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Spring 2014

Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the University

Honoring History, Embracing the Future New gazebo is one of several projects changing the look of campus

Soccer Stadium Naming | Equestrian Reunion | Bike for Kicks | Lander’s Coastal Conduit | Honoring Top Alumni

A Message from the President Dear Lander Friends and Alumni: The Lander campus will undergo some significant changes this coming year.

Teale Crowned Miss Lander 2014 Lander sophomore Justina Claudine Teale, an elementary education/early childhood education major from Gaston, recently earned the coveted title of Miss Lander University 2014. Teale is involved with the Lander University Cheerleaders and Zeta Tau Alpha, and she serves as president of the National Panhellenic Council at Lander. She was sponsored in the event by Zeta Tau Alpha. The Miss Lander University competition is presented annually by the National Association for Music Education. Teale, right, is pictured with Kaitlin Stowe, Miss Lander University 2013. – Contributed photo

We are beginning construction on a new 210-bed residence hall on the site of our former softball field. The design bridges “old” and “new” traditions on campus, and you will recognize features reminiscent of both Chipley and Centennial residence halls. We will also begin renovation and upgrades to our Moran Assembly Plaza, adding elements that will help transform the area into a centralized gathering spot for students. The project will continue with a new circular design for the entrance to the university’s Learning, Cultural and PEES centers. Our campus is indeed growing, as you’ll read about in this issue of Lander Magazine. You will also enjoy stories on some special people, including our 2014 Alumni Award Winners, our visiting scholars, and a group of young alumni – our “charter” equestrian team members – who took part in a fun reunion on campus this past fall. At Lander, our faculty, staff and students are committed to being active participants in the local community. The campuswide volunteer effort with the Grace Street Nature Park is but one excellent example of this. You’ll read more about this collaborative endeavor within the pages of this issue. As always, we hope the stories that follow will kindle – or perhaps rekindle – your passion for Lander University, its mission, and the goodness it brings to the citizens of our state, region and the world. Remember to stop by my office if and when you are on our campus.

On the Cover The look of the Lander campus will be undergoing several major changes this year, including the addition of a residence hall and renovations to the plaza and entrance circular drive. One change is already in place – a beautiful gazebo that is a replica of one found at Mineral Spring Park in Williamston, just across from the site of the university’s birthplace as Williamston Female College. The new gazebo, located on the lawn adjacent to Laura Lander Hall, was built by university staff and funded through the Alumni Association, Greenwood Tower Club and other Lander graduates. Read more about this modern-day reminder of Lander’s historical roots on page 13. – Photo by Russell Martin


Daniel Ball President, Lander University


Magazine for Alumni & Friends of the University

LANDER MAGAZINE STAFF Megan Price, Editor Dave Lorenzatti, Writer Russell Martin, Writer Jeff Lagrone, Writer Maria Scott, Designer Kathy Goldsmith, Editorial Assistant Bob Stoner, Sports Writer David Hays, Sports Writer

LANDER ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Myra Greene ’78, Director of Alumni Affairs Debbie Lyons Dill ’90, Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Frank Ridlehoover ’67, President Jim Nichols ’95, Vice President Debrah Hodges Miller ’76, Secretary Deloris Carter ’92, Treasurer Danielle Waldt Fields ’07, Vice President for Young Alumni

LANDER EXECUTIVE OFFICERS Daniel W. Ball, President S. David Mash, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary McCombs, Vice President for Business and Administration H. Randall Bouknight, Vice President for Student Affairs Ralph E.G. Patterson, Vice President for University Advancement J. Adam Taylor, Vice President for Governmental Relations Jefferson J. May, Athletics Director

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Robert A. Barber Jr. Ann B. Bowen Bobby M. Bowers Holly Bracknell Linda L. Dolny, Secretary Catherine Lee Frederick Maurice Holloway Raymond D. Hunt Ann Hurst Jack W. Lawrence, Chair Donald H. Lloyd II John Nicholson Jr. Mamie W. Nicholson George R. Starnes, Vice Chair Fred M. Thrailkill Jr. S. Anne Walker

It is the policy of Lander University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sex, veteran 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 including obligations of Title IX. Information regarding these policies/procedures and contact information can be found at

University Relations and Publications 864-388-8019 •

Features 13



Modern Day Reminder A new gazebo on campus mirrors a similar structure near the university’s birthplace in Williamston.

Grace Street Nature Park Students and faculty team up to help transform an abandoned landmark into a community park.

Water Painter Lander Visiting Scholar Xingxiong Liu discusses life, art and his latest book.


Cover Story: Building the Future at Lander

One key component of Lander’s master plan is under way, with two more soon to follow.


Face and Name of Lander Soccer


Coastal Conduit


Men’s Soccer Head Coach Van Taylor is honored in a big way for 30 years of service to Lander.



Students from the Low Country find their perfect educational fit at Lander.

Bike for Kicks 36 A new event in Greenwood brings bicycling and soccer

together for a worthy cause.


A Look At What They Started 41 Equestrian alumni return to campus to see what their

efforts years ago have created today.

The University in Review 36

2-4 Homecoming 5-11 Alumni News & Class Notes 12 Alumni Events 14-15 Commencement 19 International Studies 25-27 Bearcat Sports Roundup 30-35 News Briefs 38-40 Giving & Scholarship News


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Celebrating Lander Homecoming 2014 In February, students and alumni joined together to celebrate “Lander through the Decades,” the theme for the university’s 2014 Homecoming Week. Festivities included reunions, student competitions and much more. We invite you to enjoy some of our favorite photos from this year’s events. – Photos by Russell Martin, Deb Crenshaw-Nygro and Megan Price


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


And the Winners Are... HOMECOMING KING AND QUEEN: Capturing the 2014 Homecoming King crown was senior Mihajlo Kozjak, of Belgrade, Serbia, a business administration major with economics/finance concentration. He was sponsored by the Student Government Association. The title of Homecoming Queen went to senior Erin Garland, of Seneca, a business administration major with a concentration in health care management. She was sponsored by Phi Mu. THE BEARCAT CUP: Zeta Tau Alpha claimed the rights to The Bearcat Cup, which honors the overall student competition winner.

WINNERS BY COMPETITION: BANNER 1st place LU Resident Assistants 2nd place Tie: LU Student Government Association & NAACP 3rd place Leputation BEARCAT SHOWCASE 1st place Alpha Tau Omega 2nd place Phi Mu 3rd place Tie: Zeta Tau Alpha & Gamma Phi Beta SPIRIT 1st place Zeta Tau Alpha 2nd place Alpha Tau Omega 3rd place Chi Sigma 2-BALL 1st place NAACP 2nd place LU Resident Assistants 3rd place Phi Beta Sigma 3-POINT 1st place Phi Beta Sigma 2nd place University Program Council 3rd place LU Resident Assistants THINK FAST Winner Baptist Collegiate Ministry SOAPBOX JUDGING 1st place Phi Mu 2nd place Zeta Tau Alpha 3rd place Tie: Chi Sigma & Alpha Tau Omega SOAPBOX RACE 1st place Chi Sigma 2nd place University Program Council 3rd place Alpha Tau Omega

ALUMNI GOLF OUTING: GOLF TOURNAMENT - WINNING TEAM Steven Bryant Chase Cooley, ’08 Charlie Hoyle, ’12 Josh McWhorter PUTTING COMPETITION Winner Terry Bryan, ’87 Finalist Clayton Dorn, ’87 Finalist Jason Theiss, ’00


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Alum ni News

Honoring the Best: Grubb, Riddle & Driggers 2014 Alumni Association Award Winners By Dave Lorenzatti

Sylvia Brooks Grubb Grace Iler Norman Award

Mark Riddle Distinguished Alumni Award

Jon Driggers Young Alumni Award

Lander’s Alumni Association has selected a school nurse, a television producer and an educator to receive its prestigious annual awards. The honorees are Sylvia Brooks Grubb, ’59, of West Columbia; Mark Riddle, ’84, of Greenwood; and Jon Driggers, ’98, of Banner Elk, N.C. Grubb was named to receive the Grace Iler Norman Award, recognizing significant achievements within the Alumni Association and the university. Grubb was a member of the first nursing class to graduate from Lander. She worked for more than 35 years as a school nurse for Richland County District 1 and, for 25 of those years, she was coordinator of health services. She created a comprehensive health screening program for children and, under her guidance, District 1 was the first school district in the state to screen adolescents for scoliosis. In 1999, she was named South Carolina School Nurse of the Year. She established the Sylvia Brooks Grubb Nursing Scholarship at Lander, explaining that she was the beneficiary of the Self Foundation Scholarship while a student. She credited Lander with giving her the foundation she needed to succeed. Grubb, who is now retired, said, “I am just thrilled to receive the award. I’m as honored as I can be.” Mark Riddle was selected for the Distinguished Alumni Award, given to Lander graduates who gain distinction in their careers. Riddle became a business owner shortly after graduating and, in 1994, he began a career in television as co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning children’s show Dooley and Pals. He is also co-creator and executive producer of the New Dooley and Pals, produced by Disney/MGM Studios. He recently created and co-produced the Dooley and Pals Ministry series aired by TBN and other educational and religious

networks worldwide. He continues to develop and help other producers bring faith-based shows to Christian television, and he is the executive producer of the new hit BJ’s Bedtime Bible Stories. Riddle has been a strong Lander supporter, including serving on the Athletic Department Board. He also sponsors a table and solicits items for the annual Bearcat Auction. He said he is honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. “Lander has always been a big part of my life, playing basketball in the old Barksdale gym as a kid, and then attending and graduating from Lander. In all my business travels, I always love to tell people about Lander University.” Jon Driggers, the Young Alumni Award winner, was an exercise science major from Aiken, a resident assistant, SGA senator, peer educator and recipient of the Lander University President’s Award. He has served as dean of students at Coker College and South University-Columbia, and held positions at Clemson University and Erskine College. He is now dean of students at LeesMcRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. A 10-year member of the Young Alumni Council, Driggers is also co-chair for Candidate Services for The Placement Exchange, a national partnership promoting job placement for Student Affairs professionals. He said, “I’m honored to be recognized for the award,” and added, “My time at Lander was a wonderful experience and provided me with opportunities and support to develop skills for my career in higher education.” Driggers and his wife, Susan, a 1999 Lander graduate, are the parents of one child, a daughter, Lauren. The awards will be presented to Grubb, Riddle and Driggers during Lander’s Alumni Day luncheon on May 3.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


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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 e-mail items to

Faye Christie Morgan ’62 and Charles Morgan celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 22. David H. Roberts ’70 is a part-time professor of English at the University of Georgia. He retired from Samford University several years ago. C. Randall Fox ’76 is the new chief credit officer with Congaree State Bank in Cayce, S.C. Jesse L. Butler ’77 received the 2014 Keeper of the Dream Award, presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Committee. The award is given to recipients who are committed to fairness and racial harmony in our society. Claude C. Robinson ’79 has joined Park Sterling Bank as the South Carolina community markets president. Joy L. Mims ’80 retired on June 1, 2013, from the U.S. federal government after 33 years of service. Sherry Mitchell Eppelsheimer ’82 received her Doctorate of Education from the University of South Carolina. She is the associate principal at Wando High School. Lisa Fleming ’83 is the new director of Rainey Hospice House in Anderson. Gina Smith Humphreys ’85 is the new auditor for Greenwood County. Dianne Daniel Calvert ’88 was named the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year for Hodges Elementary. Stephanie Aull Johnson ’88 received her master’s in education from Lander. She is also the new assistant softball coach for Indiana University-Purdue University at Ft. Wayne. Tammy Cain Mathews ’89 has renewed her national board certification for teaching. Tammy is a business education teacher at the Anderson District 5 Career Campus. L. Shannon Stephens ’92 opened her own private psychotherapy practice in Augusta, Ga. She previously worked at Augusta State University as a counselor and internship coordinator in the Counseling Center. S. Melissa Evans ’95 has relocated back to South Carolina and is an EHR systems analyst with Tuomey Healthcare Systems. Jon Driggers ’98 is the new dean of students at LeesMcRae College in Banner Elk, N.C., and the recipient of the 2014 Lander Alumni Association Distinguished Young Alumni Award.


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Epps ’00 Honored for ‘A Perfect Swing’ One simple question was all it took for Ashaunta Epps, ’00, to chart a career course that recently earned her national honors. While taking a leadership course at her church in Charlotte, N.C., she was asked, “What would you be doing if money was no object?” For Epps, the answer was helping individuals use golf to enhance their lives. She is now doing just that as the founder and CEO of A Perfect Swing Inc. The organization’s mission is to help individuals use golf as a networking tool to advance in their careers and provide an environment in which players can learn at their own pace. Since embarking on this vision in 2011, Epps has played with more than 100 individuals, young and old. “We have seniors who are getting out and becoming active. We have individuals who have always wanted to play golf, but were too intimidated to start. They are now confidently playing full rounds of golf,” Epps said. “Through our youth workshops, we have energized many young players who are now looking to play the game long-term.” Epps’ efforts earned her a 2013 African American Golfer’s Digest Outstanding Leaders in Golf Award, and she and fellow honorees were featured in the publication’s Fall 2013 issue. Past recipients include PGA and LPGA members, entrepreneurs and other notables who have “made a substantial impact on the game and the golf industry as it relates to the African American community in particular,” said Debert Cook, the magazine’s publisher. For Epps, who followed her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Lander with a master’s in information systems from Strayer University, golf wasn’t a sport she knew much about initially, as she didn’t play the game growing up. Through her corporate experiences, however, she found she was missing out on critical conversations that took place on the links. “I fell in love with the sport as I began to learn the fundamentals,” she said. “It’s amazing how your passion and drive for work can push you to do things out-of-thebox, and once you get out there, you realize you like it.” Epps is particularly passionate about introducing youth to the game. “Just like basketball and football, golf is a sport that can earn them a college scholarship and allow them to play professionally,” she said. “Additionally, it serves as a self-esteem booster and it gets them active.” To learn more about A Perfect Swing, visit (Information courtesy African American Golfer’s Digest press release.)

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Lander ’86 A Portrait in Persistence

Michael Goodwin ’01 has taken the leap into a fulltime career with his stand-up comedy.

