NGU News

NGU Board Approves Campus Enhancement Plan, Celebrates NCAA Title

Pictured from left, Board Chair Mandie Boyd, NGU pitcher Reece Fields, NGU Baseball Head Coach Landon Powell, NGU catcher John Michael Faile, and University President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. (Photo by Mason Bayne, NGU)

Tigerville, SC (June 23, 2022) Celebration of an NCAA national championship, affirmation of a multi-year Campus Enhancement Plan, and selection of a contractor for a major campus construction project highlighted the summer meeting of North Greenville University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday, June 23. Meeting on NGU’s Tigerville campus, the board also approved the hiring of several new faculty members and well as 16 faculty promotions.

The board meeting began with presentation of a resolution commending NGU’s Baseball team for winning the 2022 NCAA Division II College World Series. NGU Head Coach Landon Powell and several team members were present to receive a framed copy of the resolution from Board Chair Mandie Boyd. NGU won its fourth consecutive Conference Carolinas tournament title in early May and won both a regional tournament and a super regional to advance to its first-ever NCAA DII World Series as the top-seeded team. NGU went 4-0 in the World Series, defeating Point Loma Nazarene University 5-3 on Friday, June 10, to claim the championship.

In addition to the national championship, NGU’s athletics program was recognized for receiving the Conference Carolinas “Body, Mind and Soul Award,” which is based on conference regular season and tournament finishes, academic graduation and success rates and team sportsmanship.

University leaders began exploration of a campus master plan in the spring of 2019 and contracted with Derck & Edson, an architecture and land planning firm, late in that year. The process was sidelined at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. Work with the Pennsylvania-based firm to develop a prioritized approach to campus enhancements resumed in 2021. Facilitated by NGU Executive Vice President Rich Grimm, the process included feedback and review from a wide range of stakeholders, including alumni, students, staff, faculty, administration, and board members. That work culminated in a recommendation from the Board of Trustees Infrastructure and Operations Committee to affirm the plan, which the Board did by unanimous vote. 

NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., said the Campus Enhancement Plan is an outgrowth of the university’s desire to “create a plan for the Tigerville campus envisioning improvements that could be implemented in a short to mid-term timeframe of seven to ten 10 years.” He added that the plan sets the stage for a longer term, helping guide NGU’s future growth “in a methodical and intentional way, as the Lord gives us capacity and opportunity.”

The plan addresses five areas: the campus arrival experience, potential future building sites, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, campus aesthetics, and enhancing existing areas of the campus to make them “more attractive, efficient and effective.” Projects are grouped into three categories: legacy, capital. and operational. Legacy projects include renovations of Donnan Administration Building and Averyt/Wood Learning Center, a science building and additional academic space, new housing, and expansion/renovation of Hayes Gymnasium.

“The beauty of a thing like this is that it gives us intentionality, which is somewhat of a Christian trait as we seek to have stewardship of what is entrusted to us,” said President Fant. “It’s not our money; it’s God’s money. This allows us to be able to do all of that with intentionality.”

Details of the plan will be shared with the broader NGU community in the coming weeks.

The Board received an update on the first of the Legacy projects, the complete renovation of Donnan Administration Building, which will begin in August. In the works since receiving initial approval by the Board in the fall of 2021, the project will result in a new home for NGU’s largest academic program, the College of Business and Entrepreneurship (COBE), and the creation of a new office suite for senior administration. NGU officials announced The Donnan / COBE Project capital campaign on June 14 during an alumni event in Anaheim, CA. Nearly $3 million has been committed in the $8.5 million campaign. 

During their meeting on Thursday, trustees approved selection of Hood Construction of Columbia as general contractor for the Donnan renovation. The firm has completed several major renovation projects at universities in South Carolina in recent years, including the Barnes Student Activity Center at Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina’s Russell House Dining Services. The architect for the Donnan renovation is Equip Studio of Greenville, which worked with NGU on the 2020 renovation of historic Neves Hall on the Tigerville campus, as well as on other projects.

In his report to the Board, President Fant noted several recent activities, including conferring of 325 degrees during Spring Commencement on April 29, and dedication of the renovated Craft/Hemphill Missions Center. He noted that NGU surpassed $5 million in gifts and grants received for the 2022 fiscal year. Trustees also approved NGU’s 2023 fiscal year budget, and received reports from standing committees, including academic affairs, advancement and investment, athletics, campus ministries and student engagement, finance and audit, infrastructure and operations, and student and enrollment services.

Trustees ratified promotions for seven faculty moving from the rank of assistant professor to associate professor. Those include Dr. Jordan Hairr, PA Medicine; Dr. Frankie Melton, Christian Studies; Dr. Patricia Mercier, General Studies; Dr. Julius Nfor, Physics; Dr. David Stolze, Chemistry, Prof. Joshua Styles, Criminal Justice and Christian Studies; and Dr. Thomas Willoughby, Christian Studies.

Nine faculty members were promoted from Associate Professor to the rank of professor. Those include Dr. Nancy Caukin, Education; Dr. Cathleen Ciesielski, PA Medicine; Dr. Ben Coates, Spanish; Dr. Melissa Cruver, Education; Dr. Shannon Dobson, Psychology; Dr. Jeffrey French, Biology; Dr. Marti Glass, Psychology; Prof. Blake Smith, Art; and Dr. Darian Washington, Music and Brass.

“This year, we are celebrating a record number of faculty promotions. These 16 colleagues are each outstanding scholar-teachers and Christ-centered role models. Several are also key academic leaders at the University. I’m thankful that each of them is part of our community of academic disciple-makers at NGU,” said Dr. Nathan A. Finn, NGU Provost and Dean of the University Faculty.

The next scheduled meeting for the 25-member board of trustees is October 27, 2022.

About North Greenville University

NGU offers more than 125 areas of study across certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and early college opportunities. Online. In-person. At our main campus in Tigerville, SC, the Tim Brashier Campus in Greer, SC, or several educational centers around the U.S. One university, many locations. Every day. Epic. Learn more.

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