University Supporter Jim Black Dies at 90
Tigerville, SC (March 4, 2022) Long-time university friend and benefactor, James A. Black, Jr., died Sunday, February 27, in Easley, South Carolina at the age of 90.
Black, a retired insurance agent, served multiple terms on North Greenville University’s Board of Trustees. He and his wife, Ann, were active supporters of NGU’s Christian Ministry’s Scholarship Funds.
“Jim Black was the picture of the true Christian gentleman, soft-spoken in a way that caught people’s attention but wise in a way that kept it,” said NGU President Gene C. Fant, Jr. “His long-time service to the university was exemplary but his deep commitment to encouragement moved him to a level beyond others.”
Black served on the university’s board of trustees for a total of 21 years and was board chair in 1978. The Blacks consistently provided financial support for the university since the 1960s. They established the James A. Black, Jr., and Ann G. Black Scholarship Endowment in 1997. They made major gifts for Todd Dining Hall, the Cline School of Music’s Steinway pianos, and student housing. In 1998, they became charter members of NGU’s Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund.
“Jim and his beloved wife Ann loved this university so deeply and helped to change it for the better in every conceivable way,” said President Fant. “While we mourn his loss, we rejoice that he is worshipping with his Savior even now.”
Black was a graduate of The Citadel. In 2002, North Greenville awarded him the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. He was a U.S. Army veteran and a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church in Easley.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Axson Gelzer Black of the home; two sons, James Ansel Black III (Renee) of Havana, Florida, and William Daniel Black (Julie) of Greer; a daughter, Melissa Elizabeth Black Brady (Tim) of Piedmont; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mr. Black was predeceased by a brother, William Ingram Black.
A memorial service was held Friday, March 4, in the chapel at Foothills Retirement Community in Easley. A private burial will be held in Mountain View Cemetery in Greer at a later date.
In memory of Dr. Black, President Fant has ordered that all flags on the university’s campuses be lowered to half-staff through sundown March 7. A memorial wreath will be placed on the campus at the entrance of Todd Dining Hall through Tuesday, March 8.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund c/o North Greenville University, P.O. Box 1892, Tigerville, SC 29688.