James “Jim” Lander, ’86, is the first male descendant of Lander’s founder to graduate from the university and he says, jokingly, it took him 39 years to do it. Lander, a great-grandson of the Rev. Samuel Lander, was 56 years old when he received a business degree. He attended North Carolina State University for a year, transferred to Erskine College, then quit school to enlist in the South Carolina Army National Guard. Over the next 40 years, he would rise through the ranks, starting out as an administrative assistant and retiring as National Guard chief of staff. After leaving the military, he went back to Jim Lander, ’86, relaxes in the den of his school, attending classes at Lander for a year and, home in Newberry beneath the photo of his factoring in the hours he earned at N.C. State and ancestor and founder of Lander University, Erskine, plus credit for his military service, he the Rev. Samuel Lander. earned his degree. In 1992, Lander was elected state senator from the 18th District and served three terms. In 1998, he was elected comptroller general, a position he held for four years. The Abbeville native and his wife of 62 years, Jolene, make their home in Newberry. They are the parents of six children, two of whom are Lander graduates: Terrie Anne LanderDuffy, ’83, who died in 2002; and Lt. Col. James Lander, ’91. The elder Lander earned several military decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal; the Legion of Merit, twice; two Bronze Stars; and the Army Commendation Medal. But he said his most-cherished commendation is the Silver Beaver Award given by the Boy Scouts of America to adult Scout leaders for distinguished service impacting the lives of young people. Lander has been involved in scouting since he was a boy, and as an adult, he served as chair of the Blue Ridge Council and council adviser. He said he is delighted to have had the chance to obtain an undergraduate degree at Lander. In 2000, the university’s Board of Trustees awarded him a second degree, an honorary doctorate to recognize his many years of dedicated public service. Lander said he has always been proud to be a descendant of the university’s founder, and at age 84, he is the oldest living Lander male. He has a younger brother, Robert, a retired U.S. Army colonel, who lives in Abbeville. When asked to reflect on his years in the military and politics, his family, education and his many accomplishments, Lander remarked, “It’s been a good life.”

Angela Gilbert Strickland ’02 was promoted to partner with Bowman and Brooke LLP, Attorneys at Law.

Alumni News & Events

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Annie L. Smith ’03 is the new marketing and development director at the University of South Carolina Union. Erin Rikard Hays ’04 is a new pulmonologist with Self Regional Healthcare. Justin Leopard ’04 was named the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year for Westview Middle School. Jennifer A. Mojave ’06 has a new role as director of marketing and patient care liaison for Riverside Premier Rehab & Healing Center. Jason “J.J.” Stockbridge ’06 graduated from Appalachian State University with an M.A. in higher education administration in May 2013. Paula Nabors Taylor ’06 was named Ware Shoals School District 51 Teacher of the Year. Joseph R. Engram ’07 was promoted to regional sales manager – Eastern U.S. and Canada, with Red Seal Measurement. Nicole Varnum ’07 was promoted to controller with the (Greenwood) Index-Journal. Stephanie Davis Stanley ’08 was named McCormick County School District Teacher of the Year for 2013-14. Jamie Wilson Gillenwater ’09 has started her own business and is technical communications consultant/ sole proprietor at Transcend Text LLC. Hilary Brannock ’10 has new roles as project manager and traveling exhibit coordinator with her current position at the State Museum. Jennifer Lyons McKinney ’10 accepted a position with Palmetto Health Parkridge Hospital as an LDRP/GYN nurse. Paul H. Abrahamsen ’13 graduated from Lander last August with an MAT degree and is now employed as an art teacher with Blenheim Elementary in Marlboro County. William LaForge ’13 is working for Boeing as a design integration specialist.

Weddings Audrey Webb ’81 and Dexter Fisher, Athens, Ga., Oct. 20. Audrey teaches English/language arts at Clarke County School District. They live in Athens. Jennie Michelle Stewart ’04 and Nathan Harris Hudgens, Landrum, June 22. Jennie is the owner of America’s Mattress. They live in Greenwood. (Continued on page 8) Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


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Weddings (continued) Yolanda Oshaye Washington ’05 and Sterling Smalls, Ninety Six, Oct. 12. Shaye is a merchandise execution leader for JC Penney. They live in Anderson. Wesley Michael Brooks ’06 and Kristen Marie Smith ’09, Greenwood, Sept 28. Wesley is the owner of Undead Speed Equipment, and Kristen is a registered nurse with St. Francis Health System. They live in Greenville. Adam Daniel English ’07 and Haley Melinda Culbertson, Greenwood, Oct. 5. Dan is employed by Jackson & Perkins Park Acquisitions Inc. as an information technology specialist. They live in Greenwood. S. Megan Burgess ’08 and Travis Butler ’12, Lexington, Feb. 9, 2013. Megan is a claims adjuster with Allstate Insurance, and Travis owns Everyday Gourmet Café and Market. They live in Lexington. Anne-Miller Bell ’09 and Braden M. Bright, Greenwood, Jan. 4. They live in Greenwood. Justin Shane Austin ’10 and Lauren Elizabeth Connell, Greenwood, Jan. 11. Justin is a manager for Regional Finance. They live in Greenwood. Andrew P. Polatty ’10 and Elizabeth Anne McFall, Cleveland, S.C., Aug. 31. Andrew is employed by Eaton Corporation. They live in Greenwood. Hannah Elizabeth Carroll ’11 and Nicholas Grey, Greensboro, N.C., Aug. 17, 2012. Hannah is an RN, BSN in Okinawa, Japan, where her husband is stationed with the Marine Corps. Jonathan C. Shurden ’11 and Jessica Rose Carr, Maryland, Sept. 21. Jonathan is employed with McCravy, Newlon & Sturkie Law Firm. They live in Duncan, S.C. Paige O’Bryan Kight ’12 and Thomas Matthew Long, Florence, Oct. 5. Paige is a registered nurse at Carolinas Hospital System. They live in Florence. Lindsay Melissa Blanton ’13 and Josh Colvin, Sumter, Sept. 21. Lindsay is a legal assistant with Howser, Newman & Besley LLC. They live in Cayce. William Adair LaForge ’13 and Morgan Elizabeth Chalmers, Ninety Six, Oct. 26. William is a design integration specialist for Boeing SC. They live in Charleston. Jessica Camden Schmitt ’13 and Cody Dominick, Lexington, May 25. Jessica is employed by State Farm Insurance. They live in Columbia. Jamie McKellar Steifle ’13 and Michael T. Lightsey, Greenwood, Dec. 8. Jamie is the marketing coordinator at Wesley Commons. They live in Greenwood.


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Palmer ’92 Earns Promotion Porter Wideman Palmer, ’92, has been named Discovery Educator Network (DEN) global community director. One of the world’s largest communities of educators, with more than a million members, the DEN’s selfdescribed mission is “to connect educators to their most valuable resource . . . each other.” Since joining Discovery Education in 2006, Palmer has worked to promote an array of DEN initiatives such as the DENbrarian project, a monthly collection of resources – Photo courtesy of Dianne Green Photography for educators on a particular young adult novel, and #DENchat, an organized conversation on Twitter on topics related to teaching with digital media. She also plays a key role in making sure that the DEN Summer Institute (DENSI) and other virtual and in-person professional development events offered by the network come off without a hitch. Palmer worked as a special education teacher in South Carolina for eight years after graduating from Lander with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, then worked with states across the U.S. to develop and implement assessments for students with cognitive disabilities. She remains a fierce advocate for persons with disabilities. Although she sometimes misses not being in the classroom, she says, “I have the great advantage of being connected to some of the most passionate educators in the world. I am always in awe at the great things that I see them doing. I get to share with others regularly a cool teaching strategy that I just learned.”

Smith ’00 Named General Manager Kirk Smith, of McCormick, is the new general manager and chief operating officer of Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick County, after serving 12 years as its marketing director. Smith obtained a business degree with a marketing and management emphasis from Lander, and was a member of Sigma Beta Delta, the international business honor society. He has a master’s in business and management from Southern Wesleyan University. A western South Carolina native, Smith is co-founder and a board member of Outdoor Initiatives, Inc., which includes the Little River Blueway Adventure Region and Lake Thurmond Tourism Initiative. He also chairs the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce. In his new job, Smith leads a team responsible for managing Savannah Lakes Village, which has over 1,000 homes and 2,000 residents, plus two championship golf courses and other facilities. Smith and his wife, Michelle, also a 2000 Lander graduate, have two children.

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Births Terri Young-Freeman ’95 and Santana D. Freeman, Abbeville, a son, Tyler, April 4, 2013. Tyler joins big brother Tristin, who is 4. Christopher J. Yeargin ’97 and Marcia Yeargin, Ridge Spring, a daughter, Ellison Rebecca, Sept. 18. Ellison joins big sisters Emily Ruth and Elizabeth Ann. Aimee Lamkin Simmons ’00 and Davis Simmons, Waxhaw, N.C., a son, Greyson Patrick, Oct. 6. Jamie Greene Garrett ’01 and Brent S. Garrett ’04, Greenville, a son, Samuel Ollie, Aug. 22. Charles Wratchford ’03 and Amanda Wratchford, St. Augustine, Fla., a son, Ethan Powell, Sept. 25. Ethan joins big brother Parker.

2014 Calendar of Upcoming Alumni Events April 17

Senior Picnic on Lander’s Campus

April 24

Lander University Athletics Bearcat Benefit Auction

April 28

Greenwood Tower Club Quarterly Meeting

May 3

Spring Commencement

Alumni Day (Special Dedication Ceremony for New Campus Gazebo)

May 27

The Samuel Lander Golf Classic for Scholarships (Sponsored by Greenwood Tower Club)

August 9

Greenwood Tower Club Alumni Fun-Raiser, Cambridge Hall

Events/dates subject to change. See for details.

Christy Adams Moore ’04 and Thomas Moore, Greenwood, a son, Thomas Renfro Moore Jr., Nov. 25. Kat Duncan Brashier ’05 and Drew Brashier ’05, Mauldin, a son, Cooper Christian, Oct. 9. Cooper joins big brother Logan, who is 3. Melissa Huston Hilton ’05 and Dave Hilton, Fort Mill, a daughter, Anna Caroline, Sept. 16. Anna joins big brothers Jackson, who is 5, and Luke, who is 2. Liz Roark Bolton ’07 and AJ Bolton, Greenwood, a son, Kenneth Maxell, Nov. 19. Marcia Nix McTaggart ’08 and Stephen McTaggart, Madison, Ala., a son, Brendan Calvin, Aug. 15. Jamie Wilson Gillenwater ’09 and Mathew Gillenwater, a daughter, Maya Grace, Dec. 8.

In Memoriam Join the Tower Club and Connect With Alumni in Your Area The first area Tower Club was formed in 2005 and is proudly named for the Tower of the former Old Main building, currently known as Laura Lander Hall. The Tower Clubs serve to build camaraderie among area alumni as well as current and future students. Lander now 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 information on area clubs or to join the Tower Club, visit, or contact Alumni Affairs director Myra Greene at 864-388-8351 or

Rebecca Anderson Callcott ’29, Columbia, Sept 2. She was a retired teacher and a member of Washington Street United Methodist Church. Surviving are three sons, a daughter, 16 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and two sisters. Frances Pollard Brashier ’40, Simpsonville, Oct. 1. She was a retired teacher and a member of Simpsonville United Methodist Church. Surviving are a daughter, and many nephews and nieces. Marguerite Huckaby Havird ’41, Silverstreet, Aug. 26. She was a retired schoolteacher and a member of Silverstreet Lutheran Church. Surviving are a son, two granddaughters, six great-grandchildren and a greatgreat-grandson. Rhett Stevens Barrett Jordan ’42, Mt. Pleasant, Sept. 27. She was retired from the Medical University of South Carolina. Surviving are a son, a daughter and a granddaughter. (Continued on page 10)

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


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In Memoriam (continued) Annie Laura Harbison Williams ’42, Spartanburg, Dec. 15. She was a former teacher and owner of Park Hills Private Kindergarten. Surviving are two sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Mary Alice Parkman Wilson ’44, West Columbia, Jan. 26. She was a retired teacher and a member of Red Bank United Methodist Church. Surviving is her son. Alice Bryson Watkins ’45, Greenville, Nov. 22. She was a member of St. Michael Lutheran Church. Surviving are two sons, a daughter, a grandson and three greatgrandchildren. Grace Rhodes Bobo ’46, Roebuck, Jan. 10. She was a retired schoolteacher and a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Surviving are two sons, a grandson, a brother and a sister. Helene Harper Smith ’47, Lancaster, Sept. 30. She was retired from Lancaster County Library and was a member of First United Methodist Church. Surviving are a son, a daughter and two grandchildren. Elizabeth Brown Estes ’48, Lincolnton, Ga., Sept. 13. She was a retired teacher and an award-winning freelance writer and editor. Surviving are a son, a daughter, a grandson and two granddaughters. Velma Owen Smith Owen ’48, Greenwood, Sept. 9. She was a retired schoolteacher and a member of First Baptist Church. Surviving are two daughters, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Dorothy Hanna Rice ’48, Enoree, Jan. 3. She was a member of Enoree United Methodist Church. Surviving are two sons, three daughters, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a brother. Betty Dean Suber ’54, Greenwood, Dec. 1. Betty was a retired schoolteacher. Surviving are two daughters, two grandchildren and two sisters. Audrey Nix Tindall ’55, Bishopville, Oct. 2. She was a member of First Baptist Church. Surviving are a daughter, three grandchildren, a brother and three sisters. Margaret Wilhelm Freyermuth ’59, North Augusta, July 6. Surviving is her daughter. Susan Womack Quattlebaum ’60, Ninety Six, Aug. 4. She was a retired administrative assistant. Surviving are her husband, a son, a daughter, a brother and a sister. Hazel Burton Morgan ’62, Hanahan, Nov. 3. She was a retired schoolteacher. Surviving are her husband, two daughters, six grandchildren, two brothers and a sister. Katherine “Kay” Oliver McCoy ’63, Columbia, Oct. 9. She is survived by a brother, a sister, and several nephews and nieces.


