125 Years of Making the Difference

 

In 1892, North Greenville University was founded on a hill of its own here in South Carolina’s “Dark Corner” — a region that was filled with hopelessness and illiteracy. The churches of the area hoped that the love of God would fill its classrooms and the students who would sit in those classrooms would have their hearts, minds, and souls inspired with a new vision of what is possible when Christ makes the difference in a person’s life.

In my travels, I hear constantly from alumni about how this special place, this shining campus on a hill, has made a difference in their lives, in their children’s lives, in their parents’ and grandparents’ lives, and in the life of the region itself.

I have met alumni and friends from all around the world, and I know for a fact that the prayers, conversations, and lessons that happen in Tigerville — and now in our Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, and even in online classes — all are part of the Christ-first difference NGU has made in the past.

NGU’s future will always be contingent on faithfulness to our mission of preparing students to be godly educators, business leaders, coaches, artists, musicians, scientists, lawyers, accountants, and — yes! — pastors, missionaries, and church leaders. We must continue to produce transformational leaders for church and society.

Join us in our next era of faithfulness to this mission — God’s mission for NGU — by celebrating with us, by praying with us, and by partnering with us to support our own unique and critical work for the Lord.

Gene C. Fant, Jr.
President
North Greenville University

 

PRINCIPALS AND PRESIDENTS OF NORTH GREENVILLE

 

1892 – 1895  1st Principal Hugh Lafayette Brock
1895 – 1898 2nd Principal John Silas Miles Finch
1898 – 1902 3rd Principal Oscar Peterson
1902 – 1904 4th Principal S. Frank Boyles
1904 – 1906 5th Principal William Fletcher Scott
1906 – 1910 6th Principal Leslie Augustus Jones
1910 – 1912 7th Principal John Dean Crain
1912 – 1919 8th Principal Leonard Simpson
1919 – 1928 9th Principal Henry Clayton Hester
1928 – 1962 1st President /10th Principal Murphree C. Donnan
1962 – 1970 2nd President Thomas L. Neely
1970 – 1975 3rd President Harold E. Lindsey
1975 – 1980 4th President George Silver
1981 – 1987 5th President James D. Jordan
1988 – 1991 6th President Paul Talmadge
1991 – 2015 7th President James B. Epting
2017 – Present  8th President Gene C. Fant, Jr.

 

SPECIAL GUESTS

 

John D. Basie (Ph.D., Baylor University) serves as the provost at Erskine College and Seminary in Due West, SC. He previously served as the academic programs director at Impact 360 Institute for over a decade, where he and Pres. Fant worked on several projects together.

Kevin L. Bryant (B.S., University of Georgia) is South Carolina’s 92nd lieutenant governor. A longtime business leader in Anderson, SC, Bryant served as a state senator for multiple terms and was appointed to serve in his current position after Nikki Haley resigned as governor to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Cheryl A. Collier (Ph.D., University of Georgia) is a professor of English and the chair of the English Department at NGU.

Betty Jo Craft (Honorary Doctorate, Dallas Baptist University) is a member of First Baptist Church – Columbia, SC. For many decades, Craft and her late husband, Ira, were tireless supporters of missions and church planting in the northeastern U.S., including the churches that Pres. Fant’s father planted near Buffalo, NY. She has served on the NGU Board of Trustees for multiple terms, concluding her service in 2017.

Bernie A. Cueto (Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) serves as the campus pastor at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He is also pastor of Family Church Gardens, where the Fants were members during their service in Florida.

David S. Dockery (Ph.D., University of Texas) is the president of Trinity International University, which includes Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. For almost two decades, he served as the president of Union University in Jackson, TN, where Pres. Fant served on his cabinet. One of the leading evangelical scholars, Dockery has written or edited dozens of books. He is also the president of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Kady L. Floyd (B.S., North Greenville University, expected ’18) is the president of NGU’s Student Government Association. A native of Greenville, SC, Floyd has also been involved on campus as a resident coordinator, work study, and First Year Experience mentor. She is currently studying business administration and marketing at NGU.

Gary L. Hollingsworth (D. Min., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the executive director-treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention in Columbia, SC.

Aubrey K. Lucas (Ph.D., Florida State University) is the president emeritus of the The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), where he was a transformational leader for over 20 years. Previously, he had served as the president at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. Pres. Fant was Lucas’ research assistant after he completed his doctoral work at USM.

Toney C. Parks (D. Min., Westminster Theological Seminary) pastors Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. He is also a former NGU staff member.

