News & Notes 
Information for South Carolina's Independent Colleges & Universities  
Vol. 8 Issue 5: May 2015

In This Issue
Celebrating Jimmy Epting
Finance Committee Restores Higher Ed. Cuts
State House Day 2015
Letter Writing Campaign
10th Annual Excellence Event
CIC Challenge Grant
Member College News
SCICU Business Partners
Quick Links...

Events 2015 

June 10

SCTGC Meeting  

SCICU, 10:30am - 12pm


June 15-19 

Campus Tour - Summer 2015



June 23

Public Policy Committee Mtg.

SCICU, 10-11am 


August 6

Development Committee 

SCICU, 10:30 - 11:30am  


September 25

Institutional Research Mtg.

CIU, 11am - 1:30pm  


October 14

Chief Academic Officers Mtg

SCICU, 11am - 1:30pm 


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

Our Colleges:
Business Partners:


ABM Building Services, LLC

Affinity LTC, LLC


American Student Assistance


Blackboard, Inc. 

CapinCrouse LLP  

Club Colors

Coleman Lew & Associates

Craig Gaulden Davis  

CSI Leasing, Inc.  

Elliott Davis, PLLC

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

The Walker Company 

Total Comfort Solutions

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

Celebrating Jimmy Epting 

As announced earlier this year, Dr. James B. "Jimmy" Epting will retire June 1 after serving NGU for 36 years, the last 24 years as president. North Greenville University celebrated the life and leadership of Dr. Epting at a chapel service and luncheon Wednesday, April 29, on the Tigerville campus.


Hundreds of students, friends, and family members packed the Turner Chapel and Music Building to witness a joyful worship service led by Dr. Epting, lead vocalist with the Southern Gospel group, the President's Quartet. At the following luncheon, community and school officials paid tribute to Dr. Epting for his many personal and professional accomplishments.


Anderson University President Evans Whitaker and SCICU President Mike LeFever presented Dr. Epting with a Resolution on behalf of the SCICU Board of Trustees. Dr. Whitaker provided additional remarks on behalf of the independent college and university presidents. Known for his good cheer and strong hugs among his many friends and colleagues, Jimmy Epting's commitment and support of SCICU will be missed.


Dr. Randall Pannell, NGU's vice president for academics, will serve as interim president while NGU's Board of Trustees conducts a search for Dr. Epting's successor.

Read the SCICU Resolution in its Entirety 

Senate Finance Committee Restores Higher Education Cuts   

The Senate Finance Committee approved a spending plan for nearly $7 billion in general fund money for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The plan restores funding to many higher education programs that were cut when the House passed its version of the budget in March.

In addition to restoring funds to operate the Commission on Higher Education, the Finance Committee restored a $2.6 million cut to the state's need-based grant program and added PASCAL back in to this year's budget in an amount not to exceed $1.5 million.


Like the House, the Senate Finance Committee recommended that the Tuition Grants program receive an additional $136,772 in recurring general fund money. This small increase, when combined with Commission carry forward funds, will allow the Commission to increase the maximum Tuition Grant from $3,000 to $3,100 beginning with the 2015-16 academic year.  


Merit scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, HOPE, and Tuition Assistance) are fully funded under the Finance Committee's plan.


In a related action, the Finance Committee approved a borrowing package in the amount of $236.7 billion. The bulk of the money is directed towards capital construction projects for public colleges and technical schools. The bond bill is roughly half the size of the borrowing proposal that was defeated in the House after opposition from Governor Haley.


The Senate will take up the recommendations of Finance Committee beginning the week of May 4. Differences between the House-passed budget and one adopted by the Senate will be resolved by special committee of 3 members of the House and 3 members of the Senate before being sent to the Governor. 

 Students Thank Their Legislators at State House Day 2015

On April 15, over 100 students and staff members from seventeen SCICU member colleges and universities visited the State House to personally thank the members of the General Assembly for their support of the Tuition Grant program.


This year, 13,300 resident students are able to attend the private, non-profit college or university of their choice because of over $36 million in financial assistance provided by need-based Tuition Grants.


Prior to meeting with their hometown representatives and senators, the students were briefed at a breakfast meeting held at the historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, just across the street from the SC State House.


At this assembly, Speaker Jay Lucas was honored as the 2015 SCICU Legislative Champion and addressed the students, thanking them for their participation and explaining the positive impact their presence at State House Day has on legislators.


Speaker Lucas also presented the Concurrent Resolution passed by the Senate and the House which recognizes the outstanding contributions that independent colleges and universities have made to the State of South Carolina. He joined Governor Nikki Hayley in recognizing the week of April 13-17 as Independent College and University Week and April 15 as Independent College and University Day.


