News Item

Richard Cosentino Inaugurated as Lander President

March 21, 2016

President Richard Cosentino inaugurationLander President Richard Cosentino is presented the presidential medallion, symbolizing the responsibility and authority of his office.

“Energy," "enthusiasm,” "vision" and "values.” Those words were used frequently to described Dr. Richard Cosentino during ceremonies Monday, March 21, inaugurating him as president of Lander University, the 12th president in the 144-year history of the institution. The event took place in Lander’s Finis Horne Arena before a large audience that included state, municipal and federal dignitaries, two retired Lander presidents, current and retired faculty members, students, alumni, and people from the community.

Also present were delegates representing more than 50 colleges and universities and learned societies, and representatives of the S.C. Commission on Higher Education; the S.C. Technical College System; the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society; and the Peach Belt athletic conference, of which Lander is a member.

In his opening his remarks, Dr. David Mash, Lander’s vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, said, “Today’s ceremony reminds us of Lander’s history and points to our future.”

Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster referred to the inauguration as a “special day for a special school,” and he congratulated the university for the difference it is making in the lives of residents of South Carolina and beyond.

Molly Spearman, S.C. Superintendent of Education and a 1976 Lander graduate, said, “I’m proud and thankful for the education I received at Lander,” and added that the new president would add a special touch to the university.

Members of the Board of Trustees Linda Dolny, George Starnes and Maurice Holloway, also Lander alumni, presented Cosentino the presidential medallion, symbolizing the authority and responsibility of his office.

In his remarks, Cosentino said, “This is a wonderful day in my life. I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the responsibilities of president, and I don’t take them lightly.” He said as the higher education landscape continues to evolve so, too, is Lander evolving. He said the faculty knows how to deliver education and to make students marketable, productive citizens.

He closed by telling students, “Make being the best your goal, and it will define your life’s journey."

Cosentino became president of Lander on July 1, 2015, succeeding Dr. Daniel Ball, who retired after 15 years as president. He came to Lander from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he was the vice chancellor for Finance and Administration, responsible for strategic planning and management in over a dozen areas. He has more than 25 years of experience in higher education as a senior administrative and financial executive, and a background in fundraising, enrollment management, and government relations.

Cosentino has two children, and he and his wife, Jessica, make their home in Greenwood.

More on the inauguration is available online at