News & Notes 
Information for South Carolina's Independent Colleges & Universities  
Vol. 8 Issue 7: July 2015

In This Issue
Independent Colleges' Loss
Allen Professor's Memorial
State Budget Ratified
McDonald SMC's Interim President
Lilly steps down, Interim Named
Voss to Chair Pres. Council
Board Nominations
Member College News
SCICU Business Partners
Quick Links...

Events 2015 

August 6

Development Committee 

SCICU, 10:30 - 11:30am  


August 26 

Finance Committee Mtg.

SCICU, 10 - 11:30am 


September 10

Executive Committee Mtg.

SCICU, 10 - 11:30am 

September 22-23, 2015
Title IX Investigator Training
Southern Wesleyan University
8:30am - 4:30pm each day  


September 25

Institutional Research Mtg.

CIU, 11am - 1:30pm  


October 6  

Board of Trustees Meeting

Newberry College, 10am-2pm   


October 14

Chief Academic Officers Mtg

SCICU, 11am - 1:30pm  


2016 Events 


February 9

Career Connections

Columbia Metro. Comm. Cntr

8am - 5pm   


February 18

Research Symposium

Milliken & Co., Spartanburg

8:30am - 5pm 



To view more info about these meetings and events,   click here. 

Our Colleges:
Allen University
Anderson University
Benedict College
Charleston Southern University
Claflin University
Coker College
Columbia College
Columbia International University
Converse College
Erskine College
Furman University
Limestone College
Morris College
Newberry College
North Greenville University
Presbyterian College
Southern Wesleyan University
Spartanburg Methodist College
Voorhees College
Wofford College
Business Partners:

ABM Building Solutions, LLC

Affinity LTC, LLC


American Student Assistance


Blackboard, Inc.

CapinCrouse LLP

Coleman Lew & Associates

Craig Gaulden Davis

CSI Leasing, Inc.

Elliott Davis, PLLC


eBridge Business Solutions LLC

e-Procurement Services, LLC

First American Education Finance (FAEF)

Genworth Financial

Gillis Specialty Advertising

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd

HRP Associates

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Myers McRae Exec. Search

Pollock Company

Professional Insurance & Investment Associates


School Dude


Stalwart Systems Group


The Payments Company

Total Comfort Solutions

UnitedHealthcare Student

Verizon Wireless

Vulcan Materials

Walsh Consulting Group, LLC

Wyche Law Firm


Click here to view a full listing of SCICU Business partners...
Private College Purchasing Coalition:
The Coalition for College Cost Savings is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping SCICU members reduce and contain costs through collaboration.

Join Our Mailing List

Independent College Community Loses Friends, Alumni, Colleague

The senseless and brutal massacre of nine people at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on evening of June 17 is particularly painful to the independent college community.

Among the dead are Sen. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, DePayne Doctor, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., and Myra Thompson. Each had deep ties to SCICU member colleges and universities. Their friendship, support, and contributions will be sorely missed. 


Rev. Clementa Pinckney was the pastor of one of the oldest AME churches in the south, lovingly referred to as "Mother Emanuel." He graduated from Allen University in 1995 and was elected to the State House of Representatives a year later and to the State Senate in 2000.


A member of the Senate's Education and Finance committees, Sen. Pinckney was a staunch supporter of independent higher education and the Tuition Grants program. He was a featured speaker at several SCICU retreats and would always meet with students and participate in SCICU's State House Day.


Tywanza Sanders, 26, graduated from Allen University with a degree in business administration. He was a talented individual with a passion for poetry who left behind a large collection of unpublished works.

DePayne Middleton Doctor was admissions coordinator at Southern Wesleyan University's Charleston learning center. She earned a BA in biology and life sciences from Columbia College and a MA in management from SWU. 

Sharonda Coleman-Singleton was a minister on the staff of Emanuel AME in addition to being a speech pathologist and girls' track and field coach at Goose Creek High in nearby Berkeley County. Her oldest son, Chris, is a rising sophomore at Charleston Southern University and a member of the baseball team.

The Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr. was a member of the ministerial staff at Emanuel AME. At age 74, he was a retired pastor from another Charleston church. Like Pinckney and Sanders, Rev. Simmons was graduate of Allen University in Columbia and a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

Myra Thompson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Benedict College in 1979. She was a retired high school counselor and the wife of Rev. Anthony Thompson, who is also a graduate of Benedict College. Rev. Thompson is a Vicar at the Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church (ACNA) in Charleston.

Prayer vigils and memorial services were held on many campuses in the wake of the killings. Scholarships and other recognitions are being planned to honor the fallen. The thoughts and prayers of the extended SCICU community not only go out to our friends, fellow alumni, colleagues, and their families, but to all the victims and their loved ones.
Allen University Professor Remembers the Charleston Nine with Poem  

The death of nine parishioners at Emanuel AME Church fell particularly hard on Allen University which counted three of its alumni among the dead. To mark the event and remember all who died, Allen University and President Lady June Cole held a Pray for Peace Vigil on June 25.


Among the many remembrances was a heartfelt and moving poem written by Dr. Charlene M. Spearen especially for the vigil. Dr. Spearen is Assistant Professor of English, Director and Co-founder of the Langston Hughes Poetry Center, and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at Allen University.


Read Dr. Spearen's Poem "We are the Nine" 

State Budget Ratified

Statehouse The House and the Senate completed work on a $ 7 billion spending plan for FY 2015-16 on July 7 by overriding 62 of Governor Nikki Haley's 83 line-item vetoes. None of the vetoes affected independent higher education.

The plan includes almost $36 million for need-based Higher Education Tuition Grants. A slight increase in recurring state appropriations ($136,772) and level funding of more than $8.2 million from the lottery will allow the Tuition Grants Commission to leverage some carry-forward money and increase the maximum grant by $100 to $3,100. More than 13,300 students attending private non-profits colleges and universities will receive a Tuition Grant during the 2015-16 academic year.

The state's merit scholarship programs are fully funded in the final version of the budget. Each year over 8,200 independent college students receive a state merit scholarship.

The Commission on Higher Education will receive $2.6 million in supplemental funds to maintain the state's need-based program at last year's level. A portion of the Tuition Grants Commission's annual budget comes from this program.

During conference committee negotiations, the Senate members insisted that PASCAL, the academic library consortium, be included in the final budget. PASCAL will be eligible for up to $1.5 million should there be sufficient surplus lottery funds available at the end of the current fiscal year. This is a very tenuous funding stream, and it is more likely than not that PASCAL will receive only a pro-rata amount of the maximum appropriation.

The continued support and advocacy of Board members, students, and member colleges and universities helped to advance SCICU's legislative agenda and increase student financial aid for the coming year.

 McDonald Named 

Interim President of SMC

Eric McDonald has been named Interim President of Spartanburg Methodist College by the SMC Board of Trustees. McDonald will take over duties effective Wednesday, July 1, 2015. The decision is in response to former President Dr. Colleen Perry Keith's appointment as President of Pfeiffer University in North Carolina.

McDonald, who has served as Vice President of Business Affairs for SMC since April of 2008 overseeing all financial, facilities and information technology aspects of the College's operations, will also continue in his normal duties until a new president can be found for the college.

"As we bid Dr. Keith farewell, we know that Spartanburg Methodist College is in excellent hands with Eric McDonald in charge. We are confident that Mr. McDonald will provide excellent administrative leadership and guidance as Interim President. Eric McDonald has been an outstanding member of the President's Cabinet for over seven years," said Dr. Phinnize Fisher, Chair of the Board of SMC, and co-chair of the SMC Presidential Search Committee.

Beginning on July 1st, McDonald's career will have gone full circle.  Initially he went to Mercer College to study accounting, but became active in a Baptist Student Union group and decided to go into the ministry.  After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and then a Master's of Divinity from Southeastern Seminary, a friend at church led McDonald back to the accounting industry, where he spent 10 years working for CPA firms in North Carolina.

Read more... 


Lilly Steps Down at PC, Staton to Serve as Interim

Presbyterian College President Dr. Claude C. Lilly has announced he will step down as President effective July 15, 2015.