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Rick Fox: Distinguished Biology Professor Remembered Former biology professor Dr. Richard Fox, of Greenwood, who retired in 2008 after a 31-year teaching career at Lander, died on Feb. 1, just days before his 71st birthday. Recipient of the 1985 Distinguished Professor Award, Fox co-authored three books and maintained a popular scientific website. In 2011, his former laboratory in the Science Building was named The Richard S. Fox Ecology Laboratory to recognize his many contributions to the field of biology and to the education of hundreds of biologists. Dr. David Slimmer, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, said Fox meant a lot to his students as demonstrated by the large number of them who attended his funeral. “For the science faculty, he was a mentor who helped form many into the fine faculty members they are. He helped shape the curriculum … and he was a strong role model for young faculty,” Slimmer said. Fox’s family asked that memorial contributions be made to the Jane Farmer Fox Scholarship for Lander biology students, which he created in his mother’s name.

Virginia Self: Passionate Advocate for Lander Virginia Preston Self, longtime chair of the Self Family Foundation and a strong supporter of the Greenwood community, passed away Nov. 29 at the age of 67. She was an active philanthropist for the causes of community wellness, cultural opportunities, intellectual and social development of youth, and school readiness. Self ’s community involvement was extensive, and she served on several boards related to her family businesses, as well as many nonprofit boards, including the South Carolina Arts Commission, The Greenwood Museum, the Greenwood Community Theatre and the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation. Her impact was also felt in numerous ways at Lander, particularly in the area of education. She was a passionate advocate for Montessori education in South Carolina’s public schools. Under her stewardship, the Self Family Foundation funded the development of Lander’s Montessori program in 1998, and Lander’s Virginia Self Center for Montessori Education was named in her honor in 2006. “Virginia Self was an enthusiastic, generous supporter of our community and university,” said Lander President Daniel Ball. “She truly dedicated her life to helping others, and she is deeply missed by many.” Please send your information on weddings, births, deaths, awards, promotions or other items of interest to: Office of Alumni Affairs, Lander University, 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29649. You can also submit information by calling Debbie Dill at 864-388-8351 or by e-mailing

Class Not es

Sandra Smith Saxon ’64, Stone Mountain, Ga., Dec. 2. Sandra was a retired teacher. Surviving are her husband and son.

Karen Reed Sorrow ’61 and Rebecca Reed Shirey ’70 on the passing of their father, Guy Charles Reed.

Maria Tucker McNeill ’71, Seneca, Jan. 6. She was a school librarian and a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church. Surviving are a son, a daughter, her mother and stepfather, and two sisters.

Vivian Thompson Kirven ’69 on the passing of her mother, Thelma Thompson.

Cecil Ray Moore ’71, Greenwood, Nov. 4. Ray was retired from Park Seed Company. Surviving are his wife, three sons, four grandchildren and a sister. Mary Barnette Ferguson ’74, Greenwood, Aug. 22. She was the former owner of Temptations Women’s Fashion and a member of First Presbyterian Church. Surviving are her husband, two sons, two stepdaughters and three grandchildren. William “Bill” D. Stewart ’77, Lugoff, Aug. 29. Bill was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Surviving are his wife, three sons, a stepson, a stepdaughter, a grandson, a granddaughter, a brother and four sisters. Mary Alton Sullivan ’81, Hartsville, Sept. 25. She was a retired college financial aid director. Surviving are two daughters, a brother, a nephew and a niece. Ruby Reese Benjamin ’83, Greenwood, Nov. 27. Ruby was retired from Benjamin’s Inc. and a member of Coronaca Baptist Church. Surviving are a son, a daughter, 12 grandchildren, 16 greatgrandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, a brother and a sister. Jeffrey M. Ingram ’92, Plum Branch, Jan. 20. Surviving are his mother and two brothers. Tara Yvonne Rouse ’98, Greenwood, Aug. 25. She was a schoolteacher and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Surviving are her parents, a brother, a nephew and a niece.

Waddy A. Babb Jr. ’70 on the passing of his mother, Bernice Page Babb. S. Anne Walker ’72 and S. Melissa Evans ’95 on the passing of Anne’s husband and Melissa’s father, David L. Evans.

Shannon Vaughn Petrus ’05 on the passing of her grandfather, William Jones Hodges.

Charles R. Bouknight ’76 and Gail Anderson Bouknight ’76 on the passing of his sister and her sister-in-law, and Travis A. Bouknight ’04 and Allison G. Bouknight ’09 on the passing of their aunt, Wanda Bouknight Judy.

Darron Harmon, a senior psychology major at Lander, passed away Feb. 10, in a car accident in Saluda County. He was an assistant manager at University Commons.

Gena Godfrey Ridgeway ’78 and Kenneth R. Ridgeway ’77 on the passing of Gena’s mother and Kenneth’s mother-in-law, Naomi Elledge Godfrey. Carol Long Eck ’79 on the passing of her mother, Helen Long. Stuart H. Prather III ’79, Lee W. Prather ’77 and Karen Hinton Prather ’77 on the passing of Stuart and Lee’s father and Karen’s father-inlaw, Stuart H. Prather Jr. Myrna Davis Arnold ’81 on the passing of her father, John Watts Davis. Jennie Lynn Faulkner Horne ’82 and Mike Horne ’99 on the passing of her sister and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Faulkner Pruitt. Sarah Suber Deal ’86 and Elly E. Deal ’12 on the passing of their mother and grandmother, Betty Dean Suber ’54.

Frances Anderson Hart ’33 and Nancy Anderson Self ’34 on the passing of their sister, Rebecca Anderson Callcott ’29.

Richard D. Johnson ’87 on the passing of his brother, Jerry Lee Johnson Jr.

Delores Smith Von Rosen ’59 and Betty Jo Smith Scurry ’61 on the passing of their mother, Velma Owen Smith Owen ’48.

Carolina Abrams Vervoort ’03 on the passing of her father, Ronald S. Abrams Sr.


Mike Pitts ’86 on the passing of his father-inlaw, William F. Slay.

Sallie Shirley Peebles ’58 on the passing of her husband, Felix Larry Peebles.

Shane Ballenger ’96, Michele Ballenger Smith ’04 and Alex Smith ’09 on the passing of Shane and Michele’s father, and Alex’s father-in-law, Clyne “Nubbin” Ballenger.

John P. Talbert Jr. ’73, Nancy Talbert Moore ’77 and Marion Moore ’79 on the passing of their mother and mother-in-law, Georgia Rosalind Reese Talbert.

Sympathy To

Joan Connor Hutto ’54 on the passing of her husband, George Hutto.

Chad E. Day ’95 and Beth Day ’04 on the passing of their grandmother, Irene Scoggins Day.

Alice Harmon Gilchrist ’89 on the passing of her mother, Mildred Harmon. R. Jay Siltzer ’89 on the passing of his father, Richard D. Siltzer. Robert Craig Cox ’90 on the passing of his brother, Alfred C. Cox Jr. Cindy Benjamin Hughes ’90 on the passing of her mother, Ruby Reese Benjamin ’83.

Paul Lewis Crawley, Greenwood, passed away Dec. 21. Paul was grounds superintendent until 1999.

William “Billy” Reynolds, Greenwood, passed away Dec. 27. Billy was a temporary trades specialist II from 1995 to 2000. Sympathy to Mary Ward on the passing of her husband, Wesley E. “Tic” Ward, Sept. 20. Mary is retired from Lander’s Bearcat Shop. Sympathy to President Daniel Ball, on the passing of his father, Wayne Ball, Dec. 31, in Mountain Grove, Mo. He was 92. Mr. Ball retired as Superintendent of Schools in Palmer, Iowa, in 1983. He married Anna Vlahovich in 1942, and they had five sons. Mr. Ball served as Parish Council member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and was involved with the Knights of Columbus and the Lions Club. He is survived by Daniel Ball and four other sons, 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Sympathy to First Lady Marjorie Ball on the passing of her mother, Marcia DeYoung Starbuck, Jan. 20, at the age of 91. Mrs. Starbuck lived on her farm in rural Queen City, Mo., and visited her family in Greenwood often. She was a member of the Queen City Baptist Church and was a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary. She married Shirley Starbuck in 1941, and they had five children. In addition to daughter Marjorie Ball, Mrs. Starbuck is survived by a son, two daughters, nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one sister.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


A Fall Semester Full of Fun The Lander University Alumni Association spent the fall semester connecting with alumni from across the state at a variety of events, including annual fall socials in Greenwood, Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and the Grand Strand; Lander Evening Club gatherings; and a Lander Lily Luncheon benefiting scholarships at the university.


1. Fashion for a Cause About 30 alumnae and guests attended the first-ever Lander Lily Luncheon at Cambridge Hall in December, enjoying a catered lunch and fashion demonstration by Sandra Hughes, of Image, who modeled methods for wearing and tying scarves. Attendees were able to peruse and purchase a variety of scarves as unique holiday gifts while helping their alma mater at the same time, as proceeds from the ticket sales and a portion of the scarf sales went to the alumni scholarship program.

2. Bridging Generations



The Columbia-area Tower Club’s Fall Social in October brought together alumni of all ages, including, pictured, Nancy Anderson Self, Class of 1934, and Paul Hooper, a 2009 graduate. About 35 people attended the gathering at Villa Tronco in downtown Columbia, and it served as the club’s annual membership kickoff.

3. Exciting Announcement Attendees shared lots of laughs and great memories at the Greenwood Tower Club’s Fall Fling, held at Cambridge Hall in November. At the gathering, it was announced that the Greenwood Tower Club has endowed a scholarship to be awarded to students who are residents of Greenwood or Abbeville counties. Among those at the event were members of the Young Alumni Council, pictured, from left: Danielle Waldt Fields, ’08; Waymon Cassell, ’10; Elly Deal, ’12; Sym Singh, ’07; Katie Finkbeiner Engram, ’09; Joseph Engram, ’07; and Andrew Love, ’10.


4. Falling for Lander in the Upstate At the Tower Club-Upstate’s Fall for Lander event at Venue4Design in October, alumni reminisced on their Lander days while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres. A special highlight of the evening was an announcement that the club had established a funded scholarship to benefit Lander students from the Upstate area.

5. An Evening with Friends In November, the Lander Evening Club toured the new Field House at the university’s Jeff May Complex for recreation, wellness and sports. The club, an informational lecture-style series, is open to all alumni. Members meet throughout the year, and a program or tour related to the university is provided. – Contributed Photos


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


A Modern Day Reminder of Lander’s Historical Roots By Dave Lorenzatti


here is a new gazebo on Lander’s campus, a throwback to the university’s birthplace in Williamston, where, in 1872, the Rev. Samuel Lander founded Williamston Female College, later renamed Lander College in his honor after being relocated to Greenwood in 1904. Across from the site of the original school in Williamston is Mineral Spring Park, a favorite spot where students from the college spent free time. One of the attractions was a preCivil War gazebo, built to shelter the natural spring that gave the park its name. No doubt, students joined townspeople and visitors who thronged to sample the water flowing from the gazebo, which is still a Williamston landmark. Back then and still today, the spring water is

considered to have healing properties because of its iron and sulfur content. Dr. DeWitt Stone, great-grandson of Samuel Lander and a special assistant to Lander’s president, said the spring’s reputation attracted many people from across the state and elsewhere during the 1850s. Williamston came to be known as the “Saratoga Springs of the South,” a reference to the mineral waters in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Many years later, a gazebo was built in front of Laura Lander Hall on the Greenwood campus, and it was as popular with modernday students as the original in Williamston. Myra Greene, ’78, remembers it as a place where graduation photos were taken and wedding proposals were made and accepted,

a quiet spot for students to sit and reflect. The years passed until the gazebo succumbed to old age and it was torn down in 2001. Greene, Lander’s director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving, said the Alumni Association’s board of directors had long considered replacing the gazebo. In 2012, it created a fund to preserve the historic nature of the campus and selected a new gazebo as its first project. She said the directors considered the gazebo a “piece of history.” DeWitt Stone agreed and suggested copying the design of the one in Williamston. He and Lander’s master craftsman and lead carpenter Terry Powell traveled to Mineral Spring Park and took precise measurements of the gazebo. Powell returned to doublecheck their calculations and to make a pattern of the eight posts supporting the roof. The posts are 9 feet long, which made copying them almost impossible until he found a woodworking company in Marietta, Ga., with a lathe large enough to do the job. It took Powell and employees in Lander’s physical plant three months to build the gazebo, fitting the project in with their other duties. He said it was a team effort, using the talents of the university’s carpenters, painters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians and grounds crew. At 23 feet tall and 64 feet around, the new gazebo is a mirror image of the one in Williamston, except it does not have an opening in the foundation, since no spring water flows from it. Greene said funds for the project came from members of the Alumni Association and other Lander graduates, plus proceeds from a Greenwood Tower Club fundraiser. She also expressed gratitude to local businesses that donated building materials. The gazebo will be dedicated on May 3, 2014, as part of Alumni Day festivities and to celebrate Lander’s 110th anniversary in Greenwood. Contributions are being accepted for other items on the Alumni Association’s preservation wish list. Greene said, “Preservation of the historic aspect of the campus is only possible with the help of generous, interested donors.” Donations can be sent to The Lander Foundation, 320 Stanley Ave., Greenwood, S.C. 29649 and designated for Campus Preservation. Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


C o m m e n c e m e n t F all 2 0 1 3 In December 2013, Ansleigh R. Pack was among 165 graduates who crossed the stage in Lander’s Finis Horne Arena. Like many grads, the day marked an important milestone for Pack as she made the transition from Lander student to alumna. However, Pack was celebrating more than just her graduation – she was also carrying on a family tradition. In 1959, Ansleigh Pack’s grandfather Joe B. Pack began as a student at Lander. He attended the university for three years, but was unable to complete his degree at that time. However, he returned to the school in 1980 and earned a degree in business, graduating in 1982. “He drove from Taylors three nights per week for two years, while holding down a full-time job in order to obtain his degree,” recounted Joe Pack’s wife, Bobbie, in a letter to a university staff member. Ansleigh’s father, Joe (Barry) Pack Jr., also completed a degree at Lander. He graduated in 1985 with a degree in computer science. During the ceremony, Ansleigh’s father looked on as she received her diploma for mass communication, but her grandfather was not in attendance. Sadly, Joe Sr. passed away in September 2012. Still, during the ceremony Ansleigh carried a small piece of her grandfather’s spirit. She honored his memory and the family’s Lander legacy by wearing her grandfather’s class ring on a chain around her neck. The Packs were likely not the only ones in attendance that day celebrating a family tradition. Stories like this one have resounded across the history of the school, as fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, cousins and all sorts of kin have been able to share in calling Lander University their alma mater. During the commencement ceremony, graduates and attending family and friends enjoyed an address by Dr. Bettie Rose Horne, who urged the new alumni to keep learning. Of her 40 years of experience in academics, Horne spent 30 years of that time as a teacher and administrator at Lander. She is currently a member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, representing the 3rd Congressional District. Horne is the wife of the late Finis Horne, Lander athletics director emeritus. After her speech, Horne was presented with an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters by university officials.


