News Releases

Samuel Lander documentary trailer to be shown at festival

August 19, 2009

Production on a documentary highlighting the life and times of Lander University's founder, the Rev. Samuel Lander, is nearly complete, and filmmakers plan to show the movie's trailer and a short clip at the 2009 Spring Water Festival, Sat., Aug. 22, in Williamston.

The 55-minute film, titled "S. Lander - His Life and Legacy," paints a vivid portrait of the Rev. Samuel Lander and his determination to build an institution known for quality education. Lander locksmith Paul Crutcher is using his own company, Prestantia Pictures, to coproduce the film with Robert Stevenson, chair of Lander's Department of Mass Communications and Theatre.

For the past year, the two have interviewed historians and members of the Lander family to gain insight into the man who in 1872 founded Williamston Female College, the institution that would become Lander upon its move to Greenwood in 1904. Footage of those interviews will be paired with dramatic re-enactments featuring local actors and Lander students.

"The mission of this movie has always been to help tell the story of Samuel Lander, the Williamston Female College and how this institution of learning came to be what it is today," Crutcher said. "The most honorable thing we can do is to remind everyone of the legacy of Samuel Lander's sacrifice and vision."

The filmmakers also focus on the university's birthplace in Williamston - a town that remained dear to Lander's heart. "Samuel Lander spent 32 years educating females in Williamston, and he and his family are buried in the town cemetery," Crutcher said.

The completed film will premiere at 2 p.m., Sat., Oct. 24, in Lander's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center in Greenwood, with a reception to follow. As part of the celebration, a collection of Lander family and Williamston Female College artifacts and documents will be on display in the Monsanto Art Gallery, including original Lander diaries and letters from 1850-72, historic photographs and a rocking chair handcrafted by Lander.

For information about the movie, contact Paul Crutcher at 864-388-8206 or visit