During his tenure with the College, Dr. Lilly has been instrumental in leading several initiatives for improvement of the campus grounds and buildings, including the $11.8 million Neville Hall Renovation Campaign, of which commitments of $7.4 million have been received, the purchase of the Young property and the establishment of a park. There are also plans for additional student housing and great strides have been made in upgrading campus aesthetics. Dr. Lilly led the swift response to the flooding of Georgia Hall and the complete renovation of the facility in less than seven months.

Dr. Lilly leaves PC in a much stronger financial position, including a much sounder balance sheet and significantly improved liquidity. He continued the advancement of the PC School of Pharmacy working with the Dean of the School of Pharmacy to obtain accreditation.

Dr. Claude C. Lilly assumed the role of President of Presbyterian College on July 15, 2012, after serving as Dean of Clemson University's College of Business and Behavioral Science since 2007. A Georgia native, Dr. Lilly earned his bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and his doctorate in risk management from Georgia State University. He brought to the PC community extensive administrative and teaching experience, including posts at Texas Tech University, the University of Southern California, Florida State University, and as Dean of the Belk College of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Robert (Bob) Emmett Staton '68 has been selected to serve as president of PC effective July 15, while a nationwide search is conducted for a new president for the College. 

Staton is a 1968 graduate of PC and a 1971 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. He went on to become the chairman and CEO of Colonial Life before retirement and currently serves on the board of Delta Apparel, a publically traded company with executive offices in Greenville, S.C. He is a member of numerous state and local civic organizations and has been recognized by the South Carolina State Chamber of Commerce as Business Leader of the Year and was awarded the Order of the Palmetto by Governor Jim Hodges. Bob Staton is a Life Trustee of South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

Staton served as a member of PC's Board of Trustees from 1997-2006, serving on and chairing several committees. He also served as chair of the College's Promise and Challenge capital campaign. In January 2007, he joined PC's administration as executive vice president for external relations until 2012. At the 2015 Commencement ceremonies, Staton received an honorary doctorate of public service degree from the College. 

 Voss Chairs SCICU Council of Presidents

Southern Wesleyan University President Dr. Todd Voss will chair SCICU's
Council of Presidents through August 31, 2016. He is filling the unexpired term of Dr. Colleen Perry Keith who became president of Pfeiffer University on July 1 after leading Spartanburg Methodist College for six years.

Dr. Voss has been president of SWU since 2011. Prior to moving to Central, he was executive vice president at Indiana Wesleyan University and previously served on the staff of West Virginia University, Western Michigan University, and Michigan State. Voss is a member of the Development Committee and previously served as an at-large member of the SCICU Executive Committee from 2012-2014.

As Council Chair, Dr. Voss joins the Nominating Committee and Executive Committee. The next meeting of the Council of Presidents is October 6 prior to the fall meeting of the SCICU Board of Trustees at Newberry College.

 Board Nominations Open

The SCICU Nominating Committee is soliciting nominations of highly qualified individuals for a 3 year term on the SCICU Board of Trustees. The committee is looking for a diverse group of men and women who support independent higher education in South Carolina.


The Nominating Committee is composed of Chair Henri Baskins (Board Past Chair), Kathy McKinney (Board Chair), Todd Voss (Chair of Council of Presidents and Board Vice Chair), Jim Reynolds (Board Chair Elect), and Mike LeFever (SCICU President & CEO).


Ballots will be distributed in September and the final ratification vote will take place at the October 6 meeting of the Board of Trustees at Newberry College.


Recommendations may be submitted to Mike LeFever at or 803-799-7122. 

Member College News
SCICU posts news and accomplishments of our member institutions on the Member College News section of our website. Here is a selection of news recently featured: 

  To share your news with the SC independent college community,
email releases to Thank you!
SCICU Business Partners
have renewed their partnership:

HRP Associates

A complete listing of all the Business Partners may be found in the left margin of News & Notes or on our website.
News & Notes is published by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc. Please send all comments or questions to SCICU President & CEO Mike LeFever at or 803-799-7122. Mailing address: P.O. Box 12007, Columbia, SC 29211