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Carrying on the Legacy

Family Celebrates Lander Tradition Spanning Generations By Russell Martin

Lander President Dr. Daniel Ball, left, welcomes commencement speaker Dr. Bettie Horne, of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, to campus prior to the Fall 2013 graduation ceremony.

Ansleigh Pack, right, a mass communication major, poses with her father, Joe Pack Jr., Class of 1985, before crossing the stage to become a Class of 2013 graduate.

Com m encem ent Fa ll 2013 1. Mastering Lander Graduate students, including the first group of grads from Lander’s Master of Education in Teaching and Learning program, gather for a photo prior to the fall commencement ceremony.

2. Student Farewells 1

History faculty members Robert Figueira, left, and Franklin Rausch, right, congratulate one of their students, Samantha Shuttleworth, of Fredericksburg, Va.

3. Top Graduate



Lander officials presented the university’s top academic honor, the Thayer Award, for Fall 2013 to Brian Lyda, left, of Joanna. The award is presented on behalf of the family of Dr. Henry K. Thayer to the graduating senior achieving the highest scholastic average. Lyda, who received a degree in elementary education, is pictured with University President Daniel Ball.

4. Classmates and Friends Business administration majors Ashley Reid, left, of Ridgeway, and Ashley Vertefeuille, of Archdale, N.C., pause to say their goodbyes as they line up for the ceremony.

5. Staff Graduates



Two Lander staff members were awarded degrees in the fall. Kenneth Roach, left, Office of Admissions, received his bachelor’s degree in sociology. Karen Minter, right, Information Technology Services, received a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning, with a concentration in instructional technology.

6. Celebration Exercises Exercise science graduates spend a few moments reminiscing about their shared experiences at Lander before walking to Horne Arena to begin the ceremony.

7. Proud Mom 6


Lander faculty and staff have a tradition of presenting diplomas to relatives during the graduation ceremony. Kathy Willis, right, a staff member in Lander’s physical plant, had the honor of presenting her daughter Shanna Willis with her nursing diploma.

8. Friends for Life Members of Zeta Phi Beta congratulate their fellow sorority sisters following commencement proceedings.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014



Grace Street Nature Park

Lander Plays Leading Role in Creation of Beautiful New Park By Dave Lorenzatti

Lander students and faculty are working alongside citizens of Greenwood to restore an abandoned tract of land to its former status as a community park. The land at the corner of Bypass 72 and Grace Street was the site of the Greenwood Water and Electric Light Plant, which began operations in 1898. The city maintained a park on the property for many years but, in the 1980s, the power plant became obsolete, unable to meet community demands, so The Commissioners of Public Works (CPW) shut down operations and the property was abandoned. In the years that followed, there were many discussions between the CPW and community representatives who were anxious to maintain a park on the property. In 2011, the CPW deeded the land to the city of Greenwood, which in turn leased it to the Greater Greenwood Parks and Trails Foundation (GGPTF). Last fall, the park restoration project got under way in earnest, and, after many years of waiting, talking and a few arguments, the Grace Street Nature Park is finally a work in progress. Ann Butler, a director of GGPTF and a member of the university’s biology faculty, has been the project’s cheerleader at Lander. She characterized her efforts to nurture university involvement as “sowing the seeds in different departments around campus.” 16

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Last October, the seeds sprouted and blossomed into a crop of students and faculty members, 40 to 50 in all, who answered the call and began showing up on workdays at the old park, where they donated their time and muscle power. What has grown into a small army has been busy cutting vegetation, removing fallen tree limbs, carving trails and much more. They also planted privet hedges, creating a 1,000-foot privacy and noise barrier on the sides of the park facing Bypass 72 and Grace Street. Butler said, initially, members of the Lander group were students and faculty from the university’s science areas: biology, environmental science, biochemistry and nursing. They were joined by representatives from business, sociology, psychology and admissions, and several student honor societies and clubs. Many others have volunteered since then. Butler said there is a level of excitement among the workers as they see changes and recognize their efforts have value. “It also gives them an opportunity to network with people from the community,” she added. She envisions the park as having educational value. One of her goals is to integrate aspects of the project into the curricula and, in that regard, she said the old power plant and another building on the property will be designated for use in some measure as learning sites.

For right now, the focus is on the portion of land bordered by Grace Street, Laurel Avenue West and Merrywood Drive. The GGPTF has received $100,000 from FujiFilm Manufacturing, in Greenwood, to build a pavilion on the site, featuring Japanese-style architecture, and a Japanese garden. The foundation also received a $25,000 donation from pet food manufacturer SPF to create a dog park. The pavilion, garden and dog park should be completed by late summer or early fall. The GGPTF is planning a 5K run in the fall to raise funds for other aspects of the restoration project. Among the plans for phase two are construction of an amphitheatre that can be used for outdoor concerts, and a water feature fed by the pond on the Laurel Avenue side. Butler said, when it is completed, the Grace Street Nature Park will become part of a larger network of parks and trails in Greenwood and Ninety Six. Klaus Neubner, the foundation’s maintenance chair, described Butler as an inspiration to the Lander students and faculty and others engaged in the park project. He said she has made the work fun and added, “Her enthusiasm is infectious.” Top: A volunteer workforce made up of Lander students and faculty and people from the community pause in their task of clearing an overgrown tract of land as the first step in creating the Grace Street Nature Park. – Photo by Megan Price

Grace Street Nature Park Master Plan





Master Plan: A drawing, designed by DSP Architects of Greenwood, shows the layout of what will be the Grace Street Nature Park, located on land of the former Greenwood Water and Electric Light Plant at Bypass 72 and Grace Street. Volunteers are concentrating on the arduous task of clearing the site for phase one of the project that includes a Japanese-style pavilion, Japanese gardens and a dog park. An amphitheatre that can be used for outdoor concerts and a water feature will be highlights of the second phase. 1. Freshman biology major Lauren Seacrist, of Lexington, uproots vegetation growing wild on the site. 2. Ann Butler, right, with Lander’s biology faculty, and Klaus Neubner, maintenance chair of the Greater Greenwood Parks and Trails Foundation (GGPTF), haul away tree limbs to a central collection point for disposal. Butler is a director of GGPTF and the motivating force behind Lander’s involvement in the project. 3. Lander students chop away at thick undergrowth, some nearly at eye-level. The site has been abandoned since the 1980s; the city of Greenwood leased the property to the Greater Greenwood Parks and Trails Foundation for the purpose of building the nature park. 4. Associate Professor of Environmental Geology Dan Pardieck, on the right wielding the shovel, helps Lander students during one of the early land-clearing workdays last fall. – Photos by Megan Price

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Water Painter

By Jeff Lagrone

Visiting Artist Enjoys Productive Year At Lander Lander President Daniel Ball was headed to his office, undeterred by the fact that the university was closed due to wintry weather, when he encountered someone with as much steely resolve as he himself: Visiting Artist Xingxiong Liu, hard at work on a painting of Laura Lander Hall in the snow. As a renowned landscape artist, Liu spends more time painting scenes from the natural world than architecture, but the moment says a lot about his work ethic. His mantra is no pain, no gain. “I do not paint from snapshots taken by cameras,” says Liu, an associate professor of environmental arts at Lander’s sister school Jiangxi Normal University, as well as a senior visiting scholar at China Academy of Art. “I cannot paint diverse natural scenery inside a cozy studio, while sipping coffee and listening to the music of a saxophone.” Liu is “passionate about painting pictures in the wilderness, in places rarely touched by humans,” we are told in the preface to his recent book, Solitude – Oil Paintings and Prose: Ode to Mountains and Rivers. It’s an approach that has put him on a collision course with numerous wild animals and poisonous snakes, as well as hordes of mosquitoes. His most memorable experience was a bout with leeches in Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge.


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

“They crept into our socks, attached themselves onto our legs with their suckers. Exposure of skin is an open invitation to these vampires, who would come in droves to suck the blood. Their persistent onslaught appalled us.” Liu’s main creative subject, he says, is painting water in the wild. He calls his inability to reach a particularly spectacular waterfall, which would have meant a 25-day hike through a remote region of Tibet, “a bitter disappointment. It is indeed the disappointment of my life.” Liu, who has traveled widely throughout Europe as well as Asia, speaks more positively about the experience of spending a year in America, a place he sees as “filled with natural beauty.” North Carolina’s Whitewater Falls and Rainbow Falls, which he painted during one of several trips with Lander faculty and staff members, are two cases in point. “They are gifted views granted by nature and must be praised,” he says. Since he was 10, Liu has been applying himself to the task of gaining proficiency as an artist. He believes that he has made strides, and that a masterpiece may finally be within reach. Unlike many serious artists, however, he holds no one in contempt for failing to grasp the nuances of the high style of painting to which he aspires. The artistic achievement of which he’s proudest, he says, is his ability to bring pleasure to people through his work. Liu’s oil landscapes, paintings on rice paper and watercolors were recently featured in a display titled Journey East Meets West, in Lander’s Monsanto Gallery. He hopes they made a favorable impression. “I really love this place,” he said. “I hope that people at Lander and in Greenwood enjoy my work.” – Photo by Jon Holloway

Creating International Opportunities for Lander By Dave Lorenzatti


ander President Dr. Daniel Ball traveled to three Asian countries last October, and when he returned home 18 days later, he brought with him several signed agreements beneficial to the university and its students and faculty. Ball described the academic impact of his trip as significant. “For example,” he said, “Kyungpook National University, in Daegu, Korea, is offering our students the opportunity to earn a dual degree by completing 30 hours of their academic requirements at Kyungpook and the rest at Lander.” In addition, students would be eligible for internships in Daegu, which has been designated by the Korean government as an economic development center, and is home to Hyundai, Samsung, LG and other large corporations. Ball said completing a dual degree program and an internship would make Lander students more competitive when they graduate and begin looking for jobs. He also signed memoranda of understanding with the presidents of Qingdao University and Xi’an University of Science Technology in China; and Dongseo University and Keimyung University, in South Korea. With the new signings, Lander now has academic agreements with 17 colleges and universities in Asia. Ball also traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, where he met with the administrators of Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon, which is one of Lander’s original sister universities. As a result of his visit to Incheon National University in Korea, another of the university’s original partner schools, Lander students and faculty will be given opportunities to spend five days at Incheon, all expenses paid, with faculty members encouraged to accept one-month teaching assignments there.

Lander President Daniel Ball, right, and Dr. In Suk Hamm, president of Kyungpook National University in Daegu, Korea, show a copy of the memorandum of understanding they signed, enabling Lander students to complete dual degree and internship programs at Kyungpook. – Contributed photos

Ball said he and his party were warmly received at each of the Asian schools they visited. “They are eager to give Lander students an opportunity to study on their campuses and to have their students come to Lander.” Ball was accompanied to Asia by his wife, Marge, and senior adviser and Lander’s former Dean of International Programs Dr. Sung-Jae Park, and his wife, Gemma. The university’s international partners and hosts paid all expenses for the trip, except for airfare. Lander’s Dean of International Programs Po Hu said, “Because of the partnership agreements, more international students from Asia will come to Lander for degree-seeking, exchange and shortterm summer-study programs.” He added that more opportunities are available at the sister schools in Asia for Lander students to study and accept internships, and for faculty to teach and engage in research. Hu also indicated that agreements are pending with universities in Japan and Taiwan.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Building the Future at Lander By Dave Lorenzatti

Artist Rendering of Courtyard Perspective, Garvin Design Group

Construction Under Way on New Residence Hall Ground has been broken for a key segment of Lander’s 10-year master plan to revitalize the campus: a $15 million residence hall that will rise on a section of the former softball field, opposite the Physical Education and Exercise Studies (PEES) Center. University President Daniel Ball, members of the university’s Board of Trustees, and several state and local dignitaries gathered at the building site on March 4. After donning hard hats, they used ceremonial shovels to dig into the soil, officially signaling the start of construction. The new three-story, 71,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be ready for occupancy at the start of the Fall 2015 semester. It will eventually replace Brookside, one of the older campus residence halls, which will be phased out as living quarters for students. Garvin Design Group, of Columbia, is the architect for the project,


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

with Davis & Floyd, of Greenwood, providing engineering design. The general contractor is Sherman Construction Company, of Piedmont. President Ball said, “We recognize that our residential students expect the university to provide them with modern, safe and comfortable housing, and the new residence hall will meet their expectations. It’s also important to note that some of what is included in the new building’s design is based on suggestions we heard from students themselves.” Vice President for Student Affairs Randy Bouknight said the new 210-bed facility will include features recommended by students who gathered in focus groups and expressed what they would like to see included in the building. For example, each room will be occupied by two students and have its own bathroom. The building will also have study areas on each floor and a first-floor laundry room. With the new facility, Lander will have 1,600 beds for residential students on campus and at off-campus locations. (continued on page 22)

Lander President Daniel Ball, left; Vice President for Student Affairs Randy Bouknight, right; and Board of Trustees Chair Jack Lawrence, second from right, listen as Trustee Ray Hunt speaks to the audience at the residence hall groundbreaking ceremony in March. Hunt was chair of the Board of Trustees during the planning phase of the residence hall project.

The 210-bed facility features a floor plan in which each room will house two students and have its own bathroom. The residence hall will also include a 60-seat-capacity multipurpose room and laundry facility on the first floor, as well as study/social rooms on each of its three floors.