After a morning of face-to-face meetings with SC General Assembly members, the students gathered back at Trinity Cathedral for a group photograph. The Governor's Chief of Staff, James Burns, was in attendance and presented the students with the Proclamation from Governor Nikki Haley which encouraged all South Carolinians during Independent College and University Day & Week to recognize private non-profit colleges and universities for their positive contributions to ensuring our state's continued status a leader in higher education.  


View Photo Gallery 

Over 8,000 Letters to SC General Assembly written by SCICU Students 

Each year, prior to Independent Colleges & Universities Day at the State House, Tuition Grant recipients from South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities member institutions write individual thank you letters to their resident House and Senate members.

For the first time in the program's history, all 20 schools were represented in the letter writing campaign. The 100% participation rate from the schools yielded over 8,100 thank you letters. About a 1,000 letter increase from last year's campaign.


SCICU presented two institutions with award stipends to be used to hold student appreciation events on their campuses. The winner of the award for the institution with the highest participation percentage was Allen University with a participation rate of 80% of Tuition Grant recipients. The winner of the institution with the highest total number of letters written was North Greenville University with a total of 1,525 letters.


In addition to the institutional awards, seven SCICU student letter writers were awarded $100 gift cards to their respective institutions' bookstores. These students were selected by random drawing for their participation in the campaign.


Thank you to the letter writing coordinators at each campus for making this such a successful year for the SCICU Student Letter Writing Campaign.  

Professors Honored at 10th Annual Excellence in Teaching Event  

Each year, SCICU recognizes and celebrates the best professors from its 20 member colleges through the Excellence in Teaching Award. This group of teacher-scholars represents many different academic disciplines and brings a rich diversity of education, experience, and interests to our campuses. The recipients are honored at a special dinner and awarded a $3,000 professional development grant.

This year's celebration was held on April 14 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Nearly 200 were in attendance including the award recipients, their guests and colleagues, SCICU staff and board members, as well as members of the South Carolina General Assembly.


SCICU gratefully acknowledges the following sponsors for their support of the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Awards Dinner: ABM Solutions, Aramark Higher Education, Bank of America, NBSC, Sodexo, TD Bank, TIAA-CREF, Total Comfort Solutions, and Vulcan Materials Company.


We are pleased to recognize the following individuals with the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award:


Professor Abdollah Rabieh, Allen University 

Dr. Robert Franklin Jr., Anderson University

Dr. Ming Yin, Benedict College

Dr. Celeste McMaster, Charleston Southern University

Dr. Mitali P. Wong, Claflin University

Dr. Gordon Brown, Coker College

Dr. Adrienne Oxley, Columbia College

Dr. David Olshine, Columbia International University

Dr. Laura Feitzinger Brown, Converse College

Dr. Howard Thomas, Erskine College

Dr. Leslie W. Hicken, Furman University

Dr. Jerry E. Wright, Limestone College

Dr. Elaine McClure, Morris College

Dr. Peggy Barnes-Winder, Newberry College

Dr. H. Paul Thompson, Jr., North Greenville University

Dr. John Justin Brent, Presbyterian College

Dr. Darryl Jachens, Southern Wesleyan University

Professor Kent Newberry, Spartanburg Methodist College

Dr. Booker T. Anthony, Voorhees College

Dr. John Moeller, Wofford College


To learn more, read award recipient biographies or visit our photo gallery.   

Only $2,500 needed for
CIC Challenge Grant 


Overview of CIC Challenge Grant:
  • $25,000 grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) that must be matched with $35,000 in new dollars
  • The $60,000 will fund forty $1,500 SCICU IT-oLogy Scholarships over the next two years to SCICU students in STEM-related majors
  • The deadline to pledge the remainder ($2,532) is June 30, 2015 
  • For further information, contact Eddie Shannon at


Thank you to those who have contributed:

Alterman, Jennet

Baskins, Henri

Beaty, William

Bess, Clyde

Bjontegard, Art

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of SC

Burnette, Malissa

Cox Industries

Emard, Lonnie

Fort, Jim

Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd  

Helland, Hans & Stephenie

HRP Associates

Kimpson, Milton

LeFever, Mike

Love, Amy

Maddrey, Erwin

Malloy Foundation  

McIver, Lucy Grey

McKinney, Kathleen

Metromont Corporation

Midland Agency Insurance 

Ogburn, Derial


Reynolds, Jim

Sanders Family Foundation

Shannon, Eddie

Shaw, Minor

Smith, Cary

SouthState Bank

TD Bank

Torrence, Andrew & Brenda

Walsh Consulting, LLC
Williams Family Foundation

Weaver, Brent

4eVentures, LLC  



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:

Share your news with the SC independent college community! Place Communications Coordinator Stephenie Helland ( on your media relations email list. Thank you!
SCICU Business Partners
The following companies have renewed their partnership:    

Elliott Davis Decosimo
  Pollock Company

  Total Comfort Solutions


  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