanks to a grant from The Self Family Foundation, the production of a short-form documentary showcasing Lander’s successful Montessori education program will soon be aired on PBS stations across the U.S. as part of the Informed television series. The documentary comes on the heels of the conclusion of a five-year, mixed-method study by the Riley Institute at Furman University that examined the impact and efficacy of Montessori in South Carolina’s public classrooms. The study, which found that Montessori students are faring as well as or better – academically, socially and behaviorally – than those in non-Montessori classrooms, was commissioned and funded by The Self Family Foundation. Maria Montessori, who introduced the non-traditional teaching method in Rome more than 100 years ago, was a physician before turning to education. She believed in the individuality of the child and stressed the importance of each child’s natural psychological, physical and social development. Today, more than 7,600 students are enrolled in 50 public Montessori programs throughout South Carolina. With Montessori rapidly becoming an accepted choice in many school districts, the demand for nationally certified Montessori teachers is growing. Lander is one of a few institutions of higher education in the nation, and the only one in South Carolina, to offer a master’slevel Montessori teacher education program leading to national certification from the American Montessori Society. The university also offers a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with Montessori emphasis. The Informed documentary, which will air this year, shows a Montessori classroom in action at Greenwood’s Lakeview Elementary School, which has a partnership with Lander and provides a laboratory for the university’s student-teachers. Lakeview



Principal Molly Smith and her students, along with Lander alumni and faculty, including associate professor of teacher education Dr. Lee Vartanian and Montessori program director Barbara Ervin, are featured in the production. The Self Family Foundation’s commitment to education and to Lander University is not a recent development. The organization’s investment in Montessori began more than 20 years ago, explained Foundation president Frank Wideman, when Ed Taylor, superintendent of Laurens School District 55, urged Wideman to visit a Colleton County public school where, as the recent Colleton County superintendent, Taylor had established the first public Montessori classroom in South Carolina. Taylor told Wideman, “Just go and take a look at what these kids are learning and doing.” Wideman did, and he was amazed. “I thought to myself, ‘If these kids in Colleton, arguably one of the most rural and economically challenged regions in the state, can accomplish this much, why wouldn’t it work in other South Carolina schools?’” Virginia Self, then chair of The Self Family Foundation’s Board of Trustees, agreed, and the Foundation set about helping Taylor expand the fledgling Montessori program he established after arriving at Laurens District 55. In 1998, Lander’s Montessori Teacher Education Program was introduced with a grant from The Self Family Foundation, and in 2006, the program was named to honor the late Virginia Self and her commitment to promoting Montessori education at Lander and beyond. And now, thanks to the Foundation’s continued support, the entire nation will get a closer look at Lander’s pioneering program. “We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of The Self Family Foundation,” said Dr. Judith Neufeld, dean of Lander’s College of Education. “Their commitment to education and our university has allowed our Montessori education program to thrive, and we are excited about this opportunity to spotlight our program on the national stage.”

One of Lander’s best-kept secrets is about to be revealed.

Pictured, from left: Lander University teacher education majors Adrianna Ray, Camila Bedoya, Andrea Poore, Jackson Bagwell and Michaela Smith; Dr. Judith Neufeld, dean of Lander’s College of Education; and Frank Wideman, president of The Self Family Foundation.



Mufuka Private Foundation

Preparing students for a global education.

Pictured, back row, from left: Lander University students Chelesani Nyathi and Evidence Mushaninga. Front row, from left: Lander students Tatenda Makuvatsine and Beatrice Sibusisiwe; Lander Foundation donors and Mufuka Private Foundation creators Jean and Douglas Mufuka; and Lander student Learnmore Jeremia.



