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Hays ‘A Part of Lander Since Childhood’

Brentt-Hays.jpgIt would not be going too far to say that new Lander University Alumni Board of Directors member Brentt Hays has had a long relationship with Lander.

As everyone knows, Lander began as Williamston Female College, in Williamston, South Carolina, before moving to Greenwood, where it was renamed in honor of its founder, Reverend Samuel Lander.

Hays is a native of Williamston, and the elementary school he attended was built on the site where Williamston Female College once stood.

“I feel as if I have been a part of Lander since childhood,” he said.

His affiliation with Pi Kappa Phi fraternity is another tie that binds him to Lander.

“Having no biological brothers, this fraternal organization has afforded me the opportunity to establish lifelong bonds of brotherhood,” he said.

Hays graduated from Lander with a degree in biology in 1995. In 2001, he began his long career with PAI Pharma in Greenville, working first as a microbiologist, then as a chemist. He later was a quality control supervisor at PAI Pharma, which produces suspensions, oral solutions, elixirs, syrups and liquids, and was recently promoted to the position of quality control associate manager.

Lander underwent some major changes between Hays’s graduation in 1995 and his enrollment in Lander’s Master of Science in Management program, from which he graduated in 2021. He cited such factors as Lander’s building boom, growing number of students and diversifying areas of study. Another important change was his ability to earn an advanced degree online.

“This convenience was the main driving force behind my pursuing a master’s degree at Lander, because it allowed me the opportunity to continue to work full-time and to spend time with my family,” he said.

Hays’s wife, April, is director of the Freshman Academy and assistant principal at Palmetto High School in Williamston. His son, Dawson, is pursuing a master’s degree in accounting at Clemson. His son, Camden, is a sophomore elementary education major at Anderson University.

As an Alumni Board of Directors member, Hays wants to emphasize “inclusion and communication.” He wants to “immediately contact those individuals who have recently achieved alumni status to encourage them to become active alums and to make sure they are included in all future events. For many, a general, one-time statement during commencement is not enough to spark one’s interest. Additionally, we as a board need to make a more concerted effort to reach out to those individuals who are less active in alumni activities,” he said.