President's Accomplishments

President Ball with Students
President Daniel W. Ball meets with students on Lander's Assembly Plaza.

Upon arriving as the 12th president of Lander University in 2000, Dr. Daniel W. Ball enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to lead an institution blessed with talented people, distinguished by past achievements and poised for outstanding accomplishments yet to come.

At his inauguration, President Ball stated, "Marjorie and I come to Lander University with a renewed sense of energy, high expectation and profound diligence."

He cautioned that education should never be taken for granted. "Education is a key to a free and prosperous society. This institution is swimming in a fast-paced, materialistic society in which many want to graduate without an education. We must never yield to this kind of temptation."

He envisioned the future of the University to be a place where:

  1. quality and value define everything we do;
  2. collaboration is commonplace;
  3. our university community and curriculum become more diverse and international;
  4. people come to live and learn within an entrepreneurial academy; and
  5. we continuously reexamine what we do and how we do it, and determine how we can improve.

During his tenure, President Ball has challenged the university community to work together to reaffirm, redefine and market the mission and vision of Lander University, a university where student achievement is the principal priority.

Under his leadership, the University has adopted four initiatives to help Lander fulfill its mission and realize its vision:

  1. Increase our freshman numbers, then retain and graduate those students
  2. Expand our presence in our state, our nation and the world
  3. Place unrelenting emphasis on quality, value and student achievement 
  4. Preparation of teachers will be a priority for Lander

Six months into President Ball’s tenure, a university-wide strategic planning process began in January of 2001. He appointed several committees made up of faculty, students, staff, alumni and people from the community, and within a year Lander’s first-ever strategic plan was drafted. (The Lander University Board of Trustees’ approved Strategic Plan was implemented in 2002.)

In the early months of their arrival, Dr. and Mrs. Ball spent time getting to know the Lander and Greenwood communities, and President Ball became a familiar face at the State House, talking with legislators and governmental leaders, and making the case for Lander and higher education in general. He was instrumental in persuading the heads of the 10 other comprehensive state universities to join him in lobbying the state for an annual appropriation of $10 million to improve technology on their campuses. They were successful, and some of that funding still flows to Lander and the other state universities today.

As with the other state university presidents, President Ball’s most-critical university issue has been the steady decline in state appropriations. In 2000, more than 40 percent of Lander’s budget came from the state; it is now less than 10 percent. While tuition has been impacted by these reductions, President Ball and his administration have worked diligently to keep Lander’s tuition affordable. Because of their efforts, Lander has consistently remained in the middle of the ten State Comprehensive Teaching Institutions with regards to cost of tuition.

In spite of substantial cuts to state appropriations, President Ball has led the University through major and significant accomplishments, including:

2000 – 2004

  • Implemented Lander’s first Staff Excellence Awards Breakfast program (2001)
  • Implemented major $15 million Comprehensive Campaign (July 2001); successfully completed campaign (June 2007), surpassing goal by $800,000
  • Implemented first-ever University Strategic Plan (2002)
  • Became wireless campus (2002)
  • Secured a TEA Grant to build a retaining wall and sidewalk on the north side of Jackson Library (2002)
  • Repaired and resurrected the Carillon Bells after many years of silence (2002)
  • Twice achieved MCATE Accreditation for Early Childhood Montessori Education Program (2002 and 2009)
  • Achieved CATE Accreditation of our Athletic Training Program (2002) and achieved CAATE Accreditation (2009)
  • Twice achieved AACSB Accreditation for our College of Business and Public Affairs (2003 and 2013)
  • Introduced the Bearcat as Lander’s official athletic mascot (2003-04)
  • Twice achieved NCATE Reaccreditation in College of Education (2004 and 2011)
  • Restructured Academic Affairs, reducing 10 administrative units to four (2004)
  • Completed major revisions to the Faculty Handbook (2004)
  • Completed an external Economic Impact Study showing Lander’s annual impact in Greenwood County to be $103 million (2004)
  • Established the first Docent Program at a state university (2004)
  • Celebrated Lander’s 100-year-anniversary in Greenwood with monthly events (2004)
  • Constructed a new Physical Plant Building (2004)
  • Instrumental in securing the $10 million annual state funding for technology for all S.C. comprehensive universities