– Photo by Megan Price

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Building the Future at Lander (continued from page 20) Residence Hall Elevation

Residence g Hall Site

Bouknight said the building’s design will incorporate some of the historical characteristics of Chipley Hall, Lander’s oldest residence hall, built in 1925. It will be the first residence hall built on the Lander campus since 2006, when Centennial Hall opened its doors to 300 students. He said the facility would also be available to members of professional organizations for summer conferences when school is not in session. Jeff Beaver, Lander’s director of Engineering Services and Facilities Operations, said the building design meets requirements for a “Silver” rating in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. USGBC standards are meant to “lower operating costs of new buildings, conserve energy, water and other resources, and provide healthier environments for occupants.” Beaver said the building design also promotes sustainable construction materials to reduce waste. Gary McCombs, vice president for Business and Administration, said the cost of the residence hall will be paid for by state institutional bonds and Lander auxiliary funds.

Top left: This artist rendering, courtesy of Garvin Design Group, shows the building’s design elements that are reminiscent of Chipley Hall, Lander’s oldest residence hall.

Residence Hall Site Top right: The building will rise on the site of the university’s former softball field, adjacent to the Chandler PEES Center and the intramural field. – Rendering courtesy of Garvin Design Group

A New Look for the Entrance and Plaza

nter Chandler PEES Ce

Horne Arena

Southeast Perspective

Below: Work will also get under way this summer on both a major renovation to the Moran Assembly Plaza and the completion of the final phase of Lander’s main entrance boulevard. This site rendering shows a new circular drive that will extend from the end of the boulevard and pass by the Carnell Learning Center, Abney Cultural Center and Drummond Complex. – Rendering courtesy of Craig Gaulden Davis

Abney Cultural Center

Grier Student Center

D le rc Ci ite eS riv

Moran Plaza Site

on ills W . St

Carnell Learning Center


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Barratt Hall

Jackson Library

Moran Plaza to Get a Facelift Two more master plan projects are scheduled to get under way this summer. The first will be the renovation of Moran Plaza, the campus’ central public area, primarily to correct safety issues. Beaver said, “There is a hodgepodge of pavers, bricks and concrete that need attention.” The plaza will be reengineered for maximum usage and include dedicated paths for wheelchairs, access for emergency vehicles, new lighting and more landscaping to improve the area’s leisure aspects. He said, “We want the plaza to be more than a thoroughfare between buildings. It should be a place where students spend time socializing.” Students, faculty and staff will also be able to socialize at a Starbucks coffee shop that will be a new addition located inside the entrance to the Jackson Library, with an adjacent outdoor seating area.

View from Jackson Library

New, Redesigned Circle Drive At about the same time, a new access road – an extension of the main entrance – will be constructed leading from Willson Street and circling around behind the Abney Cultural Center and in front of the PEES Center and Horne Arena. Beaver said the design will take the new road through a portion of the existing visitor’s parking lot and will make it easier for large delivery trucks to reach the Cultural Center’s loading dock. The loading dock will be extended as part of the project. The new drive will also include water features, and will complete the university’s main entrance off Montague Avenue. McCombs said the price tag for the plaza renovation and circular drive is $2.7 million. Lander will invest institutional funds totaling $2.3 million in the project, while Aramark Corp., which manages the university’s Dining Hall and other food services, will add $400,000 for the Starbucks operation. The newly renovated Moran Plaza and circular drive are expected to be ready for use when students arrive on campus for the start of the Fall 2014 semester. Several improvements have been completed as part of the campus master plan developed by DSP Architects in Greenwood, including construction of a new main entrance, a redesigned dining hall and bookstore, and the upgrading of facilities for student organizations and athletics.

View from Sproles Recreation Center

View from Abney Cultural Center/Grier Student Center

The images above, courtesy of project architectural firm Craig Gaulden Davis, depict an artist’s concept of the renovated Moran Assembly Plaza from three different angles. Though some of the elements shown, such as the gazebo, are part of a future vision for the area and not included in the current construction plans, they can be easily incorporated at a later time. The new plaza design will contain more seating and landscaping in the area and will create a space where students can socialize between classes.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


The Face and Name of Lander Soccer Trustees Approve Stadium Name in Honor of Coach Van Taylor By Megan Price, Photo by Russell Martin


or nearly 30 years, Head Coach Van Taylor has been the face of the Lander University men’s soccer program. Now, the soccer stadium at Lander’s Jeff May Complex will bear his name. In December, Lander’s Board of Trustees gave approval to name the 550-seat facility the Van Taylor Soccer Stadium, in recognition of Taylor’s three decades of service to the university’s athletics program and students. “Van Taylor is one of the most wellrespected coaches in collegiate soccer,” said Board of Trustees Chair Jack Lawrence. “He has been a positive influence on countless students and athletes at Lander, in the Greenwood community and beyond.” A special ceremony in honor of the naming will be held at the stadium in early September. “When you think of Lander soccer, you immediately think of Van Taylor,” said Lander Athletic Director Jeff May, calling the honor “most deserved.” “It has been my good fortune to have Coach Taylor as a colleague and friend as he has built Lander into a national soccer power,” May added. A 1975 graduate of Erskine College, where he was an All-American soccer stand-out and assistant coach, Taylor played 10 years of professional soccer in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). He was an NASL 24

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

first-round draft choice with the New York Cosmos in 1975, and runner-up for the NASL Rookie of the Year award in 1976. He was elected to Erskine’s Hall of Fame in 1982. Taylor joined the Lander Athletics family in 1985, and over the last 29 years, he has amassed an overall 382-157-32 record (.697 winning percentage), including nine NCAA Tournament appearances, two Southeast Region championships, seven Peach Belt Conference regular-season titles, four PBC Tournament titles, one NAIA Final Four and four NAIA District 6 championships. His achievements on the field have earned him three Coach of the Year honors in both the PBC and NAIA District 6, and he has been named Regional Coach of the Year four times, including in 2013. Taylor said his success is the result of the numerous individuals who have supported him, from the players, assistant coaches, athletic directors and university administrators, to his family and friends. “Proverbs 27:17 states, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another,’” he said. “A lot of people have come alongside of me and sharpened and encouraged me. We’re all connected. When one enjoys success, it’s not done alone.” Lander President Daniel Ball said the board’s decision to name the stadium after Taylor was based in part on letters of recommendation from alumni and former

Lander athletes. Ball said, “Coach Taylor is a model professional, and he has recruited excellent academic students who are also excellent soccer players. Together, he and they have brought distinction to Lander, both on and off the playing field.” Taylor earned his master’s in education from Lander in 1990 and received certification in administration and supervision from Clemson University in 2003. Since 1980, he has managed Van Taylor & Associates, providing public speaking for businesses, church and civic groups, and high schools and colleges. He has been instrumental in contract development, coordination and marketing for numerous soccer camps and clinics at Lander, in Greenwood and elsewhere. Taylor and his wife, Beth, are active in the local community, and he has been involved with Adopt-a-Highway, Special Olympics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, prison ministries, and the local homeless shelter and food bank. While the number of wins and championships under his leadership is impressive, Taylor said he hopes his legacy will be based more upon his impact on players than upon statistics. He regards the stadium naming as “the icing on the cake.” “It’s a tremendous honor, and one for which I’m incredibly thankful,” he said.

Bear cat Sport s

Depth of Field Strong Team Carries Men’s Soccer to National Tourney By Bob Stoner, Photo by Jim Hogue


nce again, they were right there. Right there. The Lander men’s soccer team was just goals away from reaching the NCAA Division II National Championship game when the Bearcats got derailed by Carson-Newman in a shootout in Winter Park, Fla. The two teams battled to a 0-0 deadlock after 110 minutes of play (regulation and two overtimes) in the Round of 16 matchup, but the Eagles advanced after edging Lander, 4-3, on penalty kicks. Carson-Newman next downed Rollins, 2-1, in the quarterfinals and Simon Fraser, 3-2, in the semifinals, before losing to Southern New Hampshire, 2-1, in the championship game. Yes, Lander was that close. “I thought we had a very good year,” said Lander Head Coach Van Taylor, who improved his 29-year coaching record to 382157-32 (.697 winning percentage). “We were in every game we played and had some close losses.” It was Lander’s ninth appearance in the national tournament and the Bearcats’ seventh in the past nine years. “It was great to get to the national tournament again,” added Taylor, who was voted the NSCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year. “We had a very good starting 11, but we had so much after that. Depth was definitely one of the team’s strengths.” The Bearcats, who posted a 12-5-2 overall

record and were ranked No. 12 in the NSCAA’s final poll, hosted the first two rounds of the Southeast Regional as the top seed. Clement Dauchy scored Lander’s lone goal in a first-round victory over Flagler, then the Bearcats advanced to the Sweet Sixteen when Dauchy and Michael Johansson netted goals in a 2-1 win over Queens University. Dauchy, a senior forward, senior defender Lewis Blissett and junior midfielder Kevin Durand were named to the All-Peach Belt Conference Team. Dauchy, who was also named to the Daktronics All-Southeast Region Team, scored a team-high 16 goals, including four gamewinners, and added six assists. Durand, a third-team Daktronics AllAmerican, scored nine goals and had nine assists. He was selected the NSCAA National Player of the Week and PBC Player of the Week after scoring five goals and adding two assists in wins over Newberry and North Greenville during the second week of the season. Blissett anchored a defense which allowed just 19 goals during the year, including eight shutouts, for a 0.97 goals-against average. Lander kicked off the 2013 campaign with six shutouts and was the last Division II team to allow a goal. After victories over LeesMcRae (2-0), Newberry (6-0) and North Greenville (8-0), the Bearcats tied Erskine, 0-0. Lander won the next three games against

Kevin Durand

Lewis Blissett

Georgia Southwestern (6-0), USC Aiken (3-0) and Montevallo (3-1), before suffering its first loss of the season, a 3-0 setback at UNC Pembroke. After a 3-2 overtime victory against PBCrival Clayton State, Lander demolished Wingate, 5-1, in the NSCAA’s Division II National Game of the Week, which was video-streamed on their website. The Bearcats followed with a three-game losing streak to Flagler, Young Harris and Limestone, before ending the regular season with wins over North Georgia and Francis Marion. The second seed in the PBC Tournament, Lander was upset by seventh-seeded Montevallo in overtime, 2-1, on the Bearcats’ home turf. “We have a good nucleus returning,” said Taylor, “and we are looking forward to starting in the fall.” Top: Senior forward Clement Dauchy, right, prepares to make a play during the NCAA Southeast Regional in Winter Park, Fla. The Brive, France, native was named to the All-PBC and Daktronics All-Southeast Region teams.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


B ea rcat S p o rts

Making a 180 on the Court Bearcats Thrill Fans With Turnaround Season By Bob Stoner, Photo by Milledge Austin


ith one of its most-balanced scoring attacks in recent years, the Lander men’s basketball team provided fans with an exciting turnaround season. Led by seniors Mike Panaggio and Jareal Smith, the Bearcats posted a 17-12 overall record, an eight-win improvement over the previous year. After not qualifying for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament in 2012-13, there was no question the Bearcats would make it this time around. Lander entered the PBC Tournament as the East Division’s third seed and was paired with Georgia Southwestern, the West’s second-seeded team. The Bearcats overcame an early 13-4 deficit against the Hurricanes and took a 36-33 advantage to the locker room at halftime. They stretched it to 43-35 with 16:34 left in the

Jareal Smith


Dermaine Smith

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

game and led GSW until the 1:56 mark, when the ’Canes tied it at 68-all. GSW took the lead for good with 1:03 left and defeated Lander, 74-70. Lander began the season 4-3 in nonconference play, but dropped its first two PBC games to GRU Augusta and UNC Pembroke. Then the Bearcats hit their stride. Winning nine of their next 10 games, Lander built its record to 13-6 overall and 7-3 in the PBC after defeating Georgia Southwestern, 62-58, on Jan. 30 in Horne Arena. Their winning ways started with victories over Coastal Georgia and Lenoir-Rhyne in the Finis Horne Holiday Classic, then the Bearcats scored a one-point win over PBCrival Columbus State in the first game after Christmas break. After an 82-77 loss at Montevallo, which went on to play for the Southeast Region championship, on Jan. 4, the Bearcats defeated Armstrong Atlantic, Flagler, UNC Pembroke, Young Harris, Flagler again and Georgia Southwestern. The Bearcats went 4-4 in February and dropped their regular-season finale at Francis Marion, 88-74, on March 1. Panaggio, a point guard from Daytona Beach, Fla., was named to the All-Peach Belt Conference Team after averaging 14.2 points and 4.7 assists per game. He scored in double

figures in 21 games and had a season-high 30 points against Armstrong Atlantic. Jareal Smith, a senior from Savannah, Ga., led the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game. He scored in double figures in 24 games, with a season-high 28 points on two occasions. He scored 20 or more points in 10 games. The high-flying Dermaine Smith, who brought Bearcat fans out of their seats with his many monster dunks, added 10.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while shooting a team-best 55.4 percent from the floor. He scored in double figures 11 times, with a personal-best 24 points against Columbus State. He had double digits in rebounds in five games with a high of 13, also against Columbus. Freshman JR Washington, of Manassas, Va., only averaged 9.6 points per game for the season but was effective late in the year when he scored double figures in five of the last eight games. He had a season-best 26 points at UNC Pembroke. In five seasons at Lander, Head Coach Jeff Burkhamer has compiled a 65-71 overall record for a .477 winning percentage. Top: Point guard Mike Panaggio, right, was named to the All-Peach Belt Conference Team after averaging 14.2 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Bear cat Sport s

Angermeier Leads Volleyball to 18-13 Season The Lander volleyball team posted its most successful season in five years when the Bearcats finished the 2014 campaign 18-13 overall and 7-11 in the Peach Belt Conference. Tarryn Angermeier, who was the 2012 PBC Freshman of the Year, became one of the Tarryn Angermeier program’s most-celebrated players after she claimed All-PBC and AVCA All-Southeast Region honors this season. Angermeier, a sophomore middle-hitter from Spartanburg, led the team in kills (383), kills-per-set (3.42) and total attacks (1010). She was second on the team in hitting percentage (.264) and total blocks (86). In the PBC, she was second in kills-per-set; fifth in total kills and total attacks; seventh in hitting percentage; and ninth in block assists (76). Senior Hannah Dederick led the Bearcats in hitting percentage with .283 and was second on the team in total kills (330). The Bearcats, who are led by second-year Coach Ashley Stathas, ’06, won seven of their first eight games and scored a 3-1 victory over UNC Pembroke in their PBC opener at Horne Arena. After falling to Flagler, 3-0, in the regular-season finale, the Bearcats earned the seventh seed in the PBC Tournament and had to face second-seeded Flagler in the quarterfinal round. Down 2-0, Lander won the third set before bowing out of the tournament in four.