Keeping it Personal By Judy Bello, Photo by Caroline Jenkins

What could Zimbabwe, a country more than 8,000 miles away from Greenwood, South Carolina, possibly have in common with Lander University? The connection is one that goes back more than 40 years – and it began and continues with one family: the Mufukas. It was around that time that now-retired Professor of History Dr. Kenneth N. Mufuka came to Lander from Zimbabwe, just as his home nation severed its final colonial ties with England. Mufuka and his brother, Dr. Douglas Mufuka, recognized that the young men and women of Zimbabwe would need to be well educated in order to be able to address the future challenges facing the newly independent nation. The Mufuka brothers recommended Lander to family in Zimbabwe, and in 1999, the Kenneth and Mashura Mufuka Scholarship was established at the University. Then, in 2002, Douglas Mufuka and his wife, Jean, established the Mufuka Private Foundation in Chicago, which – in tandem with the Kenneth and Mashura Mufuka Scholarship – serves to bring Zimbabwe’s brightest young minds to Lander. Douglas and Jean Mufuka created the Foundation to honor Douglas’ father, Miles, a Salvation Army minister, and to acknowledge the U.S. scholarship Douglas received that gave him the opportunity to attend an American university, which ultimately led to medical school and a successful nephrology practice. What makes the Mufuka scholarships different is the sponsors’ involvement in the lives of the students. From the selection criteria to following the students’ progress after graduation, it’s very personal. While all of the recipients are academically gifted, Jean and Douglas also wanted to be sure these young adults would succeed beyond the undergraduate program. “We want students who are already immersed in American culture, who are well prepared for the world of work, and we want students who are intellectually curious,” Jean explains. “Zimbabwe was a British colony until 1980, so the students could be expected to be English speaking. In the beginning, the Mufukas created relationships with the four Salvation Army High Schools, the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, and with the U.S. Achievers Program.

“We spent two years preparing to receive our first student, Farai Chiutsi, in 2004,” Jean continues. “The fourteenth arrived in the fall of 2017.” Since 2004, eight students have graduated and gone on to advanced degrees in medicine, business and communications. Of the five currently attending Lander, one is a senior majoring in accounting with the unusual name of Evidence Mushaninga. The name is fitting – Evidence is a very unique young man. Just ask any of his professors whose praise for this 4.0-scholar is universal. In addition to the Mufukas’ criteria, Evidence adds his assessment, “The students should be hard working and also be risk takers, because the culture is very different.” Because they value the opportunity to study in the U.S. so much, the students must also be more mature and independent than others. Most don’t go “home for the holidays.” Skype helps connect with family, but Evidence hasn’t been back to Zimbabwe in four years. When pressed to identify what cultural differences he has had to overcome, he admits that Americans were not as family-oriented as Zimbabweans, and missing traditional African food was an issue until he moved into an apartment and began cooking sadza (a cornmeal side dish much like grits) for himself. Evidence has already created a clear career path following graduation. For the past two summers, he has interned at Ernst and Young in McLean, Va., and he has a job waiting for him at the accounting firm when he graduates. After that comes the CPA license, and then graduate school. While it is not a requirement for the scholarship, “there is the expectation and hope that the students will give back to their adopted communities through work with the Salvation Army or by paying it forward for other students,” says Jean Mufuka. “One graduate currently working on her Ph.D. in chemistry at USC, Brenda Kapingidza, sends money for school fees for four students she’s never met; another graduate, Tashinga Musonza, has paid for his sister’s brain surgery back in Zimbabwe. And a majority send money home.” It’s like an unbroken chain, with one person pulling another, and that one reaching back to pull another one up. First there were 14, but there are countless more who will be greatly impacted by the Mufukas’ generosity.



