News Item

Lander President Delivers State of the University Address

September 23, 2014

Lander University President Dr. Daniel Ball delivered the final State of the University Address of his presidency on Monday, Sept. 22, and he gave some parting advice to faculty, staff and his successor. Ball will retire as Lander’s president at the end of June 2015, after serving 15 years as the university’s chief executive.

He encouraged them to maintain integrity and quality; to be good citizens of the Greenwood community; to continue to prepare students to work and “to be.

In his speech, he recognized returning faculty and staff, and welcomed nine new faculty members who come to Lander with a total of 124 years of teaching experience.

He noted that the university is preparing for its 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. He said it is a comprehensive process involving virtually every area of the university, and he added, “We go into this task well positioned for success, and anticipate a strong showing.”

Ball said Lander’s fall enrollment totaled 2,787 students, down about 2 percent from last fall. The number includes 93 international students, 27 of them from Asia.

On the subject of facilities, Ball spoke of the new 200-bed residence hall under construction on campus, which is expected to be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2015. He mentioned reconstruction of Circle Drive leading from the university’s main entrance, and plans for the renovation of Moran Assembly Plaza next spring. Two new additions opened in the Bearcat Den in September: A Which Wich? sandwich shop, part of a national chain, and Burger Studio.

Ball said Lander is in the process of formalizing the location of a new National Montessori Center and School. The university received a state appropriation of $750,000 for the center last year and is seeking additional funding.

He announced that the university is preparing to introduce a new employee communication, recognition and rewards program. “The purpose of this initiative is to recognize the great work our employees do every day.” He said the program, which will be kicked off on Oct. 27, is part of the university’s “Grow Better” mission.

Ball used the occasion of his address to award the fifth annual Mary Francis Poole Alston Award to longtime Lander men’s soccer coach Van Taylor. The award, which is named for a 1914 Lander graduate, is presented to an individual who provides visibility for Lander throughout the state, the U.S. and the world. Ball said, “Under his careful guidance, the men’s soccer team has developed into a nationally recognized program that has brought distinction to the university.”

At the conclusion of the address, Ball led a delegation of Lander faculty, staff, members of the Board of Trustees and invited guests to Lander’s Jeff May Complex on Montague Avenue, for a ceremony dedicating the university’s soccer stadium in Taylor’s name.