Lady Bearcats Reach PBC Tournament Semifinals

Danielle Shaw

Casey Black

The Lander women’s soccer team keeps knocking on the door. The Lady Bearcats earned a school-record 13 victories in 2013 and made it to the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. But, once again, they were denied entry into the championship game. Lander advanced to the PBC Tournament semifinals by beating North Georgia, 5-3. The Lady Bearcats lost the chance at playing in the program’s first-ever PBC Tournament championship game when they fell to Clayton State, 2-1, in overtime, in the semifinals. Chris Ayer, who has amassed an 80-51-8 overall record (.604 winning percentage) in nine years as Lander’s head coach, has turned the program into an annual contender. Last

season marked the fourth time in the last six years the Lady Bearcats have reached the PBC semifinals. In addition to tying the 2007 and 2011 teams with 13 victories, Lander also placed a team-record five players on the All-PBC team. Midfielder Casey Black, a junior from Moore, and defender Danielle Shaw, a senior from Columbia, were named to the All-PBC first team. In addition, forward Kimberly Kesler, a junior from Moore; midfielder Noel McDaniel, a sophomore from Lexington; and defender Hilary Ferguson, a junior from Charleston, were placed on the second team. Shaw was named second team on both the NSCAA and Daktronics All-Southeast Region teams, while Black and Ferguson made the NSCAA All-Southeast Region squad.

Women’s Basketball Rebuilds with Seven New Players It was a topsy-turvy year for the Lander women’s basketball team. While senior Aarika Judge – the 2012-13 team’s Most Valuable Player – missed the season due to an injury, Head Coach Kevin Pederson was given the task of introducing seven new players into a lineup that missed Kayla West qualifying for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament the previous season. Faced with missing the tournament for a second straight year, the Lady Bearcats secured the last available spot with a 64-61 victory at Francis Marion in the regular-season finale. Ty’hesha Reynolds, a freshman guard from Savannah, Ga., gave Lander a chance for an upset against top-seeded Clayton State when she scored 23 of her game-high 32 points in the first half, but the Lady Lakers pulled away late for a 75-73 victory. Kayla West, a junior guard from North Augusta, led the Lady Bearcats with 14 points per game; while Reynolds added 12.9; Portia McCray, a 5’10” junior from Loganville, Ga., 11.3; and Alexis Armstrong, a freshman from Gastonia, N.C., 10.9. Alyssia Watkins, a freshman from Forest City, N.C., led the team in rebounds with 6.6, while McCray had 6.1. The Lady Bearcats finished with a 12-17 overall record and were 7-12 in the PBC.

Follow the Bearcats For full schedules, results and the latest information on all Lander sports, visit:

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Coastal Conduit

Low Country Pipeline Yields Students by the Hundreds By Jeff Lagrone

Christian Carroll, of Georgetown, is a nursing


Lander’s business program, one of a handful of student; Lauren Stoney, of Charleston, and schools accredited by the Association to Advance Julianna Bowman, of Mt. Pleasant, are nursing Collegiate Schools of Business, is also popular applicants. Ryan Ball, of Summerville, Melanie among Low Country students, as it is among McCrea, of Andrews, and Rachel Uremovich, Lander students generally, with 28 Low Country students from the South of Hilton Head, are mass communication and students declaring business as their major. theatre majors. Maria Fatima Mortero-Soria, Enrollment in Lander’s health care manageCarolina Low Country of Ladson, went into health care management, ment program, one of several options for business attend Lander. Laura Gist, of Goose Creek, into psychology, and majors, has more than doubled in recent years. The Tremaine Aikens, of Beaufort, into biology. They all program appealed to Mortero-Soria because she wanted have something in common, however: they are among to enter the medical field, but didn’t have the intestinal fortimore than 200 students from the South Carolina Low Country tude to be a nurse. “So I went for the next best thing,” she said. currently attending Lander. In many cases, however, the influx of Low Country students Why would so many students choose a university on the other has less to do with the perceived strength of individual programs side of the state with schools like The College of Charleston, The than with the attractiveness of Lander itself. McCrea said that “the Citadel, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina and USC-Beaufort friendly staff, welcoming students and small-campus atmosphere” so much closer to home? There’s no one answer to the question, but she encountered when she visited made her “feel right at home. the reputation of the William Preston Turner School of Nursing is From then on I knew that this was where I needed to be.” a big reason why, with 41 Low Country residents listed as nursing Stoney, likewise, cited Lander’s “smaller and more intimate cammajors, nursing applicants or pre-nursing students. pus and class setting,” along with its nursing program, as the reasons “I began to consider attending Lander when I saw that its nursing program had some of the highest pass rates on the board exam,” said Top, pictured from left: Lander Mass Communication and Theatre majors Bowman. “I also really liked that you got three years of clinical expeRachel Uremovich, of Hilton Head, Ryan Ball, of Summerville, and Melanie rience, whereas at all of the other four-year nursing schools in South McCrea, of Andrews; with Health Care Management major Maria Fatima Carolina, you only get two. I considered that a big plus.” Mortero-Soria, of Ladson. – Photo by Russell Martin


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Nursing applicant Julianna Bowman, of Mt. Pleasant – Contributed Photo

Biology major Tremaine Aikens, of Beaufort – Photo by Russell Martin

Mass Communication and Theatre graduate Alexandria Green, of Charleston – Photo by Jeff Lagrone


she selected it over the universities of South Country students are looking for a change of Carolina and Miami. scenery. To many of them, he said, Lander’s Uremovich was attending UNC-Greensboro, location seems ideal. where she was a member of the women’s golf “Greenwood offers a small community with “a small, four-year team, when she began exploring transfer options. an Uptown area that provides good food and public university with a She met Lander Golf Coach Chipper Bagwell, local entertainment. Students are only a couple private-school feel.” who was starting a women’s golf team, and he sucof hours away from the mountains and large cities ceeded in persuading her to visit. such as Atlanta and Charlotte,” he said. The oppor “Coming from a big school in a big city, I didn’t tunity to work closely with professors and community think I would like it,” she said. To her surprise, she “loved leaders through internships and part-time jobs is another him and Lander, so I decided to come be a part of the first women’s major selling point, he said. golf team!” He describes Lander to would-be students as a “small, four-year One drawback of attending a school 200 miles away is the difpublic university with a private-school feel.” ficulty of going home as often as one might like. “The drive is so Gary McCombs, Lander’s vice president for Business and long that I’m unable to go every weekend, unless it’s an emergency,” Administration, is a Mt. Pleasant resident who spent 19 years at the McCrea said. Ball, however, sees the distance from home as a plus, College of Charleston. He identified several reasons why Lander an opportunity to become more independent. “It allowed me to appeals to so many Low Country students. One, he said, is the step further in a more adult direction,” he said. school’s reputation as a liberal arts institution with a strong general In Carroll’s view, there’s a lot to like about Lander. “The faculty education requirement. and staff are friendly and always helpful; there is always something He believes that many students today don’t feel comfortable in going on at Lander, and the student body is very diverse. There are a large setting. “They need small classes, a compact campus and students not only from Greenwood but from out of state, and even academic support services to keep them on track academically. I out of the country. The class size allows an individual to become personally think we do a pretty good job with these students.” more than just a number in the class. The professors are interested Lander’s safety, he said, is another plus. “The downtown setting in learning about the students and care about their success.” of the College of Charleston can be intimidating to many, with both Uremovich likened Lander to “a big family,” and said, “My time parents and students feeling a bit unsettled about safety and secuhere has been great. I have had great relationships with my profesrity. At Lander, we have a safe campus, in a relatively very low crime sors, and it is nice to go out and see them outside of the classroom area, allowing both students and parents to relax.” and have them know my name. At my previous school, that would When asked if Lander met with her expectations, Alexandria have never happened.” Green, a mass communication and theatre major from Charleston Lander Admissions Counselor Chase Cooley, whose recruiting who graduated in December, said, “Lander exceeded my expectatrips have taken him to such Low Country counties as Berkeley, tions! I loved every minute at my small-town university. It was the Williamsburg, Horry and Georgetown, said that many Low right choice for me.”

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


N e w s B riefs

Lander Names Board of Visitors In the fall, Lander University named 13 business and civic leaders to a two-year term on its Board of Visitors. Established in 1975, the Board of Visitors meets once every fall and spring semester, introducing members to the plans, academic and cultural programs, and needs of the university. Board members serve as Lander ambassadors and provide the university with community feedback regarding Lander and its programs.

The 2013-2015 Lander University Board of Visitors are: • Sonya M. Bryant, of Laurens, principal of Laurens District 55 High School • Dave Fezler, of Greenwood, radio personality and station general manager with Sunny 103.5 • Dwight Fleming, of McCormick, executive director of Savannah Shorelines Magazine and managing partner with Capital Home Builders • Stephen Gilbert, of Greenwood, executive director with Greenwood Community Theatre • Johnathan Graves, of Greenwood, community services facilitator with Greenwood School District 50 • Gwen Gunnells, of Ninety Six, co-owner and chief financial officer with Gunnells Marine, and a 1983 Lander graduate • Heather Simmons Jones, of Columbia, chief executive officer with Greenwood Partnership Alliance • Megha Lal, of Greenwood, community philanthropist and past board chair with the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation • Jennifer Larkins, of Greenwood, marketing coordinator with Wesley Commons • Chuck McDevitt, of Greenwood, board of directors member with Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and Greenwood Community Theatre • Danita Williams, of Greenwood, associate broker with RE/MAX Action Realty • Drew Williams, of Columbia, data operations change manager with Verisk Health and a 2000 Lander graduate • Tara Williams, of Columbia, business development manager with AllSouth Federal Credit Union and a 1998 Lander graduate 30

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

President Daniel Ball Announces Plans for June 2015 Retirement Daniel W. Ball, 12th president of Lander University, announced his plans to retire as president of the institution effective June 30, 2015. He has served as the university’s chief executive officer since 2000. Ball discussed his intentions with the Lander University Board of Trustees at its March 2014 meeting on campus. In a letter to the campus community, Ball said the decision came after several months of thoughtful deliberation and discussion with his family and university Trustees. “This next year will allow the Board and the University time to search for and select the next fortunate person to lead this institution and its incredibly President and Mrs. Daniel W. Ball dedicated people,” he said. “I will continue to support the mission and goals of Lander University during this transition time – and beyond. Lander and the Greenwood community have been good to Marge and me, and for the sustained support of the Board and the faculty, staff and students, we will always be thankful.” Ball continued, “There is much work yet to be done, and I stand steadfast and ready to continue that work, tirelessly, until such time when I step down.” During his tenure, President Ball has challenged the university community to work together to reaffirm, redefine and market the mission and vision of the institution, where student achievement is the principal priority. Under his leadership, Lander has experienced expansion of academic, student affairs and athletic programs; growth in campus size and facilities; and an increase in the size and diversity of the student body. Jack Lawrence, chair of the Lander Board of Trustees, said, “Dr. Ball informed the Board of Trustees over a year ago of his desire to retire as president of our university. The Board would have preferred that he continue to serve forever; but, knowing that could not happen, we were able to persuade him to stay with us a year longer than he planned, to give us time to ensure a smooth transition to a new president.” Lawrence continued, “When he does leave the presidency, he will have served in that capacity for more than 15 years. Dr. Ball’s list of accomplishments at the helm of the university is quite impressive; but it does not adequately express what he has meant to Lander, nor does it convey the feelings we on the Board of Trustees have for our president.” “His engaging manner, endearing spirit, driving enthusiasm and personal warmth make him not only a great president, but a very dear friend. History will show that Dan Ball is one of the best presidents Lander has ever had,” Lawrence said. Ball expressed his gratitude for the support he has received – both on campus and off – during his time as president. “Marge and I thank all of the people associated with Lander University, the Greenwood community and South Carolina for giving us this privilege of serving for 15 years.”

News Brief s

Lander Named ‘Tree Campus USA’ Once Again Lander has earned Tree Campus USA recognition for a second consecutive year. The Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota created the national program, recognizing colleges and universities that promote healthy trees on their campuses and engage students and staff in conservation. Program manager Mary Sweeney said, in 2013, Lander again met the five core standards, including having a tree advisory committee and a campus tree-care plan, sponsorship of student service-learning projects and an Arbor Day observance. Sweeney added that Lander’s diligence in improving the campus environment and quality of life contributes to a healthier, more sustainable world. Dr. DeWitt Stone, chair of Lander’s Arboretum Committee, said the designation fits right into the committee’s work. “Our goal is to add a greater variety of trees at Lander for educational purposes and to increase the beauty of the campus.” Along with adding beauty, a tree dedicated during Lander’s 2013 Arbor Day ceremony added a little history to the campus as well. Planted near the pedestrian bridge behind Centennial Hall, the tree was sprouted from an acorn dropped by the Treaty Oak, a 500-year-old live oak in Austin, Texas. The Treaty Oak is the last surviving member of the Council Oaks, a grove of 14 trees revered by the Comanche and Tonkawa Indians as a sacred gathering site. The seedling was given to Lander by Greenwood horticulturist John Elsley and his wife, Billie, a native of Texas. Lander Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Austin Trousdale, who spoke at the ceremony, called live oaks “synonymous with the Deep South.” Several large trees have been removed in recent years from the bridge hillside where the seedling was planted, and last year, members of Lander’s Tri-Beta biology honor society planted saplings on the banks of the nearby stream to replace dead trees and other vegetation. Stone said the efforts are part of the Arboretum Committee’s plan to spruce up “a scrubby part of the campus,” through the addition of “native, natural trees.” The bridge area can be seen from Lander’s dining hall windows. With time, Stone said, the live oak, bald cypress, black willows and other indigenous trees added to the landscape should greatly improve the view. He cited the examples of the hillside above the president’s home, once a tangle of wisteria and ivy, as well as the Lander Shade Garden, as examples of what time and a vision of the future can do.