William “Bill” Tyler (B.S., University of South Carolina) is the owner-operator of the Greer, SC, Chick-fil-A; he has worked for the company since he was 15 years old. Tyler also serves as the minster of worship at Riverside Baptist Church in Greer. He is chairman of the NGU Board of Trustees, and he also chaired the presidential search committee that recommended Pres. Fant’s hiring to the board.

John W. White III (J.D., Cumberland School of Law at Samford University) is the co-founder and president of Lifeshape, which includes Impact 360 Institute. He and his wife, Trudy Cathy White, are part of the Chick-fil-A family. They have served as missionaries in Brazil and in many community development efforts.

 

DELEGATES

 

John T. Netland
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Union University
Founded in 1823

Andre S. Bernardi
Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Speed, Strength, and Conditioning
Furman University
Founded in 1826

John D. Baise
Provost
Erskine College
Founded in 1839

Hunter Baker
Alumni Delegate
Baylor University
Founded in 1845

Kelly Curtis
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Limestone College
Founded in 1845

M. Christopher White
President
Chowan University
Founded in 1848

Erin Smith
Alumni Delegate
Winthrop University
Founded in 1886

Jeffrey H. Barker
Provost
Converse College
Founded in 1889

Julie Godshall Brown
Presidential Representative
Clemson University
Founded in 1889

David S. Dockery
President
Trinity International University
Founded in 1897

Todd S. Voss
President
Southern Wesleyan University
Founded in 1906

Aubrey K. Lucas
President Emeritus
The University of Southern Mississippi
Founded in 1910

Anita K. Bowles
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Spartanburg Methodist College
Founded in 1911

Evans Whitaker
President
Anderson University
Founded in 1911

Jonathan C. Key
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Founded in 1917

David Olive
President
Bluefield College
Founded in 1922

Steve Pettit
President
Bob Jones University
Founded in 1927

Keith Whitfield
Dean of Graduate Studies
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Founded 1950

Robin D. Hadaway
Professor of Missions
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Founded in 1957

Timothy Smith
President
University of Mobile
Founded in 1961

Michael L. Bryant
Executive Vice President
Charleston Southern University
Founded in 1964

Bernie A. Cueto
Campus Pastor
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Founded in 1968

 

INSTITUTIONAL GREETINGS & CONGRATULATIONS

 

Abilene Christian University
Asbury Theological Seminary
Azusa Pacific University
Baylor University
Bethel College (Indiana)
Bethel University
Blue Mountain College
Calvin College
Campbell University
Charleston Southern University
Coastal Carolina University
Colorado Christian University
Crown College
Dallas Baptist University
Delta State University
Eastern University
Friends University
Furman University
Georgetown College
Gordon College
Greenville University (Illinois)
Hardin-Simmons University
Harding University
Indiana Wesleyan University
James Madison University
John Brown University
John Witherspoon College
Kuyper College
Lincoln Christian University
Malone University
Missouri Baptist University
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Northwest Christian University
Northwest Nazarene University
NYACK University
Old Dominion University
Pepperdine University
Presbyterian College
Samford University
San Diego Christian College
Southern Nazarene University
Southwest Baptist University
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Spring Arbor University
Taylor University
The King’s College (New York City)
Toccoa Falls College
Union University
University of Montevallo
University of North Alabama
University of North Western
University of South Carolina – Upstate
University of West Georgia
Valdosta State University
Warner University
Wayland Baptist University
William Jessup University
Winthrop University
Young Harris College

SYMBOLS OF INVESTITURE

 

Inaugural processions are a relic of medievalism in modern university life, taking place as early as the twelfth century. The procession is comprised of university faculty who wish to participate, as well as delegates representing various academic institutions, along with administrative leadership.

At North Greenville, the faculty marshal begins the procession and declares the start of the ceremony while carrying the mace. The faculty marshal of this ceremony is Professor of English James S. Washick, faculty member since 2001.

All of these symbols will be employed in President Fant’s investiture.

The mace is ceremonial and dates back to sixteenth-century England where it was used as a formidable weapon to protect high ranking civil, educational, and religious officials, and royalty. Today, the mace has become a symbol of authority and is carried by a distinguished member of the academic community.

The presidential medallion is worn as part of the president’s academic attire at ceremonial occasions such as commencement and Founders’ Day. It is worn around the neck and drapes down across the chest and the back. The medallion, like the North Greenville University mace, signifies the authority of the University’s chief executive.

The inaugural Bible represents the foundation upon which North Greenville University stands. Over the course of its existence, the North Greenville community has grown to embody a faithful, generous, and orthodox evangelicalism, committed to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of Holy Scriptures. The North Greenville connection is one of kinship and shared values – all of which are shaped by the pattern of Christian truth.