The Self Regional Healthcare Foundation

Ensuring the Future of Nursing By Judy Bello, Photo by Caroline Jenkins

The partnership between Lander University and thenSelf Memorial Hospital can be traced back to 1956. At the time, the hospital was owned and operated by The Self Family Foundation, which awarded then-Lander College a $75,000 grant to establish the first associate degree in nursing program in South Carolina. The Foundation continued to support the nursing program, providing nearly $600,000 in grants, until 1969, when the Foundation deeded Self Memorial Hospital, now Self Regional Healthcare, to Greenwood County. In the 1980s, Lander’s associate degree was replaced with the Bachelor of Science, and over the years the nursing education program has continued to advance. Today, in addition to the bachelor’s program, Lander offers an R.N. to B.S.N program, as well as a Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader (MSN-CNL) degree. The Self Regional Healthcare Foundation’s (formerly the Self Memorial Hospital Foundation) $250,000 gift to support the “Partners in Preparing for Practice Initiative” helps inform the direction of nursing education at Lander, providing better simulation opportunities for students, as well as increased professional development for the nursing faculty. In addition, the Foundation has provided scholarship funding to assist with recruitment and growth of the Clinical Nurse Leader master’s program. “Today, on average nationwide, nurses stay in the clinical setting only two-and-a-half years after graduation. Add the increased demands of an aging population, and the fact that nurses themselves are aging and retiring, and it’s no surprise that there is a nursing shortage nationwide,” explains Dr. Holisa Wharton, dean of the William Preston Turner School of Nursing. According to Dr. Linda Russell, vice president and chief nursing



officer at Self Regional Healthcare, “One-third of nurses leave the clinical setting early in their careers – primarily because there are many more attractive nonclinical opportunities available to nurses today.” Keeping nurses in the clinical setting and at the bedside is a priority. That’s where Lander’s Clinical Nurse Leader program steps in. The CNL works an eight-hour shift, Monday-Friday. “They’re the keepers of the patient’s story; the one constant in a sometimes ever-changing environment,” explains Dr. Wharton. The CNL is also the “nurses’ nurse,” an advocate between administration and the staff nurse. “The addition of CNLs in the hospital setting increases morale, lessens burnout and decreases turnover.” There are 17 students currently enrolled in the CNL master’s program at Lander. Fourteen of these are full-time team members at Self Regional Healthcare. The Foundation and hospital pay all tuition costs, as well as the costs of professional development for faculty teaching in the CNL program. “Our goal at Self Regional is to redesign patient care with patient safety, system efficiencies and improved patient outcomes for the community we serve,” says Russell. “The Lander CNL program helps with this goal, while improving retention of the nursing staff.” The School of Nursing is meeting the University’s mission of providing high-demand, market-driven degree programs for talented students. In 2016, 100 percent of Lander’s nursing graduates passed the NCLEX-RN license exam – one of only two schools in the state to achieve this noteworthy accomplishment. Over a five-year period, Lander’s passing average is 92-95 percent. “Lander nurses are in great demand; 100 percent of our B.S.N. graduates are employed within six months of graduating and, of the 19 that are in or have completed the MSN-CNL program, 60 percent earned their B.S.N. at Lander,” Dr. Wharton adds.

Addressing the need for clinical nurse leaders.

Pictured, from left: Dr. Linda Russell, vice president of nursing at Self Regional Healthcare; Lander nursing major Marissa Thomas-Wright; Dr. Holisa Wharton, dean of Lander’s William Preston Turner School of Nursing; and nursing major Tori St. Clair.


Partnering to increase professional development.




The Kauffmann Family Foundation

Advancing Research and Development By Judy Bello, Photo by Caroline Jenkins

In 2017, the Kauffmann Family Foundation established an endowment to support faculty research and staff development, a critical need for Lander University. As the first recipients of the $50,000 endowment disbursement, Dr. Kevin Witherspoon, Dr. Paula Haynes and Tutoring Coordinator Caleb Polatty received funds to continue their writing and research projects, and, in the case of Polatty, to complete a master’s degree. Dr. Witherspoon, chair of Lander's Department of History and Philosophy, is continuing his work on the 1968 Olympics, which observes its 50th anniversary this year. Witherspoon has been asked to coordinate sessions related to the 1968 Olympics for the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) Annual Conference, which will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in May 2018. Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Haynes’ research involves diabetes education and the Hispanic population. Lander nursing students are also actively involved in the project. Increased funding for faculty development enhances recruitment efforts and ensures that students receive instruction from top-caliber, engaged professors. The endowment also provides for pilot research and funding to aid professors in search of grant opportunities.