Participants at Lander’s Arbor Day ceremony included, from left: Lander docent and arboretum committee member Chuck Bender; Dena Jacob, urban forester for the South Carolina Forestry Commission’s Piedmont Region; Dr. DeWitt Stone, special assistant to Lander’s president and arboretum committee chair; Sandy Orr, president of the Greenwood Council of Garden Clubs; Lander Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Austin Trousdale; Greenwood horticulturist John Elsley; Lander President Daniel Ball; and Lander First Lady Marge Ball.

School of Management Wins Another Seal of Approval Lander’s School of Management has maintained its accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International (AACSB), preserving its elite status among business schools around the world. Less than 5 percent of business programs are accredited by AACSB, the premier accrediting body for institutions offering undergraduate and advanced degrees in business and accounting. Robert D. Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB, said it takes a great deal of commitment and determination to earn and maintain accreditation. “Business schools must not only meet specific Dr. Robert Barrett standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing, continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students.” Dr. Robert Barrett, dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs, said, “We are excited to continue our accreditation with AACSB because it gives our School of Management the strongest stamp of approval in business education.” He added, “We truly have outstanding students, faculty, staff and programs, and we will continue to strive for excellence.” Lander President Daniel Ball said, “We are extremely proud of our business programs, students and faculty, and maintaining our AACSB accreditation validates that pride.” Three deans from AACSB-accredited schools visited Lander last fall, and their evaluation included interviews with faculty, students and local business leaders. The accreditation report complimented the school for its excellent internship program, experiential learning opportunities for students in the community and faculty qualifications.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


N e w s B riefs

Dance Company on the Road

Tumblin Honored For Music Program Support

Members of the Lander Dance Company performed on stage before an appreciative audience at the Savannah Lakes Village Recreation Center in McCormick County in December. Dance Company Director Dr. Hannah Park, assistant professor of dance in Lander’s Department of Mass Communication and Theatre, accompanied the students. Many of them major in education, nursing, psychology, or mass communication and theatre. Park described the 35 members of the troupe as having “desire, interest and heart, and they embrace dance as a unique form of nonverbal communication.” She said the dancers devote both energy and time to creative and collaborative performance processes and use dance to share with audiences their perspectives on life, whether through their own personal experiences or observations. The show at Savannah Lakes Village included a variety of dance styles, including a spirited hip-hop routine featuring Professor of Mathematics Dr. Andre Lubecke, who is also a Dance Company member. After their performance, the students and Park held a question-and-answer session. Several audience members accepted their invitation and joined them on stage for a series of dance movement exercises.

While he is best known for collecting toys donated by Lander faculty, staff and students for distribution to area children at Christmastime, Lander custodian Tommy Tumblin, or “Tommy Claus,” has also made a habit of giving away shiny, new musical instruments. Fellow custodians Jeff Anderson and Warren Callaham, as well as Tripp Guinn, a software development major from Elberton, Ga., who Tumblin met last summer, are the most-recent recipients, with Callaham and Guinn receiving guitars and Anderson a bass. For years, Tumblin has been giving away instruments to Lander music students, a generosity of spirit for which Department of Music Chair Dr. Lila Noonkester thanked him, during a Lander Jazz Ensemble concert, by presenting him with a plaque. Noonkester expressed gratitude to Tumblin for his “service to Lander and for setting an important example of benevolence for our student musicians and for us all.”

(Photo on page 33.)

Lander Dance Company members perform at Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick County.

Student Legislators Meet Haley While participating in the fall session of the South Carolina Student Legislature, a number of Lander students had the opportunity to meet and speak with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. The group, composed of students in Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Chad Kinsella’s S.C. Legislative Process class, traveled to Columbia in October for the four-day mock session, which took place at the Statehouse. The Lander delegation was one of many from colleges and universities throughout the state. Participants in the annual mock session draft bills and propose them to the student house and senate, and if the bills are passed or amended, they may proceed to the actual House and Senate chambers for presentation. 32

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Pictured, from left, are: Dr. Chad Kinsella; John McKenzie, of Simpsonville; Seth Smith, of Laurens; Jamison Nicklaus, of Simpsonville; Tiffany Vanhpraseuth, of High Point, N.C.; Keon Mackey, of Lancaster; Aaron Talmage, of Greenwood; Gov. Nikki Haley; Tanisha Elder, of Columbia; Andrew Conn, of Simpsonville; Abigail Miller, of Lexington; and D.J. Johnson, of Greenwood. – Contributed photo

News Brief s

Witherspoon Makes BBC Radio Debut

Lander Department of Music Chair Dr. Lila Noonkester, left, thanks custodian Tommy Tumblin for his generosity to music students at Lander. Joining Noonkester and Tumblin on stage, from left, are music students: Markela Dandy, of Graniteville, to whom Tumblin gave a bass; Ashley Redden, of Columbia, recipient of a guitar; Ricardo Rodriguez, of Williamston, recipient of percussion instruments; Cameron Burks, of Lexington, recipient of a guitar; and Carlton Jamison, of Saluda, who is scheduled to receive percussion instruments this spring.

Author Michael Jecks Visits Lander British author Michael Jecks, acknowledged as the “master of the medieval murder mystery,” spoke at Lander in February as part of The Write Idea, a continuing lecture series at the university. Students and members of the community heard from Jecks on the fiction writing process, from crafting an idea into a full-length novel, to getting works published and distributed. A meet-and-greet reception followed the event, which was coordinated by Lander’s English department, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the Greenwood Chapter of People to People International. Jecks has published 32 novels, written short stories and novellas for anthologies and, last year, published a modern spy e-book, Act of Vengeance. He said he has always been fascinated by medieval history and, after 13 years working in computer sales, he changed careers and began writing full time. His Knight Templar novels have become one of the longest-running crime series ever. A past chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association, he is also a founder of The Medieval Murderers, a collection of authors who have become one of the top speaking groups in Britain, entertaining audiences with anecdotes about writers, publishing and their specialty, medieval murderous England. He also holds the distinction of being the first author chosen to have a pen named after him in the Conway Steward Detection Collection of fountain pens designed to celebrate good writing. When he is not writing, Jecks teaches students how to improve their writing skills, whether they are undergraduates working on essays or doctoral candidates preparing their dissertations.

Lander Associate Professor of History Dr. Kevin Witherspoon was recently featured in The Pacifica Radio Archives, a history segment on the BBC Radio show Up All Night. Witherspoon, who won the 2009 North American Society for Sport History book award for Before the Eyes of the World: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games, was invited to discuss the controversial Dr. Kevin Witherspoon Black Power salutes of American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, when they were presented medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics. The gesture succeeded in calling attention to racism within the United States, but Carlos and Smith were not universally admired for what they had done. Witherspoon told Joanne Griffith, host of the show, that Carlos, who won the bronze medal in the 200-meter sprint, and Smith, who won the gold, “were seen by many people as traitors. They received hate mail. They went through a rough 20 years or so.” Society changed, however, and so did the way their countrymen saw Carlos and Smith. Today, Witherspoon said, the two are widely perceived as heroes. Witherspoon’s personal view, he told Griffith, is that Carlos and Smith are “not traitors. Protest is a patriotic act. You have the right — some would say the duty — to stand up and protest.” Witherspoon called his BBC Radio debut “quite an invigorating experience. To be called upon by one of the most-respected news organizations in the world as an expert in my field was a great honor, and being on international radio was very exciting.”

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


N e w s B riefs

Huge Boost for Lander’s Montessori Program

Barbara Ervin receives the Mary Frances Poole Alston Award from University President Daniel Ball.

World Traveler for Montessori at Lander and Elsewhere Barbara Ervin, director of Lander’s Virginia Self Center for Montessori Education, is the 2013 winner of The Mary Frances Poole Alston Award, presented to a faculty or staff member who provides visibility for Lander throughout the state of South Carolina, the United States and the world. President Daniel Ball said Ervin has given the university name-recognition in promoting the Montessori program to potential students in this country and internationally. She is a member of evaluation teams for the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and has made site visits to colleges and universities in Taiwan twice; Shanghai, China; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Dublin, Ireland; and Prague, The Czech Republic. An associate professor of education, Ervin joined Lander in 2001 as director of the only university-based Montessori program in South Carolina. Ervin described herself as “completely surprised” to have been chosen for the award and added, “I feel very honored.” Rowland P. Alston, host of the Emmywinning SCETV horticulture and gardening show Making It Grow, created the prize to honor his grandmother, Mary Frances Poole Alston, a 1914 Lander graduate. 34

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Lander has received a $750,000 appropriation from the South Carolina General Assembly to purchase or build a freestanding center that will enhance the profile and reputation of the university’s Montessori program. Barbara Ervin, director of The Virginia Self Center for Montessori Education, said, “The new center will allow Lander to be more aggressive in recruiting Montessori teacher candidates nationally and internationally. Having a center that serves local children will help us provide a site for our adult students to complete the supervised teaching phase of the program, particularly international students.” In South Carolina, 23 school districts offer Montessori classes and, according to Ervin, there is a shortage of Montessori teachers nationwide as the program continues to grow in popularity with parents. Ervin said Lander works with school districts to identify licensed teachers who are good candidates to become Montessori teachers. Others, who are looking for a career change, apply to Lander on their own. There are currently 21 teachers in the practicum phase of Lander’s program with placements in schools in South Carolina and Charlotte, N.C. Lander is the only university in the state and one of the few public educational institutions in the country with a Montessori certification program. It offers an undergraduate degree in early childhood education with a Montessori emphasis and a master’s in Montessori education. Lander’s program is affiliated with the American Montessori Society, the largest Montessori membership organization in the world, and is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE). Lander introduced its program in 1998 with a grant from the Self Family Foundation. Ervin came to Lander as director three years later, bringing with her 20 years’ experience as a Montessori teacher.

Faculty Get Published Each year, members of the Lander faculty write books, book chapters and articles, and they present research and exhibit their artwork across the United States and abroad. This section highlights recent books by Lander faculty. For information on other faculty accomplishments and publications, visit

Abandoning American Neutrality: Woodrow Wilson and the Beginning of the Great War, August 1914 – December 1915 By Dr. M. Ryan Floyd, Lander assistant professor of history. Published by Palgrave Macmillan.

The summary from the book’s back cover reads, “During the first twelve months of World War I President Woodrow Wilson had a sincere desire to maintain American neutrality. The president, however, soon found this position unsustainable. As Wilson sought to mediate an end to the European conflict he realized that the war presented an irresistible opportunity to strengthen the US economy through expanded trade with the Allies. As this carefully argued study shows, the contradiction between Wilson’s idealistic and pragmatic aims ultimately drove him to abandon neutrality in late 1915 – helping to pave the way for America’s entrance into the war.”

News Brief s

‘Polar Vortex’ Brings Historic Snowstorm to Region In early February, the university – and much of the Southeast – was shut down for days in the wake of a historic snowstorm that blanketed the area with several inches of snow and ice. But the frigid effects of the 2014 “Polar Vortex” didn’t stop some faculty and students from using the rare snowfall as an educational opportunity. Lander Assistant Professor of Art Doug McAbee took his advanced sculpting class outside to fine-tune their skills. With McAbee’s help, the group crafted a snow “bowling alley,” with six pins, a ball and a bowling lane. “Working with snow allowed the students to use their sculptural knowledge in a new way,” McAbee said. “They mostly thought it was fun, but I was secretly allowing them to use their compositional and critical-thinking skills as we worked.”

Jamie Anderson, left, and Ray Price are the recipients of the 2014 Lander University Staff Excellence Awards.

Price, Anderson Honored for Excellence in Service

Assistant Professor of Art Doug McAbee, right, demonstrates to his advanced sculpting students how to use a chainsaw to sculpt snow. Also pictured, from left: Brandy Cessarich, Tyler Frasier, Andrew Catterton and Caitlin Madden.

Lander’s 14th Annual Staff Excellence Awards were held in March, and two employees, nominated by their colleagues, were recognized for achieving an outstanding level of professionalism in their job duties: Ray Price, master craftsman with Lander’s painting department; and Jamie Anderson, administrative assistant to the dean for the College of Science and Mathematics. Price was described by his nominator as polite and friendly, often going out of his way to make others feel welcome on campus. “Not only is Mr. Price a master of his craft, but he also has a genuine desire to make people happy with his work. It only takes a few minutes with him to see that he’s not just trying to get the job finished. His goal is that we are completely happy with what was accomplished.” Anderson’s nominator said her creative thinking and work initiative help ensure that the College of Science and Mathematics runs smoothly. “She carries a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders, and she does it with a constant smile and cheerful attitude. She is reliable and will get the task at hand done with skill and accuracy.”

The Lander campus was closed for several days in the wake of the historic 2014 snowstorm.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


Bike for Kicks

By Megan Price

Unique fundraiser supports scholarships and youth While bicycling and soccer may not have much in common at first glance, a unique fundraiser last fall brought the two sports together for a worthy cause. The Bike for Kicks bicycle tour, held in September, attracted nearly 100 bicyclists from across the region, who hit the road to raise funds for the Lander University men’s soccer scholarship program and the Greenwood YMCA Partners with Youth program. Cyclists of all ages and skill levels were able to choose from flatto-rolling routes of six, 30 and 62.5 miles, which wound through Greenwood County and surrounding areas. The ride began at Lander’s Jeff May Complex. The fundraiser was the brainchild of Greenwood resident Richard Senatore and Lander Men’s Soccer Head Coach Van Taylor. Senatore, an avid bicyclist himself, said he was looking for a way to give back to the community following his retirement from sales and marketing with IBM. He reached out to his friend, Taylor, for ideas. “We both love sports and I asked Van if there was anything I could do to help the program. We came up with the concept of the


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

bicycle fundraiser benefiting the scholarship program,” Senatore said. But, he added, Taylor and the team wanted to give back to the community as well. They selected another charity, the YMCA youth program, to receive half of the funds raised. “In the Lander Athletics program, there is a big emphasis on giving back, and this was something we felt was a unique way to do that,” said Taylor, who also got the soccer players involved with the event’s planning and marketing. “The community has been so generous to us. We wanted to do something that went back to the kids.” The community’s support helped make the first Bike for Kicks a success, Senatore said, adding that the event raised more than $7,000. Along with the cyclist participants, local businesses got behind the concept. GwdToday and Sykes Enterprises Inc. served as gold

Top: About 100 cyclists took part in the first-ever Bike for Kicks bicycle tour, benefiting the Lander men’s soccer scholarship program and the Greenwood YMCA’s Partners in Youth program. The event, held in September, began at Lander’s Jeff May Complex. – Photo by Russell Martin

Bike for Kicks participant Natalie Hirst, of Greenwood, pictured, was the grand-prize winner of a beach cruiser bicycle, donated by Emerald City Bikes. – Contributed Photo

Bike for Kicks co-organizer Richard Senatore, left, is pictured with participant Charles Donaldson, of Evans, Ga., who won an autographed George Hincapie jersey. The jersey was framed by Lander alumni John and Sandy McCord, of Frame It Up. – Contributed Photo

Participants were able to choose from routes ranging in length from six to 62.5 miles. The tour wound through Greenwood and surrounding areas.

Many cyclists spent time sharing stories and laughs as they prepared to begin the fundraiser ride. – Photo by Megan Price

– Photo by Megan Price

sponsors, and Greenwood’s Emerald City Bikes donated a beach cruiser bicycle to be given as a door prize. An autographed George Hincapie jersey, framed by Lander alumni John and Sandy McCord, of Frame It Up, was also up for grabs. The Greenwood Police Department and Greenwood Motorcycle Club provided escorts and assistance on the multiple routes. The event ended with a return to the Jeff May Complex, where participants enjoyed lunch and entertainment. They also received a free admission ticket to a Lander University soccer match. “The support we received was overwhelming,” Senatore said. “We owe it all to the graciousness of the community and our sponsors.”

Senatore said plans are now under way for the second annual Bike for Kicks fundraiser, which will be held Sept. 27, 2014, beginning at 9 a.m. at Lander’s Jeff May Complex. A Raleigh Cruiser bicycle and a free registration for a Gran Fondo Hincapie 2014 event will be given as door prizes. A special focus for this year’s event, Senatore added, will be an effort to raise donations so that wounded military personnel, active or retired, and youth under 12 years of age may participate in the ride free-of-charge. Donation and event registration forms can be found online at, in the “top stories” section of the men’s soccer page.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


G iv i n g & S c h ol arshi p N e ws

Alumni and Friends, Will you please help us raise money for scholarships? Students who are admitted to Lander University represent the best hope for the future — the future of Lander and the communities it serves. These young people are bright, engaged students whose accomplishments and drive have secured them a place here. Yet, even among those exceptional students who make it into Lander, there are those without the financial means to afford the top-notch education they aspire to and deserve. Lander helps them get that education. Philanthropic support designated to scholarships gives us the ability to create a class that includes the best scholars, regardless of income. Because of this, our student body better reflects the world outside of Lander’s campus, and therefore, better serves that world. Next fall we will embark on the Lander Scholarship Drive. We will raise scholarship support for our students through your annual gifts, and we will grow our endowment by adding to your current endowed scholarships or by creating new ones. It’s that simple. Your financial support, through gifts to scholarships, will help Lander continue to attract and retain exceptional students. Each November, our cherished scholarship donors and student scholarship recipients come together at the Eleanor Shiflet Teal Scholarship Banquet. As you will read on the following page, it is a very special event for the university, when our students get to meet and thank the Lander alumni and friends who have so generously provided scholarship assistance. Our students learn to appreciate the people who are making a difference in their lives, and the seed is planted for those recipients to become donors themselves when they are able. Our donors enjoy seeing Lander’s finest students flourish, and feel encouraged to help more when they know our students are grateful for the support they receive. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? In the upcoming 2014-15 academic year, we will celebrate the presidency of Dr. Dan Ball and his lovely wife, Marge. Their 15 years of commitment and dedication to Lander University have moved the institution forward. One of Dr. Ball’s wishes is to raise several million dollars for scholarships for current and future students. Your support helps us achieve many goals, including:

• Increasing student success in the classroom. • Allowing students to pursue new academic and extracurricular experiences. • Providing emergency funds for students facing economic hardships. • Attracting faculty talent and students to new and better programs. • Accelerating innovation and new discovery. • Increasing the value of a Lander degree.

Please help us make a difference.

Ralph Patterson Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of The Lander Foundation • 864-388-8350


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Giving & Scholar shi p N ews

Scholarship Banquet A Time for Expressing Thanks

Lander students who receive scholarships and donors who make them possible met and got to know each other at the university’s annual Eleanor Shiflet Teal Scholarship Banquet in November, an event that drew over 400 people. During the 2013-14 academic year, 440 students received scholarships donated by alumni, friends of the university and businesses. Wes McAllister, president of The Lander Foundation, said, “Donors are special to the university.” Three scholarship recipients were the featured speakers. Senior nursing major Lisa Olan, of Greenwood, recounted losing her husband’s income after he was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer soon after her classes began. He required medical treatment as far away as Charleston, but she said he was adamant that his medical needs not interfere with her studies and clinical requirements. He died last September, still insisting that she obtain her nursing degree. Bredai Raffaldt, of Chesterfield, a business major with a health care management emphasis, and Meagan Smalls, of Huger, a business major with an accounting emphasis, said their scholarships allow them to concentrate on schoolwork without having to hold down jobs at the same time. They encouraged students to support Lander’s scholarship program after they graduate and become financially able. Ralph Patterson, vice president for University Advancement, echoed their sentiments saying, “The support of our past, current and future donors helps make a college education affordable for thousands of Lander students.” A.R. Charnes, chair of the foundation’s scholarship committee, said donors seem to have a passion for small colleges. “We are thankful to them for being able to help young people.” Information about creating or donating to a scholarship is available by calling Lander’s University Advancement office at 864-388-8350.

Ballentine’s Helping Hand The Lander scholarship program has received a $5,000 boost from Ballentine Toyota in Greenwood and Toyota Motors USA. Dealership owner Bal Ballentine donated $2,500 each to The Lander Foundation and three other local organizations, with each contribution matched by Toyota. Ballentine explained that each dealership is allowed up to $10,000 in annual matching gifts from Toyota. Ralph Patterson, Lander’s vice president for University Advancement, said the money was deposited into the university’s fund to provide student scholarships. He added, “We appreciate Bal Ballentine for all that he does for Lander and for the Greenwood community.”

Bal Ballentine, left, owner of Ballentine Toyota in Greenwood, presents a check to Myra Greene, Lander’s director of Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving, representing a donation to the university’s scholarship fund from the Ballentine dealership and a matching gift from Toyota Motors USA.

How to Give Online

Speakers at Lander University’s 2013 Eleanor Shiflet Teal Scholarship Banquet included, from left, Ralph Patterson, vice president for University Advancement; scholarship recipients Lisa Olan, of Greenwood, Meagan Smalls, of Huger, and Bredai Raffaldt, of Chesterfield; and A.R. Charnes, chair of The Lander Foundation Scholarship Committee.

New endeavors at Lander University are transforming our campus and expanding academic and athletic opportunities for our students. With numerous giving and naming opportunities available, you can be a part of this exciting transformation.

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


G iv i n g & S c h ol arshi p N e ws

Park Sterling Bank Supports Lander Scholarships Park Sterling Bank in Greenwood, formerly CapitalBank, has made a donation to Lander, boosting its support for the university’s scholarship program. Ralph Patterson, vice president for University Advancement, said in 2003, CapitalBank, under now-retired President Bill Stevens, established a Lander scholarship fund in the bank’s name. Park Sterling, which purchased CapitalBank in 2011, made a commitment to maintain the scholarship under its name and to make periodic contributions to it. Patterson said the scholarship fund has grown to $80,000 since it was first created. April Prince, Community Market president, said, “We want people to know that Park Sterling cares about the community and its citizens.” Patterson expressed his gratitude to Park Sterling for its generous support of Lander and for taking ownership of the scholarship fund created by CapitalBank.

School of Nursing Announces Two New Scholarships When Dr. Robbie South became director of Lander’s William Preston Turner School of Nursing in 2011, she began challenging the school’s senior nursing students to establish a new scholarship every semester. They have responded to the challenge, creating five new scholarships in the past two years, including the Gagnon-Ready Memorial Nursing Scholarship, established in December, and the Kathy Lee Nursing Scholarship, established last spring. The Gagnon-Ready Memorial Nursing Scholarship was established in honor of Terri Gagnon, the mother of senior Kathy Lee nursing student Anna Gagnon, and Larry Ready, the father of senior nursing student Lawren Ready, who lost their battles with cancer prior to their daughters’ graduations. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student at any level of the nursing program who demonstrates financial need. The Kathy Lee Nursing Scholarship honors Kathy Lee, a registered nurse working at Self Regional Hospital, who graduated from Lander last April. Despite undergoing a craniotomy, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in late 2012, Lee returned on time for her final semester of work, never missing a day and graduating with her classmates. South said that Lee “was inspiring to her classmates, just to see how she persevered. She was determined to finish, and she did.” The Kathy Lee Nursing Scholarship is awarded each semester to a nontraditional student, defined as a student with a prior degree, with children at home, or with a fulltime job while attending nursing school. The student must be entering his or her final semester in Lander’s BSN program, must be involved in Lander-related extracurricular activities and must demonstrate excellence in clinical practice. South said the willingness of Lander’s senior nursing students to help other students by creating new scholarships makes her “extremely proud.”

Countybank Adds to its Lander Scholarship

Officers from Park Sterling Bank in Greenwood recently presented a check representing the bank’s contribution to Lander University’s scholarship fund. From left: Taylor Stokes, director of Wealth Management; Ralph Patterson, Lander’s vice president for University Advancement; and April Prince, Community Market president.

Your Donations are Appreciated Information on contributing to or establishing a scholarship is available by contacting Lander’s Office of University Advancement at 864-388-8350.


Lander Magazine • Spring 2014

Countybank in Greenwood made a recent donation to the Lander scholarship fund that carries the bank’s name. Gathering for the check presentation, from left, are Ralph Patterson, Lander’s vice president for University Advancement; David Tompkins, a 1996 Lander alumnus and a Countybank vice president and commercial relationship manager; and University President Daniel Ball. Patterson said, “Countybank has supported Lander in many ways through the years, and we appreciate their generous gift to The Lander Foundation for the Countybank Scholarship.”

A Look At What They Started

Equestrian Charter Members Reunite for Glimpse at Program’s Growth By Megan Price


bout 14 years ago, as Lander President Daniel Ball was beginning his tenure at the university, a group of students approached him with a request for funding to revive the university’s long-dormant equestrian club. President Ball obliged, and for the first time since the late 1950s, Lander’s equestrian program galloped back into existence. A few years later, an article about the club caught the attention of James M. Barnes, of Summerville, whose late wife, Delene, had attended Lander College in the 1930s and later devoted her time to raising horses. As a tribute to her memory, Mr. Barnes established the Delene B. Barnes Equestrian Fund, providing $200,000 through his will to support Lander’s equestrian program and establish scholarships for deserving team members.

Thanks to the generous bequest, the students’ initiative and the university’s support, Lander’s equestrian club has grown into a multifaceted program featuring an equestrian team with nationally ranked riders, a burgeoning therapeutic riding program, and a 37-acre center with a covered arena, barn and classroom space. In October, the university invited the club’s charter members back to campus to see what their initial efforts years ago have helped to create today. The two-day reunion included a reception at the president’s home, a special recognition ceremony at the IHSA Hunt Seat Show at Lander’s Equestrian Center, and a tour of the facility with Equestrian Center Director Nancy Poston and Equestrian Team Coach Mary Weaver.

“We really enjoyed having these alumni back on campus,” Ball said. “We want them to remain engaged in the program, since they are the ones who helped restart it.” One of the reunion attendees, Caroline Beasley Andrews, a 2009 business administration/health care management graduate, served as club president from 2006-07. She fondly remembers her time as an equestrienne at the university, including when she qualified to compete in the IHSA National Championship in 2007. She even met her husband, Keith, a 2012 Lander alum, through his participation with the equestrian team. The team, she said, always enjoyed a special closeness. “The bonds you make while participating in such a close group are wonderful. You always know that you have your own cheerleading group in the stands,” Andrews said, adding that it was delightful to see many of her old teammates again, as well as retired Lander Nursing Professor Dr. Barbara Freese, who served as the club’s adviser. Reba Reynolds Bodie, a member of Lander’s original equestrian club from 1950-51, also attended the reunion. When Bodie was a student at Lander, the school’s stables were behind Chipley Hall, she said, though Lander had only three horses at the time. One of those was Bodie’s own – a Tennessee Walker named Frank. Bodie said she enjoyed meeting the students responsible for getting the program restarted. “It was nice to see a lot of the young faces.” For Andrews, who now lives in Lexington and is still an avid horse owner and rider, the equestrian program’s success has been fun to watch – a sentiment the other alumni also feel, she said. “We came from a team of eight students riding at a privately owned farm, and most of the time, no one even knew Lander had a team. It is really quite a joy to see the program finally being recognized, and with such an absolutely beautiful facility. I couldn’t be more proud to say we helped start that dream.” Among those attending the two-day equestrian reunion in October were, standing, from left: Kristle Argo Banks, ’06; Jennie Stewart Hudgens, ’04; Kristin Cirelli Moseley, ’03; Nicole Phelps, ’08; Caroline Beasley Andrews, ’09; Keith Andrews, ’12; and Dr. Barbara Freese. Kneeling, from left: Ashleigh Meggs Kinard, ’10; Jennifer Vance Sansbury, ’05; Elizabeth Evatt Lockwood, ’08; and Kendel Scott, ’07. – photo by Russell Martin

Lander Magazine • Spring 2014


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

Breaking Ground on Lander’s Future


Spring 2014

The temperature outside was low, but spirits were high as Lander officially broke ground on March 4 for a new 210-bed residence hall, which is being constructed on the site of the university’s former softball field. Members of Lander’s Board of Trustees, Administration, and Housing and Residence Life joined with elected officials and representatives from Garvin Design Group and Davis & Floyd, the project’s architectural and engineering design teams, to move the ceremonial first shovelfuls of dirt at the building site. The 71,000-square-foot facility, which will also include a multipurpose room, social/study rooms on each floor and an on-site laundry room, is scheduled to be ready for occupancy at the start of the Fall 2015 semester. – Photo by Russell Martin

Lander Magazine - Spring 2014  
Lander Magazine - Spring 2014  

The Spring 2014 Lander Magazine