News Item

Board Resolution Honors President Daniel Ball on his Impending Retirement

June 17, 2015

Lander University’s Board of Trustees has given an official send-off to Dr. Daniel Ball, who will retire as Lander president on June 30th. At a gathering preceding its regular Board meeting on June 17, trustees presented Ball with a resolution, noting his 15 years of service as Lander’s 12th president, the fifth longest-serving president in the university’s 143-year history.

The resolution focused on his many accomplishments since taking office in July of 2000. It outlined the growth of the campus, expansion of student affairs and academic programs, the strengthening of faculty and staff, and the diversity in enrollment.

It said he has also been “a bricks and mortar” president with the construction of a new main entrance; two student residence halls, the newest of which will be ready for occupancy this fall; the Jeff May Complex on Montague Avenue; and the renovation and modernization of other facilities on campus.

The resolution noted that Ball led the most successful comprehensive campaign in Lander history, a six-year endeavor that exceeded its $15 million goal by $800,000. It praised his open-door policy and his personality and charisma, which made people feel welcome and comfortable in his presence.

It also cited his having received The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor awarded for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements.

The trustees expressed their deepest appreciation and respect for Ball and extended best wishes that, in retirement, he and his wife, Marjorie, will enjoy much happiness and contentment.

Ball’s retirement will close out his career in education that began 50 years ago when, fresh out of college, he began teaching biology and chemistry at a high school in Missouri, his home state. He taught there for five years and, after earning his master’s and doctoral degrees, he followed a career path that took him to colleges and universities in five states, where he held upper-level positions as a professor and senior administrator.

His journey led to what would be his final academic assignment when he and his wife, Marjorie, arrived in Greenwood after the Board of Trustees selected him from among 80 candidates to succeed Dr. William Moran as president.

Jack Lawrence, of Spartanburg, has served for more than 10 years as a member of Lander’s Board of Trustees, which he now chairs. He said, “Dr. Ball has been “a great leader, one of our best presidents.”

Lawrence said Ball added many programs and strengthened the university, giving it visibility across the state. He added that curriculum changes and physical improvements on campus have made Lander more competitive with other colleges and universities in attracting and retaining students.

Vice president for Student Affairs Randy Bouknight said Ball has been a student-centered president. “Dr. Ball has been a champion for students. He is visible among the students and it means a lot to them to know they have access to him.” Bouknight added, “He has created a family atmosphere on campus.” 

Since becoming president in 2000, Ball has officiated at 30 Lander commencement ceremonies and awarded degrees to over 7,200 graduates.

When asked about his accomplishments as president, Ball pointed to what he labeled “the little things,” like Lander becoming a smoke-free campus in 2007. At his urging, trustees voted to make Lander the first state college or university in South Carolina to institute a tobacco-free policy.

He doesn’t mention it as an accomplishment, but Ball has twice been crowned South Carolina Checkers Champion, winning tournaments in Pendleton in 2005 and 2006.

In addition to his retirement, 2015 will mark another milestone in the lives of the Balls for, on Oct. 2, they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of two sons, David and Stephen, and have three grandchildren: Alexa, 16; and twins Ryan and Zachary, 13.

The Balls plan to continue living in their home on Stanley Avenue, across the street from the campus, almost in the shadow of the Bell Tower atop historic Laura Lander Hall.