“We are grateful for this endowment, which will assist the University in addressing the need for well-prepared graduates. And, we are proud that one of our alumni, Sally, and her husband, Douglas, are helping ensure Lander’s reputation for academic excellence,” said Denise Manley, Director of Alumni Affairs. Recently, the Rev. Douglas and Sally Kauffmann also established the Howard C. Kauffmann Memorial Scholarship for students with financial need. “The thing dad prized above all else was hard work; there was no question that this would be the perfect way to honor him,” Douglas Kauffmann explains. “He was just an exceptional man.” That’s how Douglas describes his father, retired Exxon CEO Howard Kauffmann, who passed away in 2016. While his father managed one of the world’s largest oil corporations, Douglas remembers growing up all over the world, with the longest time spent in England, where he completed high school. Over the years, Sally and Douglas have created scholarships to honor others they love and respect. It’s a fitting way to keep a memory alive while helping others realize their dreams. Why Lander? “Well, it’s Sally’s alma mater, but really we just love Lander,” Douglas adds.

Pictured, from left: Dr. Kevin Witherspoon, chair of Lander’s Department of History and Philosophy; Lander Foundation donors Sally Kauffmann and the Rev. Doug Kauffmann; Dr. Paula Haynes, assistant professor of nursing; and Caleb Polatty, Academic Success Center tutoring coordinator.



Making Their College Dreams Possible Photos by Caroline Jenkins

Walter B. Todd III, president of Greenwood Capital



For many students, the cost of a college education would not be within reach without the financial assistance provided by scholarships. Each year, Lander’s many scholarship recipients are given the opportunity to meet and thank those generous donors who have made the dream of higher education a possibility. The 2017 Eleanor Shiflet Teal Scholarship Banquet, held in October at Finis Horne Arena, brought together more than 300 donors and recipients for an evening of music, food and fellowship. The event was sponsored by Greenwood Capital, with keynote speaker Walter B. Todd III, president and chief investment officer with the organization. Todd, who has more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, said that college tuition in the U.S. has grown at a rate of nearly 200 percent over the past two decades, creating a ballooning debt that many young people are forced to carry – and one that impacts the overall economy. Lander, which has frozen tuition, housing and general fees for the coming 2018-19 academic year, represents “a tremendous value for students,” Todd said. But, the average student still experiences a funding gap. “There is still a need for giving,” he added. “Your gifts are needed now more than ever.”



320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, SC 29649-2099 Change Service Requested

Get Ready For ‘The Drop’ The Lander Foundation will hold a

unique capital fundraiser in April aiming to enhance athletic scholarships and operating budgets. Supporters can purchase special golf balls that will be individually numbered and dropped from a helicopter onto the outfield at Dolny Stadium during “The Drop,” on Saturday, April 28. Cash prizes will be awarded to the nine participants whose golf balls land closest to a temporary golf pin on the field. A reception will take place just before the drop and will include a live band, food, beverages and other exciting entertainment. Golf balls can be purchased for $100 each and include one ticket to the reception; additional reception tickets can be purchased for $50 each. Prize money for the winning golf balls will be provided by ball sales. The event’s sponsor is Emerald Ink and Stitches, with helicopter services provided by Blue Ridge Helicopters.

April 28, 2018

Dolny Stadium, May Sports Complex Reception – 6:30 p.m.; Ball Drop – 7:30 p.m.

$15,000 in Prizes

Closest to the Pin – $5,000 (One Winner) 2nd Closest to the Pin – $3,000 (One Winner) 3rd-9th Closest to the Pin – $1,000 (Seven Winners) To register, visit or call 864-388-8291 for information.

Lander Magazine Winter 2017-18  
Lander Magazine Winter 2017-18