  • Completed a Memorandum of Understanding with Al Ain University, United Arab Emirates (2005)
  • Added men’s golf to Lander Athletics program (2005-06)
  • Established the Virginia Self National Center for Montessori Education (2006)
  • Designed and implemented an innovative online Criminal Justice Program (2006)
  • Completed a new 300-bed residence hall, Centennial Hall (Opened January 2006;   Received LEED certification June 2008)
  • Renovated the Student Affairs area  (2006)
  • Added an 18-hole disc golf course (2006)
  • Brought back women’s tennis (2006-07)
  • Instated first Tobacco-Free Campus Policy at a state university in South Carolina (2007)
  • Implemented the Master of Education in Montessori Education degree (2007)
  • Added a Java City coffee shop to the Lander University Jackson Library (2007)
  • Completed renovation of the Dining Hall (2007)
  • Initiated a Sunday Brunch for the community in the Dining Hall (2007)
  • Implemented a new campus alert system, “Lander Alert” (2008)
  • Partnered with City, County and State for the construction of the new campus entrance (Completed 2008)
  • Renovated and expanded the campus bookstore, renamed Bearcat Shop (2008)
  • Renovated and combined the Admissions, Registrar and Financial Aid offices into a new Enrollment Center (2008)
  • Renovated Learning Center external entrance leading to Enrollment Center (2008)
  • Implemented new academic calendar format (Fall 2008)
  • Twice achieved SACS reaccreditation (2008 and 2013)
  • Renovated Lide Student Housing (2008)
  • Added the Bearcat Den food court to Student Center (2008)
  • Signed Bridge Program agreements with all S.C. technical colleges (2009)
  • Approved new General Education Goals (2009)
  • Implemented the Master’s in Teaching degree in Education (2009)
  • Renovated the Jackson Library basement, converting storage into Information Technology space, Computer Lab and TRACS Center (2009)
  • Initiated the Experience Your Education (EYE) Program (2009); Program received national award (2010)
  • Renovated the President’s Suite and Johnson Board Room (2010)
  • Completed and dedicated an Equestrian Center (October 2009); completed Equestrian Covered Arena (2012) 

2010 – 2014

  • Expanded campus housing to include 32-bed McGee Court (2009) and 368-bed Bearcat Village (2010); a new 200-bed replacement residence hall will come online in 2015
  • Added student shuttle bus service and Bearcat vans to transport athletic teams (2010)
  • Partnered with City, County and State for the construction of the Jeff May Recreation, Wellness and Sports Complex (Dedicated 2011)
  • Completed University Master Plan (2011)
  • Refurbished the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium (2011)
  • Added women’s golf to Lander Athletics program (2011-12)
  • Implemented the first state university-based Therapeutic Horsemanship Program (2012)
  • Initiated Enhanced-Experimental Advising Program (2012)
  • Launched International/Global Scholars Program (2010) with Memoranda of Understanding with 17 universities in Asian countries and one in Chile; co-sponsored International Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand (2011 and 2013)
  • Reactivated the Interdisciplinary Studies major (2013)
  • Established Lander’s Honors College (2013) with 71 students, 23 new freshmen
  • Began the Lander Intern in Washington (D.C.) Program (2013)
  • Opened the new Student Fitness Center (January 2013)
  • Completed the JMC Field House (2013)
  • Completed an Intramural Field at JMC (2013)
  • Began Planning Phase of University/Foundation Comprehensive Campaign (2013)
  • Implemented the Master of Science in Emergency Management degree (2014)
  • Implemented the Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader degree (2014)
  • Secured approval to renovate Moran Assembly Plaza (Construction starts in 2014)
  • Secured approval for new Circle Drive (Construction starts 2014)
  • Secured location and funding for new Montessori School and Center (Scheduled to open Fall 2014)
  • Secured new location for University Advancement (Alumni, Development and Foundation) (2014)

President and Mrs. Daniel Ball brought a vision to Lander University on July 1, 2000. Fourteen years later, the campus is one of beauty that has grown in property acquisition; in facilities; in expansion of academic, student affairs and athletic programs; in faculty and staff; and in diversity of enrollment.