News Item

Banking School Concludes Sixth Year at Lander; Greenwood Community Benefits

July 23, 2015

Bankersd School Lander University
Graduates of the 2015 SC Bankers School at Lander University

Lander University and the South Carolina Bankers Association have a good thing going. For the sixth consecutive year, the Greenwood campus has served as home to the organization’s annual Bankers School, a weeklong immersion in industry procedures for selected employees of many banks of all sizes from throughout the state.
The 2015 session of the Bankers School, July 12-17, attracted 130 students who work in different sectors of the industry. “Some of our students work in information technology, human resources, accounting, customer services and collections,” said Teresa Taylor, executive vice president of the association. “During their time in the Bankers School, they learn a good bit about every department in a bank, and how their job contributes to the overall operation of their bank.”

David Keller, senior vice president at Southern First Bank and board chairman of the Bankers School, explained that the school is actually a three-year commitment for the students. “During the first and second years of the school, students learn about asset liability management, bank marketing, bond sales, banking laws and the economics of banking. In their third summer here, the students form teams to participate in a bank simulation. As each day of the week represents the turn of a quarter, they make decisions on how to run a bank, they receive reports reflecting on their bank’s performance, and they conclude the week with a report to their shareholders, who are actually judges for the teams.”

The Benefits of the Lander Connection

Since its inception in 1961, the Bankers School was housed at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Adam Taylor, vice president for Governmental Relations at Lander, and Sadie Erwin, gifts officer for The Lander Foundation, invited association officials to visit the Lander campus in hopes of bringing the School to the Upstate.

 “For us, the decision to bring the Bankers School to Lander was a no-brainer,” said Teresa Taylor. “Everything, from the technology and housing to the parking and the food, was far better suited for our needs. Every room that we use is a smart classroom, which frees us from hauling equipment around. Instead, our classes are ready to begin the moment we walk into the room. I can’t say enough about Sadie Erwin; her love for Lander University, her warm hospitality and her undeniable ‘can-do’ attitude played an enormous role in convincing us that moving to Lander was the right decision for us.”

 Keller emphasized the social setting that Lander is able to provide to the students. “The social aspect is every bit as important as the academics,” he said. “When the school was held in Columbia, most of the students would leave the campus every night. Here, they are able to form those professional networking relationships that are so important to the job that we do. They do not lose contact once the school is over. They see each other at industry events, and while they may be competitors during the work hours, they see themselves as colleagues.”

Teresa Taylor noted that she has also been made aware of the positive effects of the School in the Greenwood community. “I know for a fact that there are numerous Greenwood businesses that notice an uptick in their July sales, so they’re certainly happy